No. 24 Texas A&M came into Saturday night’s tilt with No. 16 Baylor looking to exact revenge on its in-state rival for the beatdown the Bears