Recap: Nebo And Mitchell 41 Point Outing Claims Victory Over Bulldogs
COLLEGE STATION — In the hit television series "The A-Team", John Hannibal would always light his cigar, proclaiming how he loves when a plan comes together.
If Texas A&M's Buzz Williams had a cigar, best believe he'd be pulling off one heck of Hannibal impression. Promising results for the future of the program in College Station, Williams' first-year plan is finally coming together.
Behind the likes of a career-high 21-point performance from Josh Nebo, the Aggies kept their winning streak alive against Mississippi State for an 87-75 finish. Savion Flagg would tack on another 15 points and 10 rebounds to help A&M secure the victory at Reed Arena.
Shooting has been an issue for the first-year head coach this season. On Saturday, it was the saving grace for the Aggies (14-12, 8-6 SEC) team success. A&M would shoot 59.6% (31 of 52) from the field, beating their previous season-high of 56% in the season opener against Northwestern State.
Saturday would be the best shooting performance for A&M since a 61% outing against Penn State on Nov. 21, 2017. In the second half, Wendall Mitchell took control, scoring all 20 of his points in the final 20 minutes. Quenton Jackson, who scored 20 against Alabama, would score 18 points while Emanuel Miller tacked on 10 with three rebounds.
A&M closed the first half on a 14-8 surge and led 36-30 at halftime. They also would start the game on a 10-4 run, culminating in four of Miller's points. Mississippi State (17-10, 8-6 SEC) surprised fans out of the gate with a 14-10 opener to but them down by two. A 19-6 push from the Aggies' offense led Williams' squad to a game-high 14-point lead with just over 8:00 remaining on the clock.
Despite being outrebounded by Ben Howland's Bulldogs, the Aggies responded thanks to sharpshooting behind the arc. Known as one of the worst at shooting three's, A&M would go 52.9% in the three-point range to give A&M the extra boost. Tyson Carter would make four of his five three's consecutive to put the Bulldogs down by six, the closet lead they'd have in the closing minutes.
Carter would finish with a team-high 19 points to lead Mississippi State as they head back to Starkville. Robert Woodard II would score 18 points, Reggie Perry had 14 while Nick Weatherspoon closed out with 11.
As the Aggies hope to their chances alive for the NIT Tournament, things are heading down the path for Williams' in wins. The team collected its second NET top 50 win of the week after defeating Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Both schools are considered to be on the outside of the bubble by ESPN bracketologists.
A loss to a sub 100 team could be the kicker out while A&M could inching closer to a bite at the Big Apple.
The Aggies will host No.10 Kentucky on Tuesday. Mississippi State will head home to face Alabama Tuesday on what could be a "do or die" match for one of the school's tournament dreams.