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Tigers look for much-needed revenge against the visiting Aggies

TAMU took down the Tigers 82-64 on Jan. 11 and are in search of another résumé-building win.

Syndication: Columbia Daily Tribune Caitie McMekin / USA TODAY NETWORK

Missouri 60 | Texas A&M 69


1st Half Notes

  • Missouri Starters: Nick Honor, DeAndre Gholston, D’Moi Hodge, Kobe Brown and Noah Carter
  • Texas A&M Starters: Dexter Dennis, Wade Taylor IV, Tyrece Radford, Henry Coleman III and Julius Marble
  • The Tiger swim the tip-off, but Nick Honor misses an opening 3-pointer. Dennis cleans up a miss for the Aggies for the game’s first points.
  • 17:16—Kobe Brown drills the second of two free throws to give Missouri its first point.
  • Mizzou is shooting 1-9 from the field, including a 0-5 mark from behind the arc. Inefficiency has plagued the Tigers early in these past two contests.
  • Kobe Brown knocks down the Tigers’ first 3-pointer while also giving Mizzou its first lead. A shot clock violation immediately follows.
  • Tre Gomillion is about to check in, marking his return.
  • Mizzou is shooting just 20% but has forced eight Aggies’ turnovers.
  • Texas A&M is on a 6-0 run, which included a missed Hodge dunk. The Tigers are shooting 1-7 on layup attempts...not ideal.
  • The Aggies have committed 11 turnovers. Also, not ideal.
  • Dennis is up to 11 points and five rebounds for the Aggies.
  • 4:30— Texas A&M has found its shooting touch, draining five of its past seven shot attempts.
  • Texas A&M is on a 12-2 run and looks in full control. Missouri is struggling to find any open shots and cannot seem to establish a consistent half court offense. The Tigers are shooting 27.6% from the field.
  • That’ll be a forgettable half for Missouri, who continues to search for an answer offensively. Texas A&M is also attack on its offensive end, drains 50% of shots, including 41.7% from 3-point range.

2nd Half Notes

  • Mizzou has responded to both Texas A&M baskets to begin the second half, but the Tigers are being out-matched in the paint. The Aggies are out-rebounding the Tigers 28-to-9.
  • After a back-and-forth start, the momentum is beginning to trend toward Mizzou. The Tigers will need one of their signature runs to influence the result in this one.
  • A 6-0 Texas A&M run has quieted the Mizzou rally. The Aggies are shooting over 47 percent from the field and 41.2% from 3-point land.
  • The Tigers have outscored the Aggies in the second half but have not been able to stop the Texas A&M push consistently.
  • Mizzou has cut its deficit to eight points on a D’Moi Hodge 3-pointer.
  • Kobe Brown is single-handedly putting the Mizzou offense on his back, but Texas A&M constantly has an answer.
  • Sean East II knocks down a layup to make it an eight-point game again. The question that remains— Is the lead too insurmountable?
  • The clock is ticking down, and Mizzou has zero points in the last 3:16. At this point, it’d take a miraculous run to pull even.
  • Kobe Brown throws down an alley-top dunk to make the final score slightly more respectable.
  • The Aggies withstood a late push from Mizzou to pick up yet another SEC victory.

Pregame Notes

A loss to Texas A&M in early January started a run of rough games for the Missouri Tigers. Now, they hope a victory over the Aggies can begin a winning streak going into March.

Texas A&M will not go down easily. Buzz Williams’ group has thrived in SEC play thanks to their rebounding prowess and some great defense, and they now sit squarely on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament. A Quad 1 win over the Tigers would put them on the right side of that bubble and could be a signature win for a team that needs as many as they can get.

Missouri has treaded water in SEC play as of late, alternating between streaks of wins and losses. The Tigers picked up an impressive win over Tennessee in Knoxville thanks to another heroic buzzer-beater from DeAndre Gholston. Then, things fell apart in Auburn, as everything that went right against the Vols went wrong in The Jungle.

Revenge is on the mind for Missouri this weekend. Let’s see if they can get it done.

Game Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 18

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO

Time: 5:00 p.m. CST


KenPom Win Probability: 52%

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad)

SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR)

C: Noah Carter (SR)

Key Depth: Sean East II (G, SR), Aidan Shaw (SF, FR), Tre Gomillion (G, Grad)

Texas A&M

PG: Wade Taylor IV (SOPH)

SG: Tyrece Radford (SR)

SF: Dexter Dennis (SR)

PF: Julius Marble (JR)

C: Henry Coleman III (JR)

Key Depth: Andersson Garcia (F, JR), Hayden Hefner (G, JR), Andre Gordon (G, SR)

*These starters are projected based on past lineups and pregame updates.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Get To Know Texas A&M

Since their meeting with Missouri on Jan. 11, TAMU has excelled in SEC play. The Aggies took down Florida and Auburn on their way to a 7-1 conference record. Then, after dropping their first meeting against Arkansas, Texas A&M reeled off four straight wins, capped off by a revenge victory over the Razorbacks on Wednesday.

