Williams, Gilder lead Texas A&M past Missouri 76-73
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Few outside Texas A&M's locker room would have believed it three weeks ago, but the Aggies are feeling emboldened in Southeastern Conference play.
"Everything is in front of us," A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. "We can win all of these games. This league this year is so strange."
Why are the Aggies feeling so good? They've won four of their last five SEC games following a 1-5 start to conference action. On Wednesday night Robert Williams scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Admon Gilder scored 22 points and the Aggies defeated Missouri 76-73.
The game was tied 65-65 with five minutes remaining when D.J. Hogg banked a shot high off the glass from about four feet, giving the Aggies a 67-65 lead. J.C. Hampton then stole the ball on the other end of the floor following an errant inbound pass and threw a perfect pass to a cutting Williams for the dunk and a 69-65 A&M lead with 4:19 remaining.
About a minute later Hogg, who's struggled of late offensively, drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to give A&M a 72-67 advantage with 3:10 remaining.
"It seemed like whenever we got close, we couldn't make the plays," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said.
Williams then added to his impressive night with a slam dunk in between defenders to make it 74-67 with 2:34 left. Williams projects as a first-round selection should he declare for the NBA draft following his freshman season.
"I plan to get every rebound, so I was just attacking the boards," Williams said of snagging his career-high 16 rebounds.
Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 16 points for A&M (13-10, 5-6 Southeastern Conference).
Jordan Barnett, a transfer from Texas, led the Tigers (6-17, 1-10) with a game-high 23 points.
"We just stayed together," Trocha-Morelos said of the Aggies breaking open the late tie. "We knew they were going to make a run."
Missouri: The Tigers failed to make it two straight after winning their first SEC game over Akansas, but they are buoyed by their showings in their last two games, following a 13-game losing streak. Even though it's a lost season for the Tigers, they're at least headed in the right direction.
Texas A&M: Following a 1-5 start in SEC play, A&M has won four of its last five games to add to the jumble that is the middle of the SEC standings. At this point, A&M coach Billy Kennedy will take it considering the Aggies' poor start.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Texas A&M held a 16-6 advantage on second-chance points, what Anderson dubbed the difference in the game.
A&M guard D.J. Hogg had only made 4 of 14 shots from the field in his two previous games, but on Wednesday showed signs of his old pure-shooting self, especially on a long-range 3-pointer from the left corner that gave A&M a five-point lead with 3:10 remaining.
HE SAID IT
"He's young and he's very talented, and I'm pleased with his progress," Kennedy said of Williams, who had his sixth double-double. "We just have to have some other guys step up."
Missouri: The Tigers play host to Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Texas A&M: The Aggies will try and win their fifth league game in six tries when they play at Florida on Saturday.
Updated February 8, 2017