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

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

The Battalion

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Aggies top Georgia by one point in Athens

Freshman+guard+T.J.+Starks+contributed+17+points+to+the+Aggies+victory+over+Kentucky.
Photo by Photo by Kevin Chou

Freshman guard T.J. Starks contributed 17 points to the Aggies’ victory over Kentucky.

On their final road trip of the regular season, Texas A&M managed to hold on and earn their second consecutive road victory, defeating Georgia 61-60 on their senior night.
The game came down to the final minutes at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The key shot came with 1:12 left in the game when junior Admon Gilder drained a three-point shot to cut the Bulldog lead to one. 
On the following possession, Georgia’s Teshaun Hightower threw the ball out of bounds, leading to a tear drop shot from freshman TJ Starks that put Texas A&M in the lead by one. 
After a missed three-point attempt from the Bulldogs, Starks drew a foul on the floor with 12 seconds left but missed the one-and-one free throw attempt. This gave Georgia a shot to win the game. Senior Juwan Parker was way off the mark in the attempt, ending the game at 61-60 in favor of the maroon and white.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, coach preached that all week,” Tyler Davis said to the SEC Network after the game. “We knew it was going to be a very physical game, and it was just that. It came down to the little things, the small things like 50-50 balls, and you know, we came out with the win.”
The first half was a fast-paced, back and forth affair without much separation between the two sides until the five-minute mark. Starks made three of the last four shots in the half for Texas A&M, totaling seven points, helping push the Aggie lead to nine at the half.
Texas A&M allowed Georgia back into the game with a slow start to the second half, only scoring eight points in the first ten minutes. The Aggies lost the lead with 10 minutes to play, as sophomore Tyree Crump hit a three-point shot for Georgia, tying the game at 45.
Things got heated with about eight minutes to play, as freshman Nicolas Claxton and junior Tyler Davis were each handed technical fouls. Shortly after, Georgia took the outright lead with a pair of free throws from star senior forward Yante Maten. 
The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 59-54 with 2:28 to play, as sophomore Robert Williams fouled out of the game. However, the Aggies continued to fight, forcing Georgia to miss its final five shots while going on a 7-1 run to earn a key road SEC win and third consecutive against the Bulldogs. The loss is only the fourth at home for Georgia this season. 
Starks, who has played a key role for the Aggies since earning a starting spot, paced the team in scoring for the fifth time this season with 15 points, four assists and a career-high seven rebounds. 
“[Starks] is doing such a great job,” Davis continued in his comments to the SEC Network. “I’m just so proud of him. He strives every day to get better and he’s just learning how to play basketball. I call him ‘Ice’ for a reason. He comes out here and does his thing, and he came through for us at the end.”
Davis ended the game with 13 points and seven rebounds, passing Rudy Woods to take over 15th place on the all-time scoring list for Texas A&M. Other double-digit scorers included D.J. Hogg and Gilder, who each had 11 points. Six Aggies had five or more rebounds tonight, including a team total 14 offensive rebounds.
On senior night in Athens, Maten led the way for Georgia with 16 points and 12 rebounds to earn a double-double, while Hightower tallied 11 points, four assists and five rebounds on the night.
With the win, Texas A&M climbs to 19-11 on the season, with an 8-9 SEC record, while Georgia falls to 16-13 on the season, with a 7-10 record in conference play. Many believe tonight’s result earned Texas A&M a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 
“We feel great,” Davis added in his comments to the SEC Network. “We just had to come together and say the only way we can do this is together. We’ve got one more game left, we’ll get ready for the SEC Tournament, but the next game is the most important game. We are going to do it together.”
The Aggies will host Alabama at home on Saturday afternoon for their final regular season game of the year. Afterwards, Texas A&M will have their eyes set on St. Louis, Missouri for The SEC Tournament set to run from March 7-11.

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