Missouri's Alex Oriakhi (42) tries to block a shot by Texas A&M's Ray Turner (35) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 70-68. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Friday, February 08, 2013 12:40 am
Texas A&M gets 70-68 win over No. 21 Missouri
By KRISTIE RIEKENAP Sports Writer
The 21st-ranked Tigers have yet to find a way to replicate that success on the road.
Fabyon Harris had 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, to help Texas A&M to a 70-68 victory over Missouri on Thursday night.
The loss dropped the Tigers (16-6, 5-4 Southeastern Conference) to 0-5 in true road games. They have won three games at neutral sites this season.
"We just haven't been able to do it," Missouri coach Frank Haith said of his team's road woes. "We've got to get better at that. It's something we've got to get accomplished, but we've got a couple more road games and we've got to finish off some road games."
Laurence Bowers was wide open when he hit a 3-pointer to give Missouri its first lead of the game, 68-67, with 53 seconds left.
Harris turned it over on Texas A&M's next possession, but Phil Pressey gave it right back with a turnover to set up the winning score for A&M (14-8, 4-5).
"I wanted the ball because I know Coach was going to get on me because I turned it over at a crucial time," Harris said. "It means a lot to me because I felt like I was letting the team down when I turned the ball over."
Ray Turner blocked a shot by Keion Bell with 2 seconds left to secure the win.
Bell fell to the court stunned as the final buzzer sounded and remained there motionless for a few seconds before slowly rising to his feet.
"The home team seemed like they were a little bit more of the aggressor at the beginning of the game," Bell said. "We let them get off to an early lead and we had to fight our way back. We did a good job of getting back into the game, we just didn't finish it."
Alex Oriakhi led the Tigers with 15 points.
Haith was disappointed with his team's defense on the game-winning shot by Harris.
"There was a defensive breakdown on that play," he said, "and they got a wide-open shot."
Missouri used an 11-1 run to tie it at 63-all with about 2 minutes left. Missouri's first seven points of that run were on free throws before Pressey capped it with short jumpers on consecutive possessions.
The teams exchanged baskets before Elston Turner made it 67-65 with a long jumper before the shot by Bowers.
Elston Turner added 15 points for A&M and Kourtney Roberson had 14.
Pressey scored 13 points for Missouri and Bell had 12.
Missouri was coming off an 81-59 win over Vanderbilt, and is a perfect 13-0 at home this year. But the Tigers can't find a way to win on the road.
Haith bristled when asked why he believes his team has struggled in road games.
"If you look across the country teams play better at home than they do on the road," he said. "We're no different than any other team in the country. We took a lead there and we've got to be able to finish that game off."
They had 16 turnovers Thursday which led to 22 points by the Aggies.
They were down by 15 points with about 14 minutes left before a 15-6 run got them within 58-52 with less than 8 minutes to play. Texas A&M had three turnovers and didn't score for a more than a 3-minute stretch.
Harris hit a 3-pointer before Oriakhi was called for a foul and then charged with a technical after a scuffle with Harris for a rebound. Elston Turner made one of the free throws to push the lead to 62-52.
The Tigers opened the second half with a turnover by Bowers, which led to a dunk by Ray Turner. They would commit three more before they made their first basket of the second half - a 3 by Earnest Ross with about 15 1-2 minutes remaining.
They had four free throws in that stretch as A&M added 12 points, mostly off Missouri's miscues to extend the lead to 48-34 before the 3 by Ross.
The Aggies used an 11-2 run to push the lead to 32-19 but Missouri used an 11-4 run to cut its halftime deficit to 36-30.
"I'm really proud of the fight that our team had the first 10 minutes of the game," A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. "We came out ready to play. We haven't had good starts the last few games and we did a good job of sharing the ball and making shots."