COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite a strong second-half shooting performance, the Missouri men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a first-half deficit against No. -/25 Texas A&M Saturday at Mizzou Arena, falling 69-60. The Tigers drop to 19-8 with a 7-7 record against SEC foes, while the Aggies improved to 20-7 alongside a 12-2 conference mark.
Senior Kobe Brown (Huntsville, Ala.) led the Tigers throughout the contest, including the second-half charge. The senior scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range to go with six rebounds and three steals. Brown tallied 14 of his points in the second stanza as he recorded his ninth 20-point game of the campaign.
Graduate student D’Moi Hodge (Tortola, British Virgin Islands) added 12 points on the day, while matching his career high with six steals.
Mizzou connected on 52.4 percent of its second-half shots and drew the margin within eight points down the stretch but a strong opening from the Aggies gave Texas A&M enough of a cushion to withstand the Tigers’ resurgence.
The teams played a defensive battle to start the game with the Tigers forcing 12 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game and the Aggies holding Mizzou to 3-of-18 shooting to start. As the clock ticked toward halftime, however, the Tigers found themselves on the wrong end of a 15-4 Aggie run, as Mizzou entered the break trailing, 39-25.
The Aggies would push their lead to as many as 18 points before the Tigers made a move. Mizzou cut into its deficit with a 13-3 spurt with a trio of timely 3-pointers, the last of which shrunk the Aggie lead to single digits. In the stretch, Mizzou made 5-of-7 from the field.
Texas A&M, however, would stop the run with timely offense and defense. The Tigers twice had the ball down by single digits only for the Aggies to force a turnover – once with a bad pass and a second with shot-clock violation. The visitors then responded with a buck of its own to move back in front by double digits to preserve the eventual nine-point win, 69-60.
Mizzou shot 39.2 percent from the field on 51 attempts while knocking down 9-of-26 (34.6%) from beyond the arc. Texas A&M hit 44.0 percent of its shots from the floor to go along with a 17-of-19 (89.5%) free-throw clip. The Tigers also forced 21 turnovers, the most recorded by the Aggies this season.