No 9 Aggies fall to Arizona

No. 9 Texas A&M went on the road and dominated a good Arizona Wildcat team early, building a 20-point lead, before Arizona came back and defeated the Aggies 78-67 in Tuscon on Sunday night. Freshman guard Jerryd Bayless led the Wildcat comeback with 26 points, while Chase Budinger (left) scored 19.

No. 9 Texas A&M went on the road and dominated a good Arizona Wildcat team early, building a 20-point lead, before Arizona came back and defeated the Aggies 78-67 in Tuscon on Sunday night. Freshman guard Jerryd Bayless led the Wildcat comeback with 26 points.

Elonu double teamed
Chinemelu Elonu tries to pass around Arizona's Bret Brielmaier and Kirk Walters in the first half. (AP Photo/Wily Low)

After trailing early 5-2, the Aggies went on a 13-point run to open up a 15-5 lead. The Aggie lead extended to 14, 24-10, midway through the first half, and to 20 points, 32-12, with six miunutes left in the first half. Arizona went on a 16-6 run to help pull within 12 at the half, 40-28.

At halftime for the Aggies, Joseph Jones had 8 points and 3 rebounds and Josh Carter had 7 points and 4 rebounds. The Aggies had shot 60% from the field while holding the Wildcats to 44%, and the Aggies held a 15-9 rebounding edge. DeAndre Jordan picked up two early fouls and only played seven minutes of the frist half.

Arizona came out and scored the first 6 points of the second half to cut the Aggie lead to 6, 40-34,and proceeded on a 23-7 run, taking the lead 48-47 at 12:48 in the second half. A 3-pointer by Chase Budinger gave the Wildcats a 4-point lead at 12:07. The Aggies regained the lead 57-55 on a drive an dunk by Josh Carter at 8:46. A free throw by DeAndre Jordan gave the Aggies their last lead of the game, 60-59, with 6:29 left in the game.

The Wildcats scored seven straight points to take a 6-point lead 66-60 with 4:49 left in the game, but after pulling within 3 on a Donald Sloan free throw, 67-64, at 3:32, Arizona pulled away to win 78-67.

Super freshman guard Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless drives to the basket around Derrick Roland in the second half. (AP Photo/Wily Low)

As expected, Arizona was led by their two 5-star recruits, true freshman guard Jerryd Bayless (6-3, 195) and sophomore forward Chase Budinger (6-7, 205). Super freshman guard Bayless led the Arizona comeback and finished with 26 points and 6 assists, including 10-for-10 from the line. Budinger had 19 points and Jordan Hill 13.

For the Aggies, Josh Carter had 17 points and 5 rebounds, Joseph Jones 13 points and 4 rebounds before fouling out, and Bryan Davis 10 points and 4 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had a frustrating night, held to 4 points and 3 rebounds in 17 minutes of play.

Texas A&M loses their their third road opener in three years and their fifth in the last six years. The Aggies were 7-0 before losing 64-52 at then-No. 9 LSU on Dec. 5 last season, and were 10-0 prior to losing 63-56 at Pacific on Jan. 3, 2006.

Texas A&M (7-1) will hopefully learn from this loss on the road and will look to regroup for their next game Saturday night when they host Texas State.


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