No. 22 Texas A&M tops No. 21 Texas 74-58
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon had been on his team about rebounding since a loss to Baylor earlier in the week where they were outrebounded by seven.
On Saturday, the No. 22 Aggies answered his call, outrebounding No. 21 Texas in a 74-58 win that saw Longhorns guard J’Covan Brown injured after a hard fall late in the game.
Donald Sloan had 19 points to lead the Aggies, whose rebounding advantage was 40-29.
Texas A&M (20-8, 9-5 Big 12) never trailed and went up 10 points before scoring six in a row to push the lead to 66-50 with about three minutes remaining.
“That’s all I showed our guys on film was us getting our tails kicked at Baylor on the boards and said if we did it again we were going to lose to Texas,” Turgeon said. “They responded. Rebounded well on both ends and played with a lot of toughness.”
The Longhorns (22-7, 8-6) finished with their lowest scoring output of the season. Leading scorer Damion James, who entered the game averaging 17.7 points and 10.7 rebounds, finished with 12 points and one rebound.
Brown was taken off the court on a board with his neck stabilized after falling hard on a drive to the basket late in the game. He was conscious as he was wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher about 20 minutes after the end.
About four hours after the game, Texas trainer Eric Fry called Brown’s injury a “neck strain” and he’d been evaluated at a College Station hospital and released. Fry said Brown’s status was considered “day-to-day.”
Texas A&M led 72-58 when Brown collided with Texas A&M’s B.J. Holmes as he went to the basket. Both players were injured in the collision, but Brown remained on the court after Holmes was carried off with sprained right foot.
Play was stopped for about 10 minutes while Brown was looked at. Medical personnel were called to the court after a couple of minutes and he was taped to the board and taken off.
Sloan, who has known Brown since middle school, was concerned for his friend.
“It was kind of hard,” he said. “I hope there isn’t anything major wrong with him.”
The injury to Brown, who started at point guard Saturday, comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement that point guard Dogus Balbay is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
Barnes noted his team’s injuries, but said his veteran players need to step up to get the team past them.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “I’m just really disappointed in a lot of things, somewhat embarrassed to be honest with you. We are better than we are playing.”
Barnes said his team’s trouble rebounding and in transition on Saturday were not acceptable.
“I look at it and it’s probably one of the—for whatever reason—as poor a coaching job as I’ve ever done, because I haven’t been able to get the message across consistently,” he said. “There’s nobody to blame for that but me. I can only tell you that I’m not going to quit trying because I do think that we’ve got the ability to put some things together and do what we think that we can do.”
Loubeau added 15 points for the Aggies, who improved to 17-1 this season in games where they held an opponent to less than 70 points.
Texas A&M fought off a rally by Texas by scoring five straight points to extend its lead to 58-46 with seven minutes left. The Aggies led by 16 points before Texas went on a 10-1 run, highlighted by a four-point play by Brown, to get within 53-46 about a minute earlier.
The Aggies were up by five points before going on a 16-5 run that including three 3-pointers to extend their lead to 52-36 with about 10 minutes remaining. A highlight of that run came on a two-handed putback dunk by Loubeau that brought the Reed Arena record crowd of 13,717 to its feet.