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Aggies survive close bout with Sam Houston State

Jon+Sheen+-+THE+BATTALIONSenior+forward+Kourtney+Roberson+led+the+Aggies+with+13+points+and+eight+rebounds+in+A%26amp%3BMs+66-63+win+over+Sam+Houston+State+Wednesday+at+Reed+Arena.

Jon Sheen – THE BATTALION

Senior forward Kourtney Roberson led the Aggies with 13 points and eight rebounds in A&M’s 66-63 win over Sam Houston State Wednesday at Reed Arena.

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team narrowly escaped with the 66-63 win against Sam Houston State, thanks to a three-point shot by junior guard Danuel House in the final seconds of Wednesday’s matchup in Reed Arena.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said that the game was close because Sam Houston State identified his team’s weaknesses and took advantage of them.
“The three things that we got to get better at, and we’ve said all year, is making free throws, guarding the dribble and rebounding the basketball,” Kennedy said. “Those three areas, Sam Houston State took advantage of us, especially with the foul trouble. Those are some weaknesses that we need to stay away from and get better at.”
A&M went on an 11-0 run early in the first half against Sam Houston State. The Bearkats responded with a 16-8 run of their own mid-way through the half.
Sam Houston State took its first lead when DeMarcus Gatlin made a pair of free throws at the 1:04 mark in the first half. Gatlin made five free throws to end the half on an 8-4 run for the Bearkats.
A&M responded with a late push in the final minute of the first. Jalen Jones scored underneath the basket to give the Aggies the lead back at 28-27 with 37 seconds remaining in the half. Freshman guard Alex Robinson finished the half wit a layup as time expired to put the Aggies up 30-27.
At the 15:13 mark in the second, SHSU tied the game at 39-39 thanks to a three-point shot by Kaheem Ransom. The Aggies took the lead back off of an Alex Caruso fastbreak layup on the following possession. The lead would change five more times before a winner was decided.
With 29 seconds left in the game, senior forward Kourtney Roberson fouled Kaheem Ransom, sending him to the free throw line. Ransom—who is a 92-percent free throw shooter— calmly nailed both free throws to tie the game at 63 a piece.
In the final seconds of the game, Alex Robinson brought the ball up-court and passed it to Danuel House. House bobbled the pass but set his feet and drained the three-point shot to finish off the Bearkats with 3.3 seconds remaining on the clock. House was previously 0-for-3 from three-point range before making the game winning shot.
“The play wasn’t really designed for me,” House said. “My teammate [Alex Robinson] just found me. I was just trying to make sure I secured the ball because I didn’t want to turn it over. I give it all to my teammates because they believe in me. He passed me the ball and I hit the shot.”
With 2.1 seconds left, Sam Houston State had one last chance to make a play. Jabari Peters managed to get the inbounds pass and get a half-court shot off, but narrowly missed as it bounced off the back of the rim.
The Aggie defense managed to keep the Bearkats at 35 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers.
A&M had four players score in double figures — Jordan Green and Jalen Jones with 10 points, Caruso with 12 points and Roberson with a team-high 13 points. Roberson also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Sam Houston State head coach Jason Hooten said his team has lost to two high-quality opponents in the last few weeks, but feels that his team is not playing its best basketball yet.
“We’ve played two high-major games to the wire and probably should have won both of them, but we didn’t,” Hooten said. “No disrespect to A&M or UNLV, but to be honest, we haven’t played well yet. We haven’t shot the ball to our capabilities yet. We shot 32-percent from the three tonight, we shot 39-percent last year as a team. We’re not clicking yet, but I think the best is yet to come.”
The Aggies take to the court next against the Arizona State Sun Devils at 7 p.m. Saturday in Reed Arena.

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