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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies pound Panthers

 
 

Freshman Edjuan Green tallied 17 points on seven-of-eight shooting to pace the Aggies (5-0) to an 82-40 victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers (0-5) in front of more than 4,000 fans Saturday.
Green, who ended the game one rebound shy of recording his first career double-double, was part of an Aggie front court that overwhelmed the Panthers in the second half.
Prairie View was able to hang tough for most of the first half, even grabbing a 16-13 lead on Oscar Thompson’s three-pointer seven minutes into the game. The Ags regrouped, reeling off nine straight points to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Prairie View Head Coach Jerome Francis said his team just didn’t have enough left to keep it close, as the Aggies stretched a six-point halftime margin into the final 42-point victory.
“Fatigue set in, and they kind of got the deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes,” Francis said. “We’re a young team, not to make excuses or anything, but you still have to execute.”
Aggie Head Coach Billy Gillispie attributed the slow start to a lack of defensive patience and Prairie View’s tenacity.
“We played a team that played as hard as you can possibly play,” Gillispie said. “Give those guys credit for being very hard to guard.”
The Aggies made some necessary adjustments at halftime though, starting the second half on a 14-point run with only two answered points.
“Going into the locker room with a six point lead was scary,” said junior forward Antoine Wright. “We pretty much knew coach (Gillispie) was going to give it to us, and he did.”
Wright scored 17 points and said Gillispie’s motivational skills contributed to the second-half effort.
“If anyone could hear what he tells us at halftime, you’re going to come out ready to play,” Wright said.
Green’s performance and the second-half defensive effort was a statistic that may have spelled the Aggies’ demise against a more formidable opponent.
“It concerns me a lot,” said Gillispie about his team’s 54 percent free throw shooting. “Two missed free throws are the same thing as a turnover. There’s no one to blame for that but myself. These guys are good shooters; we’ll be a better-than-average free throw-shooting team.”
The Aggies are perfect this season, dominating all five opponents with an average margin of 35 points.
“I want to beat everybody bad,” Wright said. “I don’t want a (close) ball game. I want to smash people.”
Gillispie said he doesn’t think a lack of close, hard-fought games will hurt his team in conference play, when the talent level of the opposition will increase greatly.
“These guys practice hard,” he said. “These guys have prepared themselves to win.”

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