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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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Aggies fall to No. 5 Kansas, 79-68

Sophomore+forward+Robert+Williams+made+the+109th+block+of+his+career+Tuesday+night+against+Ole+Miss.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore forward Robert Williams made the 109th block of his career Tuesday night against Ole Miss.

Texas A&M was never able to overcome a strong surge in the final 10 minutes of the first half by No. 5 Kansas, falling on the road to the Jayhawks, 79-68, Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.
After cutting Kansas’ lead to 20-18 with 11:41 remaining in the first half, the Jayhawks jumped all over the Aggies (13-8, 2-6 SEC), ending the half on a 25-9 run which gave Kansas a substantial 45-27 halftime lead.
“[They came out] on fire, I guess that’s what you could say,” A&M forward Robert Williams told reporters after the game. “They came out aggressively and they obviously wanted it more than us in the first half.”
The run was much in part to the Jayhawks’ strong three-point shooting, making nine of their first 13 attempts from behind the arc. For the game, Kansas was 12-of-26 from deep.
“It just seemed like every bounce, every play, they made it, and that’s the mark of a really good team,” A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “They shared the ball, fought better in the first half. We did a better job in the second half adjusting to some of that.”
Svi Mykhailiuk led the way for Kansas, scoring 24 points, including 17 in the first half. A&M had a hard time marking up the dynamic 6-foot-8 guard, who was solid off of the dribble, but was also 4-of-8 from three.
Although A&M outscored Kansas 41-34 in the second half, the Aggies never got within single-digits, only coming within 10.
Forward Tonny Trocha-Morelos made a three-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the game, which cut the Kansas lead to 11, but that was the last bucket A&M would make. The Aggies closed the game 0-of-4 from the field as the Jayhawks shut down any chance of a miraculous comeback.
“We could never just make a big run to cut it under 10 (points), (or) put some pressure on them until that stretch where you call a timeout,” Kennedy said. “Their guards can control the game and did a good job of controlling the game at the end.”
Turnovers troubled the Aggies for the second game in a row, giving the ball away 14 times that turned into 24 Kansas points. The Jayhawks turned the ball over nine times themselves, but limited A&M to score just five points off of their miscues.
A&M’s abundance of turnovers allowed Kansas to capitalize in transition as well, scoring 15 fast break points, with 13 of them coming in the first half.
“We shot it unbelievably well,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “We were fast and aggressive in the first half. In the second half, we just puttered around and tried to get through the game.”
The Aggies felt the injury bug yet again, as point guard Duane Wilson was limited to 10 minutes and only scored three points while battling a nagging knee injury.
Freshman T.J. Starks got the nod in place of Wilson, his first career start. And while Starks scored 11 points, he made a pair of costly mistakes in the second half that hindered A&M from piecing together a much needed run.
Junior center Tyler Davis scored a team-high 18 points for A&M, but fell just short of picking up his fourth-straight double-double with nine rebounds.
After back-to-back road losses, A&M returns to action on Tuesday as the Aggies host Arkansas at 8 p.m. in hopes of getting back into the win column.
“We had a pretty confident mindset being that we have a lot of upperclassmen on our team, so we felt like we could win this game today,” Starks said. “We executed pretty well, we just had a couple plays down the stretch where we messed up. So we’re going to figure it out in practice tomorrow to win the next one.”

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