The basic pre-game statistics showed little difference between the teams. The Tigers had sixteen wins and five losses this season while the Aggies had fifteen wins and six losses. In the Big 12, three of A&M and Missouri’s four league wins had come against common opponents – Nebraska, Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Missouri had two Big 12 losses to the A&M’s three.
However, now that the night is over there is a distinct difference between the teams – the Aggies pulled off a win.
A back and forth game during the first half sent Missouri into the locker room with a one point lead, 37-36. After half, the Tigers came out strong and fast, building up a double-digit lead in just the first three minutes of play. But that was to be the high point for Missouri’s momentum.
A three point shot by Denmon ended the run and, as if a switch flipped, every shooter for Missouri went cold. It was just what the Aggies needed to gain control back and, like that, a 17-1 run for A&M put Missouri in a fatal position late in the fourth quarter. The team never recovered.
The Tigers did give fans false hope during the last minute of the game. With a minute left, the Tigers were down 65-71. Then with 33 seconds left, a Mizzou foul led to two missed free throws by A&M, holding the Aggies at 74. Mizzou quickly moved down the court to a make a lay-up that pulled them within four. On the inbounds pass, Mizzou immediately fouled and sent the Aggies to the line. Two more missed free throws by A&M gave the Tigers the opportunity and momentum they needed. On the next trip to their basket, Kimmie English pulled up to hit a deep three, making the score 74-75 in favor of the Aggies with only 10.5 seconds remaining. After a Tiger foul and another trip to the line, the Aggies were able to tally two clutch shots. The score, 74-77, left the Tigers wanting a field goal. J.T. Tiller stepped up for the final shot with two seconds remaining, and though the shot looked good to fans in the student section who prematurely started to celebrate, the ball hit the front of the rim and fell short. Aggies clinched the win 74-77.
The loss puts Missouri just two wins shy of school history. A win against Texas A&M would have been the team’s 33rd consecutive home victory. Current school record is 34. February 10 will be the Tiger’s chance to attempt to start a new home winning streak with a game against Iowa State, ironically the same team the 32 game winning streak began against during the 2007-2008 season. Maybe this is a good omen for the rest of the home games this season.