OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy had seen this scenario before with an unhappy ending. This time, the script was flipped.
The Aggies (12-8, 3-5), on the strength of a Admon Gilder’s career-high 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, dominated the final 90 seconds Wednesday night to defeat Mississippi 80-76 and snap a three-game road losing streak in the SEC.
“We’ve been ahead in so many games,” said Kennedy, whose club outscored the Rebels 7-3 in the decisive stretch run. “This time we closed it out. We finished the right way and this is a big step for us.”
Tyler Davis added 20 points, shooting 9 of 11 from the field, while Robert Williams added 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The Aggies outrebounded the Rebels 39-23 and hit 9 of 10 free throws in the final nine minutes to preserve the win.
Ole Miss (12-8, 3-5) was led by Sebastian Saiz and Terence Davis with 19 points apiece. Deandre Burnett added 16 points and seven assists for the Rebels, who trailed 47-39 at halftime.
The Aggies shot 29 of 57 (51 percent) from the field and 7 of 18 (39 percent) from 3-point range. Ole Miss was 27 of 55 (49 percent) from the field and 11 of 25 (44 percent) from 3-point range, including 5 of 8 from Davis.
“I thought TD (Terence Davis) was fantastic in the second half and we had opportunities,” Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. “They were bigger, faster and stronger up front and we just weren’t able to come up with the big stop when we had to have it.”
Texas A&M: The Aggies won their second consecutive game for the first time since December 10. Williams had five dunks in the first half. The road win should provide confidence as four of the next six games are on the road.
Ole Miss: The Rebels were unable to get a defensive stop and turned the ball over twice in the final 90 seconds. Aside from another solid performance from Saiz, the Rebels could not match the Aggies inside and struggled from the free throw line, hitting 11 of 17 (64 percent).
Ole Miss had wiped out a 10-point second-half deficit to pull into a 73-73 tie on Cullen Neal’s 3-point shot with 1:41 left. Texas A&M answered when Tyler Davis sneaked behind a half-court trap for a layup on an assist from Gilder to take a 75-73 lead with 1:22 left. The Aggies never trailed again.
STAT LINE OF THE NIGHT
Gilder played the entire game without a substitution to finish with 22 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and four steals. The sophomore guard was 4 of 6 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 from the free throw line, including a pair inside the final 40 seconds to keep the Aggies safely in the lead.
“He can make shots when you give him good looks,” Kennedy said. “We did a good job making that extra pass against their zone to get him those good shots.”
Texas A&M visits No.18 West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.
Ole Miss hosts No. 5 Baylor in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.
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