COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy was proud of his team's defensive effort Tuesday, but was also the first to admit that poor shooting accounted for some of it. Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting, helping Texas A&M defeat Missouri 60-43.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy was proud of his team's defensive effort Tuesday, but was also the first to admit that poor shooting accounted for some of it.
Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting, helping Texas A&M defeat Missouri 60-43.
The Tigers had their worst offensive game of the season, shooting 24.6 percent from the field and connecting on just 5 of 27 field goal attempts in the first half.
"Our defense was good, but Missouri didn't have a good shooting night either," Kennedy said. "It's always good to get a road win. I thought our size and our guys sharing the ball and making shots was critical for us."
Missouri (7-22, 2-15 Southeastern Conference) took a 7-6 lead in a slow-paced, low-scoring first half, but Texas A&M answered with a 9-0 run and never trailed again, eventually leading by as many as 20.
"We were fortunate when we came in here and we started making some shots," Kennedy said. "That gave us confidence and I thought it just made it hard for (Missouri) to fight through the adversity."
Terrence Phillips led the way for the Tigers with 15 points, but for only the second time this season, did not record an assist, despite averaging a conference-best 4.8 assists per game.
Kevin Puryear scored eight points, and Frankie Hughes added eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
"It's just one of those days," Puryear said. "It's not really one of those things that you predict. I thought we had a great warm-up, great preparation coming into today, two great practices coming into today, and got out there and didn't play bad defense honestly, just couldn't make the shots."
Texas A&M (16-13, 8-9) controlled the paint from its first basket, a layup by Tyler Davis with 17:30 remaining in the first half, and led 28-18 by halftime. The Aggies outscored Missouri 22-6 in the paint and outrebounded them 44-31.
"I would be remised if I didn't say that that probably set the game of basketball back a long time," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. "The big guys changed the game inside for us. We couldn't make shots around the basket, outside the basket ... it was certainly a disappointing performance."
Davis entered the game as the Aggies' leading scorer, averaging 14.3 points per game, but took a back seat to Trocha-Morelos' hot shooting, scoring eight points to go with 11 rebounds.
JC Hampton scored 13 points for the Aggies and Admon Gilder added nine points and three assists despite shooting 3-for-10 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range.
Texas A&M: This victory gives the Aggies back-to-back conference wins for just the third time this season, having beaten Alabama 56-53 Saturday in College Station.
Missouri: The Tigers' 18 first-half points are the fewest they've scored in a half this season. Missouri has lost six consecutive games to Texas A&M, and is currently on a five-game conference losing streak.
One of the youngest programs in the nation, Missouri honored its two seniors Tuesday night during pregame ceremonies. Forward Russell Woods struggled to deal with the Aggies' size, scoring two points while hauling in four rebounds. He averages 7.1 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game on the season. Walk-on guard Tervor Glassman was also honored and made his first start of the season, recording a steal in the opening minutes of the game.
"It's tough, but I'm not just thinking about myself, I'm thinking about my team," Woods said of losing on senior night. "My last two years I would describe as 'great.' We lost some games, but I don't regret anything."
Texas A&M: Hosts No. 9 Kentucky Saturday. The Wildcats defeated the Aggies 100-58 Jan. 3 in Lexington.
Missouri: Visits Auburn Saturday. Auburn defeated Missouri 77-72 Jan. 10 in Columbia.