COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M finally was able to exhale at home.
“It felt good to back in the flow of things,” said forward Josh Nebo, who led the Aggies with 18 points.
A&M snapped a three-game home losing streak and defeated Missouri 68-51 on Tuesday night.
The Aggies (11-10, 5-4 Southeastern Conference) swept the season series 2-0 over the Tigers (10-12, 2-7 SEC) following A&M’s 66-64 victory at Missouri on January 21. Missouri on Tuesday scored 18 first-half points – its season low in a half – in falling behind by seven at the break.
A&M led 18-14 with five minutes remaining in the first half before finishing the half with a flourish – at least compared with both teams’ poor shooting over the first 15 minutes. A&M guard Wendell Mitchell smoothly drained a 3-pointer from the left corner and was fouled on the play with 3:15 to go before halftime.
Mitchell missed the resulting free throw, but the Aggies grabbed the offensive rebound, and drained more time off the clock. A&M added a dunk by Andre Gordon and a layup by Savion Flagg in the final 1:37 to grab a 25-18 lead at the break.
Four minutes into the second half, Missouri closed to 30-29 with 16:05 left, before the Aggies outscored the Tigers 13-2 in a little more than four-minute span. In that time A&M guard Quenton Jackson made a 3-pointer, collected a dunk and sank 3 of 4 free throws.
Both teams shot poorly from the field (35% the Aggies compared with 31% for the Tigers), but A&M held a 49-30 rebounding advantage.
“The lessons these guys are learning relative to how hard we have to play. That’s good for this team and good for our program’s future,” A&M first-year coach Buzz Williams said of putting away the game in the second half.
Mitchell Smith led the Tigers with nine points. The Aggies’ Emanuel Miller led all rebounders with 13.
“We missed quite a few shots in the corners,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said of the Tigers’ biggest drawback on Tuesday. “If that’s what you do, you’ve got to knock them down. And Miller and Nebo did a great job of being physical – those two guys set the tone.”
Miller also scored 10 points and said of his first career double-double, “Just getting a `w’ in the column, that’s what’s most important. We did a great job of coming out and competing.”
Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 68, Missouri 51
Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M defeated Missouri, 68-51, Tuesday at Reed Arena to move to 11-10 (5-4 SEC) on the season.
- The Aggies are now 21-18 all-time against the Tigers.
- Since 2015, Texas A&M has won 10 of the last 12 meetings against Missouri.
- After a back-and-forth affair to begin the game, the Aggies went on a 10-2 run at the 6:22 mark to pull ahead to 23-14 with just over a minute to go. The Maroon & White entered the half with a 25-18 advantage.
- Coming out of half, Missouri cut the lead to 33-31 with 14:10 remaining, but the Aggies went on a 15-4 run to grasp a 13-point lead. Texas A&M continued to build on their lead as they closed out the game on a 17-5 run.
- Texas A&M set a season high in rebounds with 49. The Aggies also matched their season high in offensive rebounds with 23.
- In the paint, Texas A&M outscored Missouri, 26-14.
- Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Savion Flagg, Wendell Mitchell, Emanuel Miller, Andre Gordon, and Josh Nebo for the 11th time this season (6-5).
- Emanuel Miller recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Nine of his 13 rebounds came on the offensive end, marking the most offensive rebounds by an Aggie since Jan. 30 2017, when Tyler Davis grabbed 11 against Arkansas.
- Josh Nebo led the Aggies in scoring with 18 points, tallying his 15th game this season with 10-or-more points. His performance marks the 10th game this season he has paced Texas A&M in scoring.
- Quenton Jackson set a career high with 16 points on 4-8 shooting and 7-9 from the free-throw line. He has scored in double figures in four of the last six games.
- Nebo and Jackson matched their season high in free throws made with eight and seven, respectively.
- Savion Flagg grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds.
- Wendell Mitchell registered his eighth game in double-digits with 12 points. Mitchell set a new career high in blocks with two.
- Andre Gordon matched his season high in rebounds with six.
- Buzz Williams is 11-10 in his first season at Texas A&M and 264-165 in his 13 seasons as a head coach.
The Aggies hit the road to take on South Carolina Saturday at 12 p.m.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach Buzz Williams
On Emanuel Miller’s performance…
“When he plays with his motor turned on like that, he’s fun to watch, because he’s just flying all over the place. Within each month of his career thus far, I think he’s continued to improve. He’s improved statistically. His motor has continued to run at a much more efficient pace. His skill level has continued to increase. His understanding of what we’re trying to do has improved. We’re reliant on his motor being in the mix. His length and strength cause problems for the opponent.”
On the team being above .500 in conference play…
“Typical coach, I guess it’s hard for me to forecast things like this. It’s the first time in five years where every game is new. I kind of remember bits and pieces from five years ago, but it’s been an inordinate amount of time since then. Tonight was the first night where we had played somebody before, so at least I had some foundational knowledge [of Missouri]. I want to do the best I can to help our guys have a chance to win. Another element of it is that I have to understand the opponent. What I can say is that when we play with incredible spirit, togetherness, when we’re an incredibly hard playing team, when we give ourselves a chance, I can’t say that I could’ve forecasted this. I’m very thankful though, very thankful. The lessons that these guys are learning relative to how hard we have to play in order to have a chance to win, I think it’s very good for this team, it’s very good for our program’s future, and it’s very good for everyone’s life change relative to what they’re learning from this.”
Forward Josh Nebo
On what it means to have a good home performance…
“It felt good getting back in front of the home crowd. We had two road games last week, and the previous home games we didn’t win. I think it was two straight home games we lost. It was nice to get back in front of the crowd, play in front of them, and get a victory. It always hurts when we lose in front of our home crowd.”
On the importance of his teammates…
“I feel like it’s big time. I feel like with [Emanuel Miller] as a freshman, what he’s doing is kind of incredible. He doesn’t realize how much he’s impacting our team and how hard it is to do as a true freshman, to come in and do what he’s doing. It’s really special with Savion [Flagg]. Them two guys, they crash the glass really hard, and it gives us opportunities to get second shots. It just changes our team more than they realize.”
Forward Emanuel Miller
On his first career double-double…
“I don’t really look at it as much as just to get another ‘w’ in that win column. That’s what is most important. I think we did a great job of coming out and competing. You could take away everyone else’s number, everyone from 1-to-12 on the team was just excited we got the ‘w’.”
Head Coach Cuonzo Martin
On the effectiveness of Texas A&M’s defense…
“I thought they did a good job, but I felt we missed quite a few shots in those corners. Again, you have to be prepared to knock those down. If that’s what you do, you got to knock those down.”
On the amount of fouls his team committed…
“You got to defend without fouling. You have to be aggressive, but you have to defend without fouling. And I think we have some careless fouls. We have to make our fouls count. We have to do a better job with that.”
Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics