Texas A&M downs Missouri 83-61
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Texas A&M guard Danuel House sensed his team held an advantage against Missouri long before the final buzzer Saturday.
''When they started warming up for the second half,'' House said of the Tigers, ''the guys didn't look into the game.''
Although coach Billy Kennedy quickly disagreed with that assessment, the Aggies won 83-61 for their seventh victory in eight games and remained tied for second place in the Southeastern Conference.
Texas A&M (16-6, 7-3) shot 33 of 56 (58.9 percent) - including 19 of 27 in the second half - against Missouri and led by seven at halftime before gradually extending its advantage after the break. A 3-pointer by House with 13:46 remaining in the first half put the Aggies up for good.
House finished with 20 points while Jalen Jones added 16.
Wes Clark scored 15 points for Missouri (7-16, 1-9), which has lost nine consecutive games for the first time since the 1966-67 season, the last under coach Bob Vanatta before Norm Stewart started patrolling the Tigers' bench.
''Losing is always tough,'' Clark said. ''Losing by five, losing by 20. It still counts as one loss. It just got rough for us. Things got a little ugly.''
House and Jones paced the Aggies to a 62-50 win over the Tigers at Reed Arena on Jan. 21, in which each scored 12 points after intermission. House started 4 of 4 from 3-point range Saturday, scoring 14 points before the break to lead Texas A&M to a 38-31 halftime lead.
He added six more points in the final 20 minutes, along with eight by Jones. The Aggies outscored Missouri 44-22 in the paint, and a layup by Alex Robinson with 11:26 left pushed the team's lead to 15.
The Tigers would no closer than 12 the rest of the way, and watched Texas A&M end the game on a 6-0 run.
''When you get into the game, you've just got to take your time and knock shots down,'' Jones said. ''And that's what we did tonight.''
Missouri played with eight scholarship players after the school announced before tipoff that freshmen guards Montaque Gill-Caesar and Namon Wright were suspended for a violation of team rules.
Fellow freshman guard Tramaine Isabell missed his third game for disciplinary reasons stemming from ''unacceptable'' behavior toward teammates and coaches, first-year coach Kim Anderson said Jan. 31.
The three have combined for 19.6 points per game this season. Their absence forced Clark and Keith Shamburger each to play 37 minutes, and both Anderson and Kennedy noticed the Tigers wearing out late in the game.
''We had a little fatigue at the end and it showed up,'' Clark said.
The suspensions left Missouri with just four scholarship players who have not been suspended at one point this season - Keanau Post, Ryan Rosburg, Keith Shamburger and Johnathan Williams III.
Texas A&M: Senior forward Kourtney Roberson added 13 points and five rebounds, the first of which broke a tie with Jeff Overhouse for 10th all-time in school history. Roberson needs 13 more to match Bryan Davis at 757. . Junior guard Alex Caruso had 11 assists.
Missouri: Despite their short bench, the Tigers avoided foul trouble and made 21 of 48 shots from the field (43.8 percent). Still, they haven't won since defeating LSU 74-67 in overtime on Jan. 8. . Freshman forward Jakeenan Gant scored 10 points.
''I AM A TEACHER''
Without elaborating, Missouri coach Kim Anderson stressed that no matter his team's record, he would discipline his players the same way. He called himself a teacher, and said he isn't as focused on his team's losing streak as he is mentoring his student-athletes.
''It's really disappointing as a coach,'' he said. ''It's obvious that winning basketball games is part of our job. But part of our job is to help these guys grow up.''
Texas A&M returns to College Station to face Georgia on Wednesday.
Missouri travels to play South Carolina on Tuesday.