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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Texas A&M men’s basketball falls to Mississippi State in return to Reed Arena

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Quenton Jackson led the Aggies with 23 points in the regular season finale against Arkansas.

Texas A&M men’s basketball lost to Mississippi State 63-57 on Wednesday night after a month with eight consecutive postponements due to COVID-19 within the Aggies’ program and inclement weather in Texas.
The loss on senior night makes the Aggies 8-8 on the season and 2-7 in SEC play. A&M did not hold a full team practice for a month until March 1. Despite this, A&M came out strong, taking a 33-29 lead into the half.
“I just thought our guys gave literally everything they had in their tank,” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “I thought who they are as people and how their parents raised them was revealed from start to finish. I thought that the togetherness they played with and how they played for one another. I just thought the effort they gave, the attitude in which they played, just incredibly thankful for the resilience they showed.”
All four seniors on the team, forward Kevin Marfo and guards Savion Flagg, Jay Jay Chandler and Quenton Jackson, received starts for the night. Jackson and Flagg both put up double-digit points on the night, while Flagg wrote his name into the A&M record books by scoring his 1,000th career point.
Through one half, A&M shot 34.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three point range, less than the team’s season averages in both departments. However, the Aggies turned the ball over a season-low of a single turnover in the first half and four total while forcing 17 turnovers.
“That’s something we’ve harped on the last month; you know we have a knack for turning the ball over in the past,” Flagg said. “We just came in talking about if we rebound and no one turns the ball over, that gives us the best chance to win.”
Mississippi State made 56.5 percent of its shots from the field and 33.3 percent from three in the first half. Lighting up in the second half, the Bulldogs jumped from 3-of-9 from deep in the first to 8-of-19 at the final buzzer. Trying to keep up, A&M struggled to find its shot from beyond the arc and ended the game shooting 16 percent from three.
“I would say not playing a game for a month, you can only practice so much,” Flagg said. “You can’t play a game in practice. I feel like once the second half starts, the time starts ticking down, and it starts weighing on your legs. I feel like everybody came out here and gave every ounce that they had tonight from the bench intensity all the way to the coaches and players are on the court.”
Coming into the game, sophomore forward Emanuel Miller led the SEC in field goal percentage and the Aggies in points and rebounds, making 56.3 percent of his shots for 15.4 points per game while grabbing 8.1 rebounds per game. Miller continued the trend by putting up 24 points and 13 boards, his fourth 20-point double-double of the season.
“As individuals, we have the utmost faith in ourselves and each other, so of course we came out thinking we were going to win,” Jackson said. “We never came out here with the intention to lose. I would say that us coming out here the way we did, we fought as hard as we could not playing a game in a month. I think everybody was really ready to come out here and play. I think we showed it out there on the floor.”
The Aggies will finish regular season play on Saturday, March 6 as they travel to Fayetteville to take on No. 12 Arkansas. Currently sitting at 13th in the SEC, if the team finishes at 12th or 13th, it will head to Nashville for the SEC Tournament on Wednesday, March 10.

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