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The Battalion

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

A&M teams make early exits from Big 12 tournaments

After entering their respective Big 12 Tournaments with high hopes, the A&M men’s and women’s basketball teams each made first-round exits last week in Dallas. As a result, the women’s team now has a coaching vacancy, while the men’s team awaits word regarding a potential postseason berth.
Following an 80-61 defeat at the hands of Baylor University in the conference tournament, A&M women’s Head Coach Peggie Gillom found out that her contract would not be renewed. The Aggies surrendered a nine point halftime lead against the Lady Bears on Tuesday in Gillom’s final game.
A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne said the search for Gillom’s replacement would begin immediately.
“I’ve only known Peggie for a short time,” he said. “I think she is a wonderful person, but I feel like we need to go in a different direction with our women’s basketball program.”
Frequent injuries limited Gillom’s team throughout the 2002-2003 season. Overall, Gillom compiled a 53-86 record during her five year tenure during which the Aggies failed to finish better than ninth in the Big 12.
“This is not the kind of season I had hoped for,” she said. “We set several goals when we came here five years ago, and I’m disappointed that we did not accomplish all of them.”
The loss to Baylor ended the A&M women’s season, giving them a 10-18 mark for the year.
Meanwhile, A&M men’s Head Coach Melvin Watkins and his team had an equally short stay in the Big 12 Tournament, largely resulting from a first-half surge by the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones jumped out to a 29-11 lead midway through the first half that the Aggies were unable to overcome.
“This was one of our most fun games this year,” said junior ISU guard Jake Sullivan. “Getting out and playing with a lead…we wanted to prove something.”
Sullivan scored 17 points as one of six Cylcones in double figures. Tim Barnes’ 21 points led all ISU scorers and included five three-point shots.
“We got outplayed in every aspect of the game,” Watkins said. “Right across the board, we didn’t make plays, a lot of mental mistakes, all those things went into this type of performance.”
A&M senior guard Bernard King led the Aggies with 20 points in what was likely the final game of his collegiate career. King and the Aggies are now left waiting for word on a possible bid to the National Invitation Tournament. A&M (14-14, 6-10 Big 12) has not reached the postseason since 1994.
“It’s one of those things where we’d like to continue to play, and hopefully the phone call will come,” Watkins said. “Six wins in the Big 12, I think that’s got to be impressive to the committee there, but it’s out of our control.”

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