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Texas A&M Basketball

Aggies outmatched by No. 14 Auburn, suffer third SEC loss, 85-66

January 16, 2019
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Basketball can be thrilling and unpredictable.

But it was neither on Wednesday night at Reed Arena as outclassed Texas A&M (7-8, 1-3) fell behind 14th-ranked Auburn early and could never recover in an 85-66 Southeastern Conference loss.

Auburn (13-3, 2-1) converted 13 3-point goals, scored 18 points off 15 A&M turnovers and outrebounded the Aggies by a whopping 50-33. The Tigers never trailed and led by as many as 21 points with just under 13 minutes remaining as they dealt A&M its fourth loss in five games.

“Everything they do well we don’t do well,” A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. “It was a tough matchup for us. They shot 13 threes. We made seven. They force turnovers. All those areas are where we got beat.”

Auburn guards Bryce Brown and Jared Harper scored 22 and 17 points respectively while combining for nine 3-point goals.

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Wendell Mitchell tied for a game-high 22 points on Wednesday night. 

A&M was led by sophomore Savion Flagg and junior Wendell Mitchell who each scored 22. The Aggies were on a wave of momentum from an 81-80 come-from-behind victory over Alabama on Saturday. 

In that game, they committed a season-low three turnovers and prevailed when guard T.J. Starks, who had 12 points and hit a game-winning trey at the buzzer. He could not manage such dramatics against Auburn. Starks. He scored just six points and was harassed into committing five turnovers.

“Their style of play was obviously different (than Alabama’s),” Kennedy said. “They picked up full court and they pressured us and they denied ball reversals. We thought, at times, we were the Harlem Globetrotters trying dribbling exhibitions instead of hard cuts and guys getting open.”

“Passing the ball, I thought, we got sloppy. When you don’t shoot the ball real well as a team teams load up in the gaps. It’s hard to drive against a couple of people.”

Harassing Starks was Auburn’s top priority.

“Our job as guards was to pressure Starks as much as we could and make him uncomfortable,” Brown said. “We knew a lot of confidence coming into this game because he’d hit a game-winning shot at Alabama. We wanted to take that away from the jump.”

That mission was obviously accomplished. A&M had more turnovers (5) in the first five minutes of play than in the entire Alabama game. A&M committed 10 turnovers in the first half alone, which Auburn turned into 14 points.

As a result, the Tigers were able to control early and were never seriously threatened, although the Aggies managed to stay close … for a while.

A&M trailed just 31-23 after Flagg converted the front end of a one-and-one with 5:22 left in the half. But then Brown took over. He converted four unanswered 3-pointers in a 12-0 run that lifted Auburn to an insurmountable 43-23 lead late in the first half.

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Savion Flagg notched 22 points in the Aggies’ 85-66 loss. 

The Aggies valiantly tried to fight back and outscored Auburn 9-5 over the last two minutes of the half. Then, Mitchell opened the second half with a 3-pointer to spark a 7-0 run that brought A&M within 48-39.

But Harper hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a  12-2 run that boosted Auburn to a 65-44 lead that settled the issue. The Aggies shot just .346 percent in the second half and hit only 3 of 13 from 3-point range, so there would be no rally again.

“In the first half I thought our defense, turning Texas A&M over, was significant,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “And I thought our zone in the second half just didn’t allow them to get back quickly, which allowed us to sort of protect our lead.”

Discussion from...

Aggies outmatched by No. 14 Auburn, suffer third SEC loss, 85-66

5,326 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by JaySugar
sharpdressedman
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Good article.

I knew things were not good when I tuned-in at the 15 minute mark and the announcers were talking about all things other than the game.
Steeple
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It's going to be friends and family in attendance at Reed by the time this SEC season is over. Yet someone is still getting paid very well for being arguably the worst coach in the league.
DukeMu
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Steeple said:

It's going to be friends and family in attendance at Reed by the time this SEC season is over. Yet someone is still getting paid very well for being arguably the worst coach in the league.
Admission should be free for the remainder of the season.

If the AD doesn't care anyway...
czar_iv
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AG
Steeple said:

It's going to be friends and family in attendance at Reed by the time this SEC season is over. Yet someone is still getting paid very well for being arguably the worst coach in the league.
Don't be mean ... we just ran into a _HOT_ team.
"@PajayyWasHere: Can I Ask What Exactly Is An "Aggie"? Sure! An Aggie is quite simply the best thing anyone can strive to be!" - Sydney Colson
JaySugar
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It's going to be a long season.
One thing that helps fans get through the tough years is when you feel like there is hope for the near future.
With Kennedy, I feel no hope. That kills fan interest. No hope kills the whole program. Once hope is gone, most everyone checks out.



Even with last year's sweet 16 run, I think with the talent that team had, they should have been higher than a 7 seed. But like all of Kennedy's teams they usually don't play up to their talent level.
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