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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggies dominate Baylor 80-61

Last year, A&M walked away from Waco after receiving a 77-63 thumping at the hands of Baylor. A lot about Aggie basketball changed since that day at the Ferrell Center.
“Experience, different team, and versatility…and a bad memory,” Danuel House said.
Those changes are what led to A&M put on a clinic Saturday night. Behind big nights from House and Jalen Jones, the Aggies smothered Baylor 80-61 to improve to 7-0 at home this season and 3-0 against Big 12 opponents.
A&M (9-2) started out scorching hot, going on a 19-6 run to open the game. Electrifying dunks and a barrage of deep three-pointers helped A&M bolster a 22 advantage as one point and got the Aggie crowd at Reed Arena into the game. At the break, A&M held a 51-30 lead over the Bears.
Turnovers, thanks in part to a suffocating Aggie defense, plagued Baylor (8-2) as they coughed the ball up 16 times. Those led to points, as A&M scored 25 points off of the Bear miscues.
A&M also saw good contributions from everyone on the floor. Of the 13 Aggies who saw action, 10 of them found their way onto the stat sheet with points.
The battle down low between Rico Gathers and Tyler Davis was a physical one, but one that was ultimately won by Davis. Gathers, who averaged a double-double coming in, was held in check most of the night, scoring just eight points and pulling down 18 rebounds. However, when Davis was on the floor, Gathers was essentially non-existent.
Meanwhile, Davis proved why he was so highly-touted coming out of high school. The freshman put up 15 points, grabbed four rebounds and put away two big blocks. All night, he simply overpowered Gathers and the Bears inside the paint.
The Aggies hot shooting tapered off in a big way in the second half, and both teams experienced scoring droughts of about five minutes. A&M jumped out to a 29 point led at one point in the second half, and put it in cruise control form there.
“We played hard tonight…we’re just a dangerous team when everything is going good for us,” Jones said.
As mentioned, the Aggies were suffocating to say the absolute least on the defensive side of the ball. They flustered the Bears and held a high-powered Baylor offense to their lowest point total of the season and allowed them to shoot 35 percent in the game, but just 26 percent from the floor in the second half.
Down low, the Aggies dominated. They outscored Baylor 38 to 22 in the paint and out-rebounded the Bears 44 to 41. All night long, A&M controlled the inside and bullied Baylor with strength and physicality.
“We always try to dominate the paint. That is where [Baylor] scores most of their points,” Jones said. “We said that we would not have any of it, and we showed it tonight…the whole week in practice we stressed rebounding.”
The Aggies will have a nice break for Christmas before returning to action. They will take on Cal-Poly on December 29th at Reed Arena.

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