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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies fall in 2OT

Despite a career-high 28-point performance by sophomore guard Alex Caruso, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team fell to the Missouri Tigers (22-10, 9-9 SEC) 91-83 in double overtime of the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday.
Head coach Billy Kennedy was proud of the way his players fought but expressed his displeasure with the outcome.
“They Shot 53 free throws, I’m all for the new rules but you have to be kidding me,” Kennedy said. “Too many free-throws, whether we did it or not, we have to adjust to it and we didn’t do that. 53 free-throws is just way too many to give up.”
Texas A&M (17-15, 8-10 SEC) started strong going on a 8-2 run the first two minutes of the game. The Aggies showed dominance from three-point range, making five three-pointers in the first half.
A&M’s frontcourt fell into foul trouble early, having to sit junior forward Kourtney Roberson at the 16-minute mark after picking up his second foul. Antwan Space, Dylan Johns and Tavario Miller all collected two fouls early, forcing the Aggies to play conservative defense the remainder of the half. With a depleted frontcourt, A&M allowed the Tigers to close the first on a 12-4 run, going into halftime 26-34.
Texas A&M trailed the Tigers until the 6:15 mark in the second before a three-point shot by Jamal Jones sparked a late 12-2 run by the Aggies to close the gap. Missouri guard Jabari Brown tied the game up at 68 off two foul shots with 47 seconds left in the second. A&M had the chance to end the game on the following possession but failed to convert sending the game to overtime.
With 11 seconds left in the first overtime, Roberson managed to force a foul after an attempt to put back a missed layup. Roberson made both of his foul shots to slim the Tiger lead to 75-77.
On the following possession senior guard – and fan favorite – Blake McDonald stole the inbound pass and immediately threw it to Caruso, who was able to tie the game up and send the game into a second overtime.
With a limited bench due to foul trouble in the second overtime, the Aggies were unable to hold off Missouri as the Tigers went on a 14-4 run to finish off the Aggies 91-83.
Caruso said that he thought they may have had the game won when Missouri’s Jabari Brown fouled out, but that the Mizzou bench did what they needed to do to finish the game.
“Give [Missouri] credit, they had some guys come in and play that don’t usually play for them and did what they told them to do,” Caruso said. “That’s on us to finish out a game when their two best players aren’t in.”
Along with his 28-point performance, Caruso also neared a triple-double, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Jones also contributed a 20-point performance. This was the first time this season two Aggies have scored 20 points or more in the same contest.
Thursday’s game was the fourth time this season A&M has forced a game into overtime, and just the second multi-overtime game – the first coming off of a win against Tennessee at Reed Arena on Feb 23. Missouri defeated the Aggies just eight days ago and now owns the all-time series 16-11.

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