Missouri stops late surge by Texas A&M

Despite a fierce, late-game comeback by the Aggies, Missouri beat Texas A&M 82-77 in Columbia on Saturday. Arthur Johnson who had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and a key blocked shot, led the recently struggling Tigers to their first conference win. The game was the conference opener for Texas A&M.

Early in the game, A&M hit three 3-pointers in a 13-1 run that put them up 30-28 with 1:45 left in the second period. Missouri's Johnson scored two inside baskets just before the half, putting the Tigers up 34-31 heading into the break.

Texas A&M (7-5, 0-1 Big 12) trailed 71-58 with 4:46 to go, but a late run by the Ags put the pressure on Missouri (6-5, 1-1 Big 12). A 3-pointer by freshman guard Acie Law closed the gap to 76-71 with 1:04 left. Law's sunk another shot with 14.6 seconds remaining, cutting the margin to 81-77.

Missouri's Rickey Paulding recorded 16 points on the day. Jimmy McKinney added 12 points. The Tiger win was only their second in the past six games. Big 12 coaches tabbed Missouri as the heavy favorite to win the league this season. Mizzou received eight of the 11 first-place votes to achieve its highest finish in the Big 12 preseason coaches' poll (A&M was picked ninth). The Tigers have been ranked nationally as high as No. 3.

Texas A&M had five players score in double figures. Kevin Turner led the Aggies with 14 points. Antoine Wright and Jesse King added 12 points each, Andy Slocum had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Leandro Garcia-Morales finished with 10 points.

The Aggies continue conference play against (#14) Kansas next weekend in College Station in front of an ESPN national audience. Tip-off is scheduled for 3pm at Reed Arena.

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