They come into this game at 6-5 against Quads 1 and 2 and 13-2 against Quads 3 and 4 with everything on the line. As of now, the Aggies are appearing directly on the bubble in most projections.

The Aggies killed Missouri on the glass in their first meeting, and it has been a strength of theirs all season long. They rebound 36.5% of their own misses, good for ninth in the country. TAMU also gets to the free throw line fairly often, with 45.8% of their scoring coming from the charity stripe (via KenPom).

Defensively, the Aggies hold down the paint, allowing teams to only hit 46.3% of their 2-point attempts. They also force turnovers on 21% of possessions, and opponents only have a 98.4% effective field goal percentage.

Texas A&M relies heavily on their starters, and it has worked out for the most part. Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece Radford form an efficient backcourt duo. The pair combine for 28.8 points, 6.4 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. Both are aggressive, slashing guards that get to the free throw line frequently (shot 16 combined against Mizzou) and are solid defenders.

Henry Coleman III, Dexter Dennis and Julius Marble handle the dirty work for the Aggies. Coleman III and Marble are both bruising forwards that are tough to move down low. The two combine to average 19.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Dennis is listed as a guard, but at 6-foot-5, 210 lbs., he is more than happy to crash the glass. He led TAMU with 11 rebounds to go along with 13 points in the first meeting with Mizzou.

Off the bench, Hayden Hefner is capable of providing some firepower from behind the arc, but he is very streaky. Hefner did have 12 points against Missouri in their first meeting this season, and his career-high of 17 came against the Tigers last season.

3 Keys To The Game

  1. Rebounding

It’s simple. Texas A&M out-rebounded Missouri 42-29 in their first matchup, with Coleman and Dennis really dominating the real estate in the paint. Every coach in the world talks about how important rebounding is and how it can affect every factor of a game. Missouri found that out on Jan. 11.

However, the Tigers have improved (somewhat) on the glass throughout this season, and they should be motivated to prove that against the team that truly exposed their weakness. Brown and Carter will need to have big games on the glass, but Mohamed Diarra may be the key. He’s shown that he can be a rebounding force at times, but it will depend on if he can keep up with the Aggies’ active bigs.

2. Stay out of foul trouble

The other damning factor from the Jan. 11 game for Mizzou was foul trouble. They committed 29 of them compared to TAMU’s 18, with Hodge fouling out and Brown and Carter finishing up with four apiece.

Foul trouble is never good, especially when it is your best players that are being held out of the game. However, it also hurt the Tigers in the previous meeting because the Aggies shot 32 free throws, making 24 of them. Radford is the best at it, but multiple TAMU players excel at drawing fouls and getting to the line. Free throws have bailed out an A&M team that generally struggles from the field this season. Mizzou can’t let it happen again.

3. Regain the offensive momentum

We saw Missouri’s best game and worst game in back-to-back outings this past week. Now, this team needs to settle down and get back to their playing their style of basketball and scoring at a high-clip.

There are two people in mind when this topic comes up. After combining for 14 points against Auburn, D’Moi Hodge and Kobe Brown have to bounce back in a big way against the Aggies. So much of this team’s offense runs through that duo, and we saw what happens when they are taken out of the picture on Tuesday night. They’ll be motivated to bounce back, but TAMU is a strong defensive team that will likely take notes from what Auburn did on Tuesday.

Game Prediction

My Prediction: Missouri 74 | Texas A&M 70

KenPom Prediction: Missouri 80 | Texas A&M 79

Betting Lines are typically announced 24 hours before tip, Check DraftKings Sportsbook for the odds once they’re updated.

It is very, very difficult to beat a team twice in the same season. However, it’s not impossible, and Texas A&M has some strengths that target Missouri’s personnel weaknesses. That’s why they won in the first meeting, and that’s why most people give them a solid shot at upsetting the Tigers on the road.

Adjustments will be made on both sides to counteract what the other team did well in the first meeting. Expect Gates to adjust his team’s rebounding strategy and defensive matchups, while TAMU will likely attempt to attack the Tigers again to get them into foul trouble.

The performance against Auburn on Tuesday was disturbing and shows that the level Missouri plays at can vary greatly from game-to-game. However, that was, in all likelihood, the worst the Tiger offense will look all season long. I don’t expect Brown and Hodge to go 5-for-13 combined from the floor again, and I don’t expect this team to return to Mizzou Arena and turn the ball over 16 times (fingers crossed).

For me, I just think that the motivation to beat a team who humbled the Tigers earlier in the season will be enough to get them through this game. I’m going to assume that Hodge, Brown and Carter don’t all get into foul trouble and the team shoots better than 22.6% from behind the arc this time around. I also don’t think TAMU, a team that struggles from behind the arc, will shoot 43.5% from three-point land again either.

It will be a physical contest, testing the Tigers’ toughness on the glass. This time, however, I believe they will be up to the challenge.

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