Tigers fall short of upset, lose 11th game of the season to Texas A&M

Missouri loses third straight game in uphill battle with Texas A&M.
Sophomore guard Namon Wright (12) dribbles the ball in celebration as the clock winds down Jan. 9, 2016, at Mizzou Arena. Wright had 10 points, and Missouri beat the Auburn Tigers 76-61 for their first Southeastern Conference win.

For a brief moment, it looked like the Missouri men’s basketball team was going to pull off the most stunning upset in recent memory.

The Tigers traveled to College Station on Saturday afternoon to take on 10th-ranked Texas A&M. Missouri entered the game a 19-point underdog.

However, Mizzou did not seem to care about the point spread at the start of the game. Once Texas A&M senior guard Jalen Jones got into foul trouble and had to sit out, the Tigers ramped up their defensive effort. The Aggies were unable to shoot over the Tigers’ zone defense, only shooting 3-16 from behind the three point line and only 32-percent from the field.

Missouri was not much better on offense, only shooting 34 percent from the field during the half. It was still enough to keep the Tigers in the game as the teams went into halftime with Texas A&M holding a narrow 29-25 lead.

The Tigers came out of the locker room inspired. Freshman forward Kevin Puryear scored four straight points to start the half, part of an 8-0 Mizzou run during the opening three minutes. The run led Missouri to a 33-29 lead, its largest of the game.

Texas A&M woke up soon afterward, thanks to the contributions of Jones. The senior scored 17 points in the second half and finished the game with 20.

Jones combined with senior guard Danuel House to lead Texas A&M on an 18-2 run during the middle of the second half that effectively ended Missouri’s upset hopes. House finished the game with 17 points while adding seven assists and five rebounds.

Missouri was unable to keep up with the Aggies offense as the game wound down and eventually fell 66-53 for their 11th loss of the season.

Mizzou is now 8-11 and will take on No. 23 Kentucky on Wednesday at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The game will be aired at 8 p.m. SEC Network.

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