COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Prior to his team's nonconference matchup with Oregon State on Saturday night, Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said it would take a miracle for the Aggies to pull off the upset.
With a sigh of relief, after A&M’s 64-49 win over the Beavers at Reed Arena, Williams said he still stands by the statement.
“It was the best Christmas gift of 2019. So thankful,” Williams said.
Josh Nebo scored 15 points and Texas A&M used a big second half to rally from an 11-point deficit and beat Oregon State 64-49 on Saturday night.
Tres Tinkle's three-point play to open the second half gave Oregon State (9-2) an 11-point lead but Texas A&M scored the next seven points to make it 33-29 and used a 20-3 run to take a 51-41 lead with four minutes left. The Beavers trailed by at least eight the rest of the way.
Quenton Jackson and Savion Flagg added 13 points apiece for Texas A&M.
Tres Tinkle paced the Beavers with 21 points.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday's victory, Williams had harped on his team's deficiency in offensive rebounding. The Aggies (5-5) pulled in 12 offensive rebounds and scored nine second-chance points. The Aggies' 12 offensive boards are the team's second most this season, behind its 13 in a 63-60 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday.
“That area was definitely something we focused on, because lately we were missing a lot of shots,” Nebo said. “So our focus was to just get the ball on the rim and see if all out our guys crashing can try and get the rebound and give us another opportunity to shoot.”
Freshman Emanuel Miller led A&M with 13 boards, four offensive. Nebo grabbed seven rebounds and had a career-high eight blocks - second most in program history.
The Beavers shot just 33.3% from the field.
“Second half, they went on a run and we lost our composure,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. “It’s the first time we’ve been on the road this year when we were down, a true road game. So we faced some adversity and I’m disappointed with how we responded.”
Oregon State: The Beavers win streak ends at seven games, falling three games short of the longest unbeaten stretch since Oregon State won 10 in a row in the 1989-90 season.
Texas A&M: The Aggies’ notch their biggest win in the Buzz Williams era and save themselves from the worst 10-game start since 2000-01.
An air-balled 3-point shot pinballed its way into the arms of Texas A&M's Jay Jay Chandler with three seconds on the shot clock. With one crossover, Chandler drew a foul as he hoisted up a desperation shot at the buzzer that fell into the net. He completed the four-point play with a made free throw. “It changed the game,” Nebo said.
HE SAID IT
Well before Flagg entered the press conference room for his official availability, he burst through the door and shouted “Did y’all see that?” to the gathered media. “I”m just excited for the breakthrough,” he followed up later.
Oregon State hosts North Dakota on Dec. 29.
Texas A&M hosts Texas Southern on Dec. 30.