Aggies defeat Sooners, earn third shot at Jayhawks

7 Mar

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When people consider a team trying to get a conference championship on its way out the door, they think of No. 5 Missouri. Technically, though, another SEC-bound group has a shot to win the Big 12 tournament too.

8-seed Texas A&M earned that distinction by knocking off 9-seed Oklahoma 62-53 on Wednesday night, earning another shot at No. 3 Kansas.

“We’re just excited to keep going,” coach Billy Kennedy said. “If you lose the first game you don’t feel like you’ve even been in the tournament.

The Jayhawks took both games from the Aggies in the regular season, but they beat them by 10 points in Lawrence and by just eight points in College Station. Texas A&M limited player of the year Thomas Robinson to 10 points in College Station on Feb. 22 after allowing him to score 18 in Lawrence earlier in the season.

“We feel even more confident for tomorrow’s game,” Elston Turner said. “ With that way that everything’s going, I think we can get the win.”

Against Oklahoma, four Aggies scored in double figures. Forwards David Loubeau and Khris Middleton led the team with 15 points each. Middleton and Elston Turner led the charge in the first half, and though the lead changed eight times, the Aggies entered halftime with a 27-22 advantage.

Oklahoma stayed close throughout the second half thanks to continued help from Romero Osby and Sam Grooms, but the Sooners could never quite overtake the Aggies. Grooms made a layup to tie the game at 39 with 9:10 to play, but the Sooners never took a lead in the second half.

Ray Turner finished a 12-point performance with two free throws that gave the Aggies a 57-47 lead with 1:02 to play in the game, and the Sooners continued to fight but could not stop the Aggies.

Texas A&M scored 15 second-chance points to Oklahoma’s 8; the Aggies got 12 points off the bench compared to just 3 from the Sooners; and Texas A&M outrebounded Oklahoma 37-28.

 
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