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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No. 15 A&M survives once again

Aggie basketball this year can be summed up by one word – determination.
“Nobody is going to come in here and outwork us. And nobody is going to come in here and out-tough us,” Senior Jalen Jones said.
Jones and Danuel House were the main catalysts on Tuesday night as the No. 15 Aggies escaped by the skin of their teeth once again in a 71-68 win over a feisty Florida Gator squad.
The two teams went toe-to-toe in the first half, with neither being able to truly establish a dominant lead. The biggest lead for either team in the first half was five points. A three-pointer from Jones as the clock winded down in the first half gave the Aggies a 33-28 lead at the intermission.
Jones and House combined for 23 of the 33 put up in the first half, and 48 of the 71 scored by A&M in the contest. No one else reached double figures for the Aggies in the game. The effort was especially noticed by Florida head coach Mike White.
“My goodness,” said White. “[A&M’s] starting five on offense is arguably the best in our league.”
As usual, A&M (14-2, 4-0 SEC) took tremendous care of the basketball on offense while being quick handed on the defensive end. They committed just seven turnovers in the game and forced 16 Gator turnovers. The Aggies too advantage of the Florida miscues to score 21 points off of turnovers.
The second half saw much of the same theme as the first period. Both teams went back and forth before A&M surged out to a 10 point lead.
Florida would respond though, eventually using an 8-2 run to pull within one of A&M in a 67-66 game. Anthony Collins would be the hero for A&M on this night however.
The senior transfer was cold-blooded down the stretch, sinking four critical free throws down the stretch to put the game under wraps for the Aggies. Collins, who saw his only four points come from those free throws, is now 24-for-24 from the charity stripe this season.
Florida (10-6, 2-2 SEC) out-rebounded the Aggies by a 41 to 39 margin and outscored A&M 30 to 26 in the paint. The Gators had three players in double-figures and were led by Dorian Finney-Smith, who pitched in 17 points to the Gator effort. He did all he could late to keep Florida in it, but fouled out before the Gators final possession of the game.
The win moves A&M to 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2007, and their current win streak is now at seven games which is the longest tear since the 2007 season as well. A&M has asserted themselves as one of the league’s best and Jones believes that trend can continue.
“This start has been great for our confidence,” Jones said. “We feel like we’re the best team in the SEC, so we have to go out and play like that.”
A&M hits the road once again this weekend as they travel to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.  

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