Texas A&M 68 - Missouri 59: Game Recap
In what is becoming a familiar trend, Texas A&M struggled in the first half but fought back in the second half by playing some legitimately good basketball. This time, though, the Aggies were able to hold on to a lead in crunch time and come away with their second SEC win, a 68-59 victory over the Missouri Tigers. The Tigers were missing their second and third leading scorers in Jeremiah Tilmon and Mark Smith and were just 11-10 entering the game, but Billy Kennedy's team was desperate for any good news.
Texas A&M was also missing some key pieces, and the absence of forwards Josh Nebo and John Walker hurt the Aggies early. With those two out and TJ Starks benched for the games first six minutes, the trio of Chris Collins, Mark French, and John Brown saw 27 first-half minutes. All three played hard, but that isn't a winning recipe.
The Aggies coughed up the ball ten times and scored a season-low 21 points in the first half and trailed by nine points at the break. Missouri's lead rose to 12 after Torrence Watson hit a three with 17:35 remaining in the game.
Then, in order to keep his best players on the floor, Billy Kennedy rolled out an ultra-small lineup with Savion Flagg at the post and ordered them to switch every screen. Missouri couldn't figure out the new defensive look, and Mitchell and Starks fueled a 7-0 run to get the Aggies back into the game. Savion Flagg hit a three with 7:21 to give A&M its first lead since the opening minutes.
Then, Christian Mekowulu and TJ Starks made some free throws, Wendell Mitchell and Flagg hit three-pointers, and the Aggies led 59-47 with 2:30 left in the game. Missouri hit two trees to make things interesting, but Brandon Mahan hit a triple of his own and the Aggies went 6-6 from the charity stripe close out the Tigers.
Mitchell once again was the motor behind A&M's offense and he scored a game-high 20 point. Savion Flagg pitched in 12 points and Christian Mekowulu filled in admirably for Josh Nebo, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in his best game againsta conference foe. TJ Starks scored 15 points, nine of which were in the second half, and played good defense against Missouri guard Jordan Geist.
The Aggies have a short turn around as they play the GeorgiaBulldogs in Reed Arena on Tuesday.