Texas A&M men’s basketball put up an effort against the Ole Miss Rebels, but it was to no avail.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, in Oxford, Miss., A&M suffered its second consecutive loss to Ole Miss. A&M is now 7-6 overall and 2-5 in conference and is looking to move forward.
A&M coach Buzz Williams said the squad has figured out the plot of its performance.
“We’ll need to somehow figure out how to diagnose what happened this afternoon,” Williams said. “Regardless of who we play and where we play I think we’ve kind of figured out what the storyline of the game has to be in order for us to have a chance. And when we do those things and fight with the tools we have to fight with, mentally, physically and emotionally it's normally a pretty good fight.”
The Rebels had a dominant start and opened the game on a 5-0 scoring drive. A&M answered and tied the game at seven and then again at 10.
As the first half continued, the Aggies took the lead. This was due in part to the strong defense of the maroon and white, forcing the Rebels to shoot late in the shot clock.
Dominant for A&M in the first half was sophomore forward Emanuel Miller who was the lead scorer for the Aggies in the opening frame with seven points. His dominance would continue on the stat sheet throughout the matchup.
Miller said he is frustrated with repeating the same problems.
“We started losing our composure,” Miller said. “But during those situations is where we need to fight back. We can’t allow teams to score over and over from the same mistakes that we’re doing.”
With two minutes to go in the first half, it was a close game with Aggies leading 26-22. At this point in the matchup, A&M had a 100 percent completion rate for free throws as they were 3-of-3.
Though the Aggies led through much of the first half after trailing at the beginning of the game, the Rebels had plenty of fight in them and took a one-point lead, 29-28, with one minute left in the first half.
A&M was unable to retake the scoreboard and went into the locker room trailing by three points at 31-28.
Ole Miss quickly extended its lead and went on a 20-2 scoring run, making the score 43-30 early in the second half.
Senior point guard Devontae Shuler was a strong player for the Rebels. Shuler posted 17 points and was player of the game; this performance put his career point total at 1,000 points.
With eight minutes left in the matchup, the Aggies were down 16 points at 51-35.
Ultimately A&M was unable to come back and find its momentum, especially after the Rebels’ scoring run. The game ended with the Aggies losing by 11 points, by a final score of 61-50.
The lead scorer for the maroon and white by the end of the matchup was Miller with 18 points. He also put up three assists and 11 rebounds.
Next, the Aggies return to Reed Arena to take on the LSU Tigers. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Miller said it is time for change.
“We’re just making the same mental and physical mistakes,” Miller said. “That can’t happen throughout the course of this season and at some point we have to flip the switch.