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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 snap three-game home losing streak against the Tigers

Freshman+Emanuel+Miller+guards+a+Missouri+point+guard+while+the+Aggies+applied+a+full+court+press.
Photo by Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Freshman Emanuel Miller guards a Missouri point guard while the Aggies applied a full court press.

Freshman forward Emanuel Miller finished with his first career double-double as the Texas A&M men’s basketball team earned a 68-51 victory over the Missouri Tigers in front of a home crowd at Reed Arena.
Miller was one of four scorers for the Aggies to finish in double figures scoring. He finished with 10 points and a team-leading 13 rebounds to complete his first double-double of his career. Miller has led the team in rebounding in five of their nine SEC contests this season.
“I don’t really look at it as much as just to get another W in that win column,” Miller said. “That’s where it’s most important. I think we did a great job with coming out and competing.”
With the victory, the Aggies (11-10, 5-4 SEC) snapped their three-game losing streak after going 28 days without a win in Reed Arena.
“The lessons that these guys are learning relative to how hard we have to play in order to have a chance to win, I think that’s really good for this team,” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “It’s really good for our program’s future.”
To start the game, both teams struggled to gain any offensive momentum in the first half, with each team giving up at least 10 turnovers and shooting under 27 percent from the floor. After being down 8-7 off of a Xavier Pinson three-pointer, the Aggies finished the half on an 18-10 scoring run to lead 25-18 at the break. Missouri’s 18 points at the halftime were their lowest first half points scored all season.
As the second half began, Missouri closed the gap on A&M’s lead, using a 9-2 scoring lead to cut the deficit to one. A&M responded with a 13-2 scoring run, punctuated by a series of free-throw made by Quenton Jackson off of a Missouri technical foul to build a 12 point lead for A&M. Missouri would cut the A&M lead to single digits with less than six minutes remaining, before a 17-5 scoring run to close the game. A&M led for 38 of a possible 40 minutes against the Tigers.
One area proving to be a key contributor in their success this season is in rebounding, where the Aggies excelled against the Tigers. In their previous contest, a loss to Georgia, A&M struggled on the glass, losing both the rebounding advantage, 44-34, and offensive rebounding battle, 15-13, against the Bulldogs. Against the Tigers, A&M dominated Missouri on the glass, breaking their season-high in rebounds with 49 total.
On the offensive end, A&M matched their season-high with 23 offensive rebounds, including Miller’s nine rebounds off of the offensive glass. A&M’s strength on the offensive glass allowed them to extend offensive drives, giving them an advantage in second chance opportunities, where they led 20-9.
Senior forward Josh Nebo led the way for the Aggies with 18 points, including going 8-of-11 from the free-throw line, while adding six rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Nebo has led the Aggies in scoring in 10 of the teams 21 games. Miller finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while guard Wendell Mitchell finished with 12 points off of 3-for-7 from three-point range and a career-high two blocks. Mitchell has scored in double-digit in each of their last three games.
Off of the bench, Quenton Jackson showcased another strong performance, finishing with a career-high 16 points, including going 7-for-9 from the free throw line, while adding three assists and three rebounds. Jackson has recorded double-digit scoring performances in four of his last six performances.
Williams said the effort Jackson has provided in practice has helped him remain consistent and confident in games.
“True confidence can only come from your work,” Williams said. “He’s been very consistent since Christmas in spending time, when I’m not in the gym, working on his game. All of his voluntary time, he’s been very consistent with it. Regardless of industry or sport, when you work real hard, you tend to have confidence in what you do, cause you work at it a lot. He’s kind of turned the corner relative to how consistent he has been in his work.”
One area where both teams struggled was in the turnover department, especially in the first half. Both teams finished near their season-high in turnovers, with the Aggies commiting 16 turnovers and Missouri finishing with 17. Coming off of turnovers, A&M out-performed Missouri in converting these turnovers into points, finishing with 22 points off of turnover compared to the Tigers’ five.
After the short homestand, the Aggies return back on the road trip this weekend, facing off against South Carolina on Saturday at the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina. Tipoff against the Gamecocks is scheduled for noon, with the game being streamed on the SEC Network.

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