House leads No. 21 Texas A&M over Mississippi State 68-66
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M had a little trouble getting going on Wednesday night in the wake of an emotional overtime win against Kentucky over the weekend.
In the end, the Aggies did just enough to outlast Mississippi State and grab their third straight win.
Danuel House had 16 points, including two free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining, to lift No. 21 Texas A&M to the 68-66 victory.
Craig Sword tied it 66-66 on a jump shot with 24 seconds left before freshman star Quinndary Weatherspoon fouled out on House's shot attempt that led to the winning free throws.
''I was looking to score, to finish actually but they gave me a call and I was able to make the free throws,'' House said.
The Bulldogs had a chance to tie it after that, but Tonny Trocha-Morelos stole the inbound pass from Travis Daniels.
A huge crowd packed Reed Arena on Saturday to see the Aggies down the Wildcats with a last-second shot in overtime. On Wednesday, just over 8,000 fans came out to see them face one of the worst teams in the Southeastern Conference.
''It was definitely a different environment,'' coach Billy Kennedy said. ''It was just different. You've still got to be good ... to put yourself in a position to win the championship you've got to win these games. They all count the same.''
Freshman Tyler Davis had 15 points for the Aggies (21-7, 10-5 SEC), whose current winning streak followed a four-game skid.
Sword led Mississippi State (12-15, 5-10) with 24 points and Weatherspoon added 14.
Mississippi State coach Ben Howland praised Weatherspoon's work overall but said the late foul showed Weatherspoon has room to grow.
''Down the stretch he's got to be understanding that they're going to the basket when they have a 1-on-1 situation and be lower and be able to flatten out his drives,'' Howland said.
House made a pair of free throws to give A&M the lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining before a layup by Jalen Jones made it 63-60.
The Bulldogs tied it up seconds later when Weatherspoon made a high-arching 3-pointer from the top of the key. House put the Aggies on top again with a dunk that made it 65-63 with 90 seconds left.
Both teams made a free throw before the tying shot by Sword.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the second half on a 3-pointer by Malik Newman, and extended their lead to 58-54 when I.J. Ready hit a 3-pointer on the next trip down the court.
But Texas A&M scored five quick points after that, highlighted by a 3 from House, to regain a 59-58 lead with 5 minutes remaining.
The Aggies led by 6 with about 11 minutes left, but then Sword scored all of Mississippi State's points in an 8-2 run that tied it at 50-all. Sword made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions before capping that spurt with a layup.
House finally stymied Sword's run with a 3-pointer that made it 53-50 with 9 minutes remaining.
The Aggies led by 3 with about 9 minutes left in the first half before scoring the next six points to extend their lead to 28-19 about 5 1/2 minutes before halftime.
Mississippi State scored eight points in a row after that to get within 28-27. Morelos ended A&M's scoring drought with a dunk, but Gavin Ware made a pair of free throws to get the Bulldogs within 1 again.
This time Anthony Collins hit a 3-pointer to leave A&M ahead 33-29 at halftime.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs fell to 0-3 in College Station. ... Newman finished with eight points after missing the last game with a back problem. ... Ware and Daniels had nine rebounds each.
Texas A&M: The Aggies are 16-1 at home this season. ... The Aggies outscored Mississippi State 36-22 in the paint.
JONES UNDER THE WEATHER
Jones leads the Aggies with 16 points a game but was held to just six points on Wednesday night. That could be because he was battling strep throat. The senior skipped practice on Tuesday to rest at home, but told Kennedy he wanted to play on Wednesday.
Jones had eight rebounds and an assist in 26 minutes, which Kennedy thought was probably a bit too much considering his illness.
''But he did some things to help us win,'' Kennedy said.
Mississippi State: Host South Carolina on Saturday.
Texas A&M: Visit Missouri on Saturday.