Men's basketball beats South Carolina
Remains perfect in SEC
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 23:01
The Texas A&M (12-4, 3-0 SEC) men’s basketball team defeated South Carolina (8-10, 0-3 SEC) 75-67 Wednesday in Reed Arena.
In a game where South Carolina led for most of each half, A&M showed its resilience to finish the game with a come-from-behind win. The victory also kept A&M undefeated in league play and improved them to 12-4 on the season.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said that it feels great being 3-0 in conference play, but also admitted he was nervous for the first few minutes of the game.
“Our bench was really good for us tonight,” Kennedy said. “Davonte Fitzgerald, Shawn Smith and Antwan Space all gave us quality minutes. They’re growing up, they’re getting comfortable and their attitudes are better, that’s why they’re playing better.”
Texas A&M started the game off slow, allowing South Carolina to go on a 14-3 run early in the half. The Aggies were able to battle back after a strong defensive effort and 50 percent shooting from the field, allowing them to close the gap to 38-39 going into the half.
South Carolina quickly jumped out on an 8-1 run to start the second half and maintained its lead for most of the second half up until the 6:59 mark, where the Aggies went on an 18-10 run to finish the game.
Junior guard Jamal Jones said that it was good to be one of two undefeated teams left in league play.
“After the Tennessee win is when it all started coming along,” Jones said. “Like I said a couple days ago, we feel like we can beat anybody. If everybody shows up on a night like tonight, we’re pretty hard to beat.”
Jones led the Aggies offensively, scoring 22 points while adding two steals and two assists. Over the last three games, Jones has led the Aggies in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game. Redshirt freshman guard Shawn Smith also attributed 14 points and four rebounds to help A&M complete its comeback.
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said his team got outplayed at the rim and a lack of defense attributed to their loss.
“[Texas A&M] out-disciplined and out-toughed us,” said Martin. “The out-disciplined part’s on me. I’ve got to do a better job getting our guys prepared to finish off a game.”
A&M will next take the hardwood against the Vanderbilt Commodores at noon Saturday at Reed Arena.