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Aggies Comeback Bid Falls Short, Lose 71-62

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

On an afternoon where Texas A&M was celebrating its 100 years of basketball, the Aggies (13-13, 4-10 Big 12) kept fighting back but eventually lost the game 71-62 against the No. 3 Missouri Tigers (25-2, 12-2 Big 12).

"Our guys have done a really good job of staying in games and not breaking," Aggies head coach Billy Kennedy said in the post-game interview.

It was evident in the first half that this game was going to come down to ball control, defense, and good shot opportunities. In the first half, the Aggies were able to find open shots, but few of them were going through the hoop. The Aggies went 10-23 (43.5%).

"We had opportunities offensively where we missed some wide-open threes that you've got to make against a good offensive team like Missouri," Coach Kennedy said,

A&M was able to play good defense especially in transition holding the Tigers to zero fast break points in the first half. With the game tied at 22-22 after A&M freshman guard Jordan Green made a three-point shot, the Tigers were finding holes in the Aggie defense, and crashed the boards for rebounds that led to Missouri's 9-2 run to end the first half with the lead 31-24

During halftime, players who could make it from Aggie teams of the past, were celebrated for continuing the excellence of basketball throughout the decades. As the players were introduced, the Reed crowd of 11,818 rose to their feet to congratulate them.

The beginning of the second half saw A&M pressuring the Tigers that led to fast break points for the Aggies. Elston Turner made a two-point shot with 15:52 left in the game that brought the Aggies within two, with the score at 34-32. After a Missouri timeout, the Tigers opened up the game with timely three point shooting that silenced the crowd and the Aggies. During this period, the Aggies had gone from a man to man defense to a zone defense, but the Tigers kept shooting and making shots beyond the arc.

"We couldn't guard [Missouri] man-to-man so we switched to a zone defense and that didn't work either," Coach Kennedy said.

The Aggies saw the lead open up, but were determined to not allow this game to go away that easily. The score had reached 56-43 in favor of the Tigers with 7:36 left in the game, but the Aggies would chip away at the lead.

In the final two minutes of play, the Aggies found themselves within striking distance with the score 65-60 Tigers still up. It was at this juncture where there the Aggies had caused a Missouri turnover, the crowd was loud once again and it seemed like the Aggies had positioned themselves for one last push. Then, Loubeau fouled out after being called for a questionable offensive foul.

"Well, I didn't know David could knock down a 6-9, 300-pound guy to be honest with you. But we have to get those kind of breaks against a very good Missouri team," Coach Kennedy said.

After that foul, the Tigers put the stop on the Aggies and won the game by the final of 71-62

 Khris Middleton, looking a little more like his former self before injury, scored 15 points, and Jordan Green added 14 points. Kim English led the way for the Tigers with a game high 21 points, six rebounds and four steals. Three additional players from the Tigers scored in double figures. As with the season, the Aggies fought their way through adversity but at the end just came up short against the talented Missouri Tigers.

"This year has been tough on everybody," junior A&M guard Khris Middleton said.

"But this team will keep fighting no matter what. We got down and we just fought back."

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