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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Turnover woes return, Texas A&M falls to Mississippi State

Trocha-Morelos+attempts+a+shot.
Photo by Photo by Rachel Grant

Trocha-Morelos attempts a shot.

Just when there was a glimmer of hope after a 30-point drubbing of LSU, Texas A&M hit another road block.

A&M’s turnover woes returned and the Aggies (9-7, 1-4 SEC) found themselves on the wrong side of the win/loss column again, falling to Mississippi State (12-4, 3-1 SEC) 67-59.

In total, the Aggies committed 22 turnovers that turned into 21 Bulldog points – making their conference turnover total 103, with 72 in three road games.

Tonny Trocha-Morelos hit A&M’s first three-pointer of the day with 59.7 seconds remaining in the game which cut Mississippi State’s lead to 61-59. Lamar Peters – who was a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line – drew Robert Williams’ fifth foul on the following possession, however, and hit both foul shots as the Bulldogs closed the game on a 6-0 run.

The Aggies missed the presence of Williams and Tyler Davis down the stretch, as both held four fouls at the 12 minute and eight minute marks. At the time, both players led the team with 12 points a piece and A&M’s success was predominantly in the paint with 20 of their 23 made field goals coming down low.

A&M would continue to hold on before the duo returned to the court with just over four minutes remaining. Mississippi State though, still held a 57-53 advantage.

The Bulldogs were able to take advantage of A&M’s foul trouble, too, going 24-of-30 from the foul line. State’s bigs, Schnider Herard and Aric Holman had four fouls down the stretch as well, but the Aggies did not capitalize as much, making just 12-of-20 foul shots.

The Bulldogs were red-hot in the final twenty minutes, going 13-of-19 (68 percent) – including 4-of-8 from three – in the second half after an atrocious opening period from the field.

The opening ten minutes of the second half were a back-and-forth battle featuring seven lead changes and two ties as the Aggies led by one, 44-43, at the 10:43 mark. The Bulldogs though, would score five quick points, forcing Kennedy to call timeout with nine minutes remaining, down 48-44.

Despite Mississippi State shooting a mere 24 percent and A&M holding a 24-11 advantage on the boards, the Bulldogs took a narrow 25-24 halftime lead after Herard tipped in a missed three at the buzzer.

The Bulldogs lead was in large part due to the return of A&M’s turnover plague. The Aggies coughed up the ball 15 times in the opening half, which transitioned into 15 points for the Bulldogs.

The Aggie defense was stellar in the opening minutes, as the Bulldogs missed their first nine shots of the game. A&M was unable to firmly take advantage of State’s shooting struggles though, but held a 10-0 advantage with 13:53 to go in the first half.

After scoring their first points of the game via free throw at the 12:25 mark, the Bulldogs tightened up their attack, forcing seven straight A&M turnovers. State turned the string of Aggie miscues into their first eleven points of the game to take an 11-10 lead with 9:22 remaining.

The Bulldogs surge continued, rounding out a 16-2 run on an open dunk by Herard to extend their lead to 16-12 with 7:14 to go. A&M finally stopped the bleeding, however, proceeding to go on a 9-1 run of their own to regain a 21-17 lead with 4:58 left in the first half.
A&M returns to action this Tuesday when they host Arkansas at 6 p.m. and the game will be televised on SEC Network.

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