COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Anthony Jones blew a chance to give Baylor the lead near the end of regulation when he stepped out of bounds.
So when given a second chance to come through in overtime, he knew he had to take it.
Jones’ layup with 3.1 seconds left in the extra session lifted Baylor to a 76-74 win over No. 16 Texas A&M on Saturday.
“I felt like I let my teammates down by stepping out of bounds, so it was important to make up for that,” Jones said.
Perry Jones, who led the Bears (15-7, 5-4 Big 12) with a season-high 27 points, gave them a 74-73 lead with his 3-point play with just over a minute left in overtime. Texas A&M’s B.J. Holmes made one of two free throw attempts to tie it at 74.
Texas A&M got the ball back, but Middleton was called for a foul for pushing off as he drove to the basket, setting up the shot by Jones. He got the offensive rebound off a missed shot by LaceDarius Dunn just before the shot clock expired and hit the eventual game-winner.
A.J. Walton stole the ball from Khris Middleton as the Aggies tried for a desperation shot.
Baylor coach Scott Drew was impressed with the maturity his young team showed in the win.
“Early in the year, in crunch time, we would lose,” Drew said. “I think we’re getting better in operating in crunch time. I just really liked the fight our guys had today.”
Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon raved about the play of Perry Jones, a freshman, and Drew talked about his development.
“He’s starting to demand the ball more, getting confident and the team’s done a better job of getting him the ball,” he said, “and we’re going to need it.”
Perry Jones couldn’t keep a smile off his face after the win, and said winning in College Station was like “winning a championship.”
Holmes finished with 19 points to lead Texas A&M (17-5, 4-4). Dunn scored 17 for Baylor and Anthony Jones and Quincy Acy had 10 points apiece.
The Aggies tied it 69-all on a 3-pointer by Nathan Walkup with 48 seconds remaining. Anthony Jones stepped out of bounds on the other end, giving Texas A&M the ball back with 19 seconds remaining. Walkup had a chance for the win, but his 3-point attempt fell short.
“It was frustrating because we didn’t start the game off right and had to fight our way back the whole game,” Middleton said. “Everyone knows we should have came out playing better.”
It was the first overtime game between these teams since a 116-110 win by Baylor in five overtimes in 2008. The victory snapped a three-game road losing streak for Baylor and was Texas A&M’s fourth loss in five games.
“We’ve been struggling on the road all year,” Anthony Jones said. “To come in here in a hostile environment we knew whether it was 40, 45, 50 minutes, we were going to come out with a win.”
The Aggies made just 18 of 30 free throw attempts, including three misses in overtime.
Perry Jones made a pair of free throws that made it 69-63 with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation. The Bears didn’t score for the rest of the period to allow Texas A&M to tie it.
The Bears used a 16-6 spurt to extend a one-point lead to a 63-52 advantage midway through the second half. The Bears had a pair of 3s in that span while Texas A&M’s shooting went cold.
The Aggies went on an 8-2 after that while the Bears didn’t hit a field goal for more than four minutes to cut the lead to 65-60 with 6 1/2 minutes to go.
Baylor was up by 14 with about five minutes left in the first half before the Aggies used a 15-4 run to cut the lead to 43-40 at halftime. Texas A&M frazzled Baylor with its full-court press in that span, getting three steals off of it including two straight in the last minute.
“We started another game awful and gave them confidence,” Turgeon said. “Our defense was atrocious until about the 10 minutes mark of the game and then it was really good. But it was just too late.”
Texas A&M’s leading scorer, Middleton rebounded from a shutout performance in Monday’s loss to No. 3 Texas with 18 points and nine rebounds. David Loubeau added 15 points for the Aggies.