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Texas A&M fends off Miss. State, 67-64

Texas A&M fends off Miss. State, 67-64

Quenton Jackson scored 18 points, and Henry Coleman III and Andre Gordon each sank two clutch foul shots down the stretch as host held off 67-64 in an SEC game Saturday in College Station, Texas.

Coleman scored 12 points, Tyrece Radford had 11 and Wade Taylor IV scored 10 for Texas A&M (20-11, 9-9 SEC), which nearly squandered a 15-point second-half lead. The Aggies have won four straight games.

Tolu Smith scored 18 points, Iverson Molinar had 15 and Andersson Garcia 14 for Mississippi State (17-14, 8-10).

Coleman made two foul shots with 26 seconds left for a 65-60 A&M lead. Smith, who shot 8-for-8 from the floor, then scored on a driving layup to cut the deficit to three. After Gordon made two free throws with 14 seconds to go, Molinar scored on a short jumper to cut the lead to 67-64 with 8 seconds left.

The Aggies then ran out the clock.

Mississippi State curiously didn’t attempt any 3-pointers in the waning seconds and went only 1-for-4 during the game. The Bulldogs were 1-for-33 from beyond the arc in their three previous games.

The Aggies began the second half with an 8-2 run for a 41-24 lead with 16:20 to go. A&M’s lead grew to 19, its biggest of the night, when Taylor made two foul shots with 14:19 left for a 44-25 advantage.

But the Bulldogs responded with an 8-0 run, capped by Garcia’s putback, trimming the lead to 44-33 with 11:55 left.

The Aggies eventually built their lead to 56-41 on a three by Taylor with 7:51 left.

But a 9-0 run capped by two free throws by Smith with 4:51 to go cut MSU’s deficit to 56-50. Taylor then found Coleman in the paint for a basket, briefly extending the lead back to eight.

After Jackson made one of two foul shots with 1:43 to go for a 61-56 lead, Molinar scored on a jumper in the lane to cut MSU’s deficit to 61-58 with 1:28 left.

Radford scored on a driving lefty layup for A&M. However, Molinar responded by feeding Smith for a dunk to cut the lead to 63-60, setting up the final 30 seconds.

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