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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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Aggies bounce back to claim home victory

Photo by Photos by: Morgan Engel

Anthony Collins and Ole Miss point guard Stefan Moody battled it out in A&M’s 71-56 victory Tuesday night. Collins scored ten points and led the Aggies in assists with eight. Moody led the Rebels with 17 points.

The A&M men’s basketball team can breathe again. After going winless for the first half of February and losing five straight SEC games, the Aggies snapped the streak with a 71-56 home win over Ole Miss Tuesday night.
A&M (19-7, 8-5 SEC) cleaned up its sloppiness from its previous losses and committed only 10 turnovers compared to its 19 against LSU Saturday and 10 against Alabama last Wednesday.
The Aggies shot 43 percent from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc. They dominated the paint, outscoring Ole Miss 40 to 18. The Aggie bench also played a vital role in the victory, outscoring the Rebels’ bench 27-12.
Ole Miss (16-10, 6-7 SEC) was led by senior guard Stefan Moody ,who put on a show in the first half but slowed down in the second. The 5-foot-10 guard scored 17 points that were mostly difficult threes including a buzzer beater before halftime. Moody, who is No. 8 in the nation, in scoring with 23 per game, scored 12 first-half points but was held to only 5 points in the second half.
The Rebels struggled from the field, shooting 32 percent and went 27 percent from downtown.
A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said putting Collins on Moody was key to stopping the Rebels’ leading scorer.
“Anthony was the best matchup with him,” Kennedy said. “We wanted to trap him. I thought we wore him down in the second half. He’s a tremendous scorer, and he made some tough shots.”
The Aggies trailed early by as many as nine, but managed to close out the first half strong and take a 40-35 lead to the locker room.
Senior guard Alex Caruso shared his thoughts on what he was thinking when the Aggies faced the nine-point deficit.
“I told myself, ‘We can’t lose this game, and we have to get a sense of urgency,’” Caruso said.
House and Caruso were both able to etch their names in the Aggie history books in the first half.
With his first two points of the game, which were two free throws, House reached the 1,500-college-career point mark.
Caruso then hit the 1,000-point mark after he slammed home a dunk with 4:39 remaining in the first half.
House came out of the blocks hot in the second half, hitting two quick threes and led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points.
Anthony Collins — who had an illness and didn’t manage to log more than a few minutes in the loss against LSU — came back strong, nearly attaining a double-double and led the team in assists with eight while also adding 10 points.
Kennedy said he was proud of his point guard, and that he worked hard on both ends of the floor. Collins discussed guarding Moody as well as Billy Kennedy’s tactics after the game.
“[Moody] is a very talented and a very explosive guard,” Collins said. “My teammates did a good job helping me on him. [Coach Kennedy] wanted me to be aggressive so I can open it up for my teammates.”
Freshman Tyler Davis also put forth a strong effort scoring 10 points going 4-for-7 from the field.
The maroon and white never looked back after regaining their feet at the end of the first half and led by 10 points or more after the 13-minute mark in the second half.
Despite having a troublesome 3-5 record on the road, A&M showed its home dominance and improved to 14-1 this season at Reed Arena.
“Our guys have been good for us all year,” Kennedy said. “We came up short and didn’t execute on the road. I think they recognized that and made the right changes here. It’s good to get a win and to hold them defensively to only 56 points. We played well and with purpose. We took care of the ball.”
The Aggies will be back in action on Saturday as they host No. 14 Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and the game is being televised on ESPN.

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