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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

Aggies beat Texans 73-66 in Billy Gillispie’s not-so-warm homecoming

Mens+basketball+coach+Buzz+Williams+led+the+Aggies+to+an+8-10+overall+record+during+the+2020-21+season.
Photo by Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

Men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams led the Aggies to an 8-10 overall record during the 2020-21 season.

The Texas A&M’s men’s basketball team pulled off a comeback win against Tarleton State Wednesday after being down by 10 early in the second half.
A poor first half in Reed Arena riddled with turnovers and missed shots for both teams left the Aggies trailing 26-24 at halftime. Last game’s leading scorer for A&M, senior guard Quenton Jackson, was held to one point and four turnovers in the first half, expounding the problems for the Aggies’ offense.
It took nearly five and a half minutes for A&M to get its first basket of the night that followed from a Jackson chasedown block. The Aggies shot 2-of-9 from beyond the arc in the first half, both made by senior guard Savion Flagg. With 16 turnovers in the first half, the Aggies came into the second looking to protect the ball
“During halftime we just talked about our will and our want to play,” sophomore forward Emanuel Miller said. “We looked very uncomfortable in the first half, we didn’t look like ourselves at all. Starting the second half, [Quenton Jackson] came out with that vicious dunk and that really got everyone going, it changed everyone’s mindset.”
Shortly after the burst of energy for the Aggies, Jackson was called for his third offensive foul of the game. Not even four minutes into the second half, Jackson was called for another foul and was sent to the bench, limiting his minutes to 25 on the night.
In the second half, Miller made amends for A&M’s shooting percentage (37.5 percent from the field) by scoring 15 points from the free throw line. Miller led the Aggies in scoring with 23 points while also recording his second career 20-point double-double with 10 rebounds.
“It’s our mentality to get to the charge circle and get fouled,” Flagg said. “We have something that we do, we have to shoot a certain amount of free throws a game. E-man [Emanuel Miller] was tremendous of getting fouled and getting to the free throw line. We knew our field goal percentage was down. We capitalized on the freethrow line which gave us a chance to win the game.”
In addition to the burst of scoring that Miller gave the Aggies from the line, he also contributed to four of Tarleton’s players fouling out. Tarleton shot 16-for-26 from the line while A&M shot 31-for-40.
Tarleton State coach Billy Gillispie coached for A&M from 2004 to 2007 and led the Aggies to their first ever consecutive playoff appearances, including a Sweet 16 bid. A&M coach Buzz Williams worked as Gillispie’s assistant coach from 2004 to 2006.
“We did foul too much, that’s been a concern for us,” Gillispie said. “Normally, at this point in the season you’ve already played a lot of games. We didn’t get to have any exhibition games, we didn’t get to have any scrimmages… Nobody can win at home or on the road if you give them 40 foul shots.”
Flagg also made four trips to the line tonight for the Aggies, contributing to his 21 points. In addition to shooting 2-of-5 from three, Flagg also grabbed nine boards. While 10 Aggies saw playing time tonight, Flagg was the only one without a turnover.
“My coaches and teammates put me in the right position to not turn the ball over and to make the right play,” Flagg said. “Going into halftime with as many turnovers as we had we were going to average a turnover a minute.”
Miller encapsulated what the Aggies did right. Missing the last game against New Orleans due to injury concerns, Miller returned to the hardwood to shoot 4-of-8 from the field.
“If we didn’t have E-man back tonight we would not have won,” Williams said. “He could have played on Sunday. I didn’t think he was quite 100 percent. I was not anticipating that he would be forced to play 34 minutes. His spirit is what I think he does best… He plays incredibly hard.”

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