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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A&M men’s basketball exit out of SEC Tournament

Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

Sophomore guard Jay Jay Chandler scores for the Aggies.

Lamar Peters hit five 3-pointers for Mississippi State in a 80-54 rout of Texas A&M Thursday night at the SEC tournament in Nashville.
The Bulldogs (23-9, 8-10 SEC) maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the contest, beginning with Peters and guard Quinndary Weatherspoon scored a pair of threes in the opening minutes. The Aggies (14-18, 6-12 SEC) never saw a lead in the game.
Just five-and-a-half minutes into the first period, Mississippi State earned its first double-digit lead in the game in the midst of a 12-2 scoring run led by sophomore forward Abdul Ado.
A&M traded baskets with the Bulldogs through the remainder of the first half with mid-range jumpers from sophomore forward Savion Flagg and junior forward Josh Nebo, but could not bring the deficit below double-digits before returning to the locker room at the intermission.
At the half A&M trailed 38-23 and scored only 31 percent from the field. Additionally the Aggies shot 1-of-8 from the three-point line to begin the game.
Mississippi State expanded its lead right out of the locker room and would make it a 20-point game with 14:21 left in the game.
With four minutes left in the game the Bulldogs saw its biggest lead after Peters hit his last three pointer of the contest to make it 73-43. The junior guard said that shooting more after practice made the difference come gametime.
“Just staying in the gym,” he said. “Coach has been telling me after practice to get extra shots up and its just been paying off. So I just keep going into games with the same routine and keep getting shots up.”
Flagg led the Aggies in the scoring column for the third game in a row with 21 the night after recording a career-high 29 against Vanderbilt. With only four players getting more than 20 minutes, the sophomore forward said that Mississippi State’s rest was one of the reasons the Aggies were caught off-balance.
“Fresh legs, they were coached well, they came out with a lot of energy,” Flagg said. “They were hitting shots. Lamar Peters hitting two big shots to start the game and I feel like that really got them going.”
Before the first round against Vanderbilt, the Houston Chronicle reported that a person with knowledge of the situation A&M head coach Billy Kennedy would not return in his role after the Aggies’ exit from the SEC tournament. After the loss Thursday, Kennedy said that he had not heard anything regarding his employment.
“I wish I knew,” he said. “I don’t know anything. I haven’t talked to any of my administrators about it. It’s an unfortunate situation, but, i’m not sure.”
Kennedy also said that he tried to draw the team’s focus off him while preparing for the tournament.
“I didn’t want it to be about me,” he said. “So we tried to focus on beating Vandy first, and made it all about the game and beating Vandy and representing Texas A&M in the best way possible. Like I said, it’s hard enough to win games and win championships or win at this level with any adversity. I’m sure [the report] didn’t help. But that’s not why we got beat. Mississippi State was really good tonight.”

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