Texas A&M gets 70-68 win over No. 21 Missouri
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) When Fabyon Harris turned the ball over with less than a minute to go and Texas A&M trailing No. 21 Missouri by a point, he knew he had to make up for his mistake.
When Phil Pressey made a bad pass which sailed out of bounds giving the Aggies the ball right back, Harris got the chance to redeem himself.
Harris had 17 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, to help Texas A&M (14-8, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) to a 70-68 victory Thursday night.
"I wanted the ball because I know Coach was going to get on me because I turned it over at a crucial time," Harris said. "It means a lot to me because I felt like I was letting the team down when I turned the ball over."
Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy wasn't surprised that Harris was able to bounce back so quickly after his miscue.
"It doesn't bother him. He handles it," Kennedy said. "He does a good job of moving on."
The loss dropped the Tigers (16-6, 5-4) to 0-5 in true road games. They have won three games at neutral sites this season.
Laurence Bowers was wide open when he hit a 3-pointer to give Missouri its first lead of the game, 68-67, with 53 seconds left.
Bell fell to the court stunned as the final buzzer sounded and remained there motionless for a few seconds before slowly rising to his feet.
"The home team seemed like they were a little bit more of the aggressor at the beginning of the game," Bell said. "We let them get off to an early lead and we had to fight our way back. We did a good job of getting back into the game, we just didn't finish it."
Alex Oriakhi led the Tigers with 15 points.
Missouri used an 11-1 run to tie it at 63-all with about 2 minutes left. Missouri's first seven points of that run were on free throws before Pressey capped it with short jumpers on consecutive possessions.
The teams exchanged baskets before Elston Turner made it 67-65 with a long jumper before the shot by Bowers.
Pressey scored 13 for Missouri and Bell had 12.
Missouri was coming off an 81-59 win over Vanderbilt, and is a perfect 13-0 at home this year. But the Tigers can't find a way to win on the road.
"We just haven't been able to do it," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "We've got to get better at that. It's something we've got to get accomplished, but we've got a couple more road games and we've got to finish off some road games."
They had 16 turnovers on Thursday which led to 22 points by the Aggies.
They were down by 15 points with about 14 minutes left before a 15-6 run got them within 58-52 with less than 8 minutes to play. Texas A&M had three turnovers and didn't score for a more than a 3-minute stretch.
Harris hit a 3-pointer before Oriakhi was called for a foul and then charged with a technical foul after a scuffle with Harris for a rebound. Elston Turner made one of the free throws to push the lead to 62-52.
The Tigers opened the second half with a turnover by Bowers, which led to a dunk by Ray Turner. They would commit three more before they made their first basket of the second half - a 3 by Earnest Ross with about 15 1-2 minutes remaining.
They had four free throws in that stretch as A&M added 12 points, mostly off Missouri's miscues to extend the lead to 48-34 before the 3 by Ross.
The Aggies used an 11-2 run to push the lead to 32-19 but Missouri used an 11-4 run to cut its halftime deficit to 36-30.
"I'm really proud of the fight that our team had the first 10 minutes of the game," Kennedy said. "We came out ready to play. We haven't had good starts the last few games and we did a good job of sharing the ball and making shots."
Updated February 8, 2013
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