In a critical Southeastern Conference matchup in College Station Tuesday night, Ole Miss saw its nine-point lead evaporate as Texas A&M came storming back to win the game, 71-56, and snapped a four-game losing streak in the process.
The Rebels struggled in the latter part of the first half, but closed out the period on high note. With 1.7 seconds left in the first half and down by eight, Ole Miss senior guard Stefan Moody took the inbounds pass and calmly hit a 3-pointer to bring the game back within five for the Rebels at the break.
However, Ole Miss couldn’t get anything going in the second half—as evidenced by a dismal 20.0 percent shooting from the field.
When asked how the Aggies managed to turn around a game that initially looked as if it might be headed towards the team’s fifth straight loss, senior guard Alex Caruso replied, “We just started getting stops. It started with defense.”
Caruso, who scored 13 points to lead four Texas A&M players in double figures, said he and his teammates knew they needed to make some changes in order to win. “We were like: ‘We can’t lose this game,’” he said. “We’ve got to get our sense of urgency up.”
Texas A&M (19-7, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) took their five-point lead into the half and were still up by that amount when they scored the next eight points—including a 3-pointer by House and a dunk by Jones—to extend their lead to 53-40 with 15:30 remaining.
The Rebels (16-10, 6-7) shooting woes worsened during the Aggies’ streak, as Ole Miss missed six shots in that time period, four of which were layups. At one point in the second half, Ole Miss was just 2 of 20 from the field.
Ole Miss was led by Stefan Moody’s 17 points.
Tyler Davis added 11 points for A&M while Anthony Collins and D.J. Hogg had 10 each.
“We had some purpose, especially defensively, holding them to 56 points,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
It initially appeared as if the Aggies, losers of five of their last six, might be headed for another defeat as the Rebels were hot early. Behind Stefan Moody’s 3-pointer, Ole Miss jumped out to a 20-11with 12 minutes left in the half. But A&M stormed back on a 13-5 run, with 3-point plays from both Admon Gilder and House, to cut the lead to one point at 25-24.
Tomasz Gielo answered with a 3-pointer for Ole Miss, but A&M answered—in a big way—with three consecutive dunks, giving the Aggies a 30-28 lead with a little more than four minutes before intermission.
The game was tied a couple of minutes later, but the Aggies scored eight straight points to make it 40-32. Moody then hit the 3 to cut it to five at the break.
Mississippi: Travels to Auburn on Saturday.
Texas A&M: Hosts No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday.