A double-double from senior power forward Josh Nebo was not enough to propel Texas A&M to a victory against the cross-state rival Arkansas Razorbacks, who won 69-59.
Saturday’s game marked the first conference matchup for A&M this season. Heading into the matchup, the Aggies had a 6-5 record. Meanwhile Arkansas had an 11-1 record and were coming off of a huge win against Indiana University.
The game started off heavily contested. Neither team was able to separate from the other by a large margin. In the first 11 minutes of the first half, there were eight lead changes. However, after sophomore Arkansas guard Desi Sills made his second consecutive free throw to put Arkansas up 21-20, the Razorbacks did not relinquish that lead. The Razorbacks went into the second half with a 42-33 point lead.
A big reason why Arkansas was able to open up their lead was because of their phenomenal shooting. The Razorbacks converted 13 of their 24 field goal attempts (52 percent) and converted six of their 15 three-point field goal attempts (40 percent). Meanwhile, the Aggies only converted 42 percent of their 26 field goal attempts and 27 percent of their 11 three-point attempts.
With the Aggies converting a higher percentage of two-point field goals against the Razorbacks, they attempted to focus on scoring points via two-point shots. This focus helped them cut the deficit to four as they trailed 46-42 with 16:36 left in the second half. Both teams traded baskets and the score stood 52-50 in favor of Arkansas with 9:01 left in the second half.
Arkansas went on a 17-9 run to finish the game, putting a mark in the loss column in A&M’s first conference game of the season.
Even though A&M shot a better 52 percent from the field in the second half, enough of the Razorbacks 34 shot attempts swished through the net to help Arkansas earn their first conference win of the season. While the Razorbacks only converted one more field goal than the Aggies in the second half, they had three more three-point field goals than the Aggies. This, in addition to a nine-point lead to enter the second half, made it extremely difficult for the Aggies to come back, especially on a night where the Aggies couldn’t score from the three-point line.
Freshman guard Andre Gordon lead A&M with 17 points in the game on 7-of-12 shooting. Senior power forward Josh Nebo recorded his second consecutive double-double, finishing with 10 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Senior guard Wendell Mitchell was second on the team in points with 13, six of which came on three trips to the free-throw line. As a whole, the Aggies shot 46 percent from the field, but an underwhelming 26 percent from the three-point line.
Texas A&M will take on Ole Miss on Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. in Reed Arena.