KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- There's nothing like a quick start and a big early lead to fill a team with confidence and pep.
Texas A&M, which squeaked past Missouri 91-89 in overtime on Jan. 15, roared off the starting pad Thursday night and romped to an 86-71 victory in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
"We were good from the beginning," said Aggies coach Mark Turgeon. "Our defense was good. Our rebounding was pretty good. Our execution was at a pretty high level. We made shots. When you make shots, you look better."
David Loubeau scored A&M's first eight points and combined with B.J. Holmes for 31 points in a first half that ended with A&M leading 46-33. Loubeau and Homes each finished with 20 points.
The Tigers (23-10), who have lost eight in a row to A&M, will nervously await Sunday's announcement by the NCAA tournament selection committee. Ranked as high as ninth earlier this season, they've dropped three of their last four and fallen out of the poll.
Marcus Denmon had 22 points, Laurence Bowers 13 and Kim English 12 for Missouri. The Tigers tried to slow the Aggies with full-court pressure but nothing worked.
"I thought we just seemed like we were moving in mud tonight," said Missouri coach Mike Anderson. "Just couldn't generate that energy that we always talk about."
In Friday night's semifinals, the third-seeded Aggies (24-7) will hook up with ancient enemy and second-seeded Texas in the 220th game between the two, the most-played rivalry in Texas A&M history.
The No. 10 Longhorns swept the season series this year in convincing fashion, winning by 21 at home and by 20 at Texas A&M.
"It seemed a lot worse than that," Turgeon said. "We've just got to play better. I think we've become a better team since that whipping at home that humbled all of us."
A&M outrebounded Missouri 35-27 and held them to 34 percent shooting.
The Aggies also got 16 points from Nathan Walkup.
The first few minutes were all Loubeau. The 6-foot-8 junior hit the opening bucket of the game, then converted two foul shots when Bowers fouled him, added a putback and then another bucket.
It was business as usual for the Tigers away from home despite a partisan crowd in downtown Kansas City. They were 17-1 in Mizzou Arena this year but 6-8 elsewhere. The cold-shooting Tigers were only 8 for 28 from the floor in the first half and went the first 6 minutes and 4 seconds of the second half without a field goal. Denmon's 3-pointer broke the drought but by then the Aggies led 57-39.
"I just feel that the team that came out and played tonight wasn't the team that I know that we are," said Denmon. "We usually do whatever it takes to win, and I don't feel that we gave that third and fourth effort."
Turgeon thought the Tigers may have been fatigued from their hard-fought victory over Texas Tech in the opening round the night before.
"I don't want to take anything away from what we did, but Mizzou had a tough game last night," he said. "And I think it showed a little bit. Jump shots were short. I think that had a lot to do with their play."
Just 5 seconds into the second half, officials called a foul on A&M guard Dash Harris and then spent several minutes conferring and studying replays. Finally, they called an intentional foul on Harris against Denmon.
Denmon, who lay on the court a couple of minutes after the collision, made one free throw.
The Aggies then went on an 8-1 run, with Loubeau hitting a bucket and Kourtney Roberson finishing it off with a basket for a 54-34 bulge.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)