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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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Barely escaping

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When did Texas A&M last stop to breathe?
The men’s basketball team came to Lubbock on Saturday fresh off two straight overtime games — a loss at home against Baylor and a road win at Colorado. The No. 22 Aggies refused to take their chances to another extra period, overcoming lax defense and inconsistent play to take another conference road win, 70-67 against Texas Tech.
No. 22 A&M (19-5, 6-4 Big 12) endured a frantic finish wherein senior guard B.J. Holmes made two clutch free throws to provide the final margin and the Red Raiders (11-14, 3-7) had two chances at a tying 3-pointer. The second came after two Aggies mishandled a rebound with less than two seconds left and Tech’s John Roberson got one final look at the basket from the left wing.
A&M continued its struggles for most of the contest, falling behind 18-8 early and letting a seven-point second-half lead rapidly evaporate.
“I was really concerned about our energy level,” said Head Coach Mark Turgeon. “I thought they showed great toughness because we had no energy at the start of the game, and we just kind of willed our way back into it.”
Tech followed A&M’s 7-0 opening second-half run with a 12-2 run of its own to take the lead. The two teams traded punches thereafter up to the final sequence.
The Aggies made just 11 of 21 free throws; Holmes and freshman forward Kourtney Roberson contributed nine of the makes. Senior forward Nathan Walkup missed all five of his but posted as solid a stat line as any Aggie with 11 points, 13 rebounds and zero turnovers.
“I was just trying to get extra possessions,” Walkup said. “I couldn’t make a free throw so I had to do something to help our team. I got a couple of rebounds off free throws. It’s just a mindset, you have to go get it and I wasn’t doing anything else effective so I had to go and get it.”
Sophomore forward Khris Middleton led the team in scoring with 16 points. Holmes’ final free throws were his only points of the second half; he still finished with 14, along with four rebounds and two assists. The Aggies out-rebounded Tech 34-27 and continue to lead the Big 12 in rebounding margin.
A&M dropped from No. 10 in the country to its current No. 22 after losing four of five games, including a pair of defeats at the hands of No. 3 Texas. The Aggies have now won two straight with a home matchup against last-place Iowa State to come Wednesday.

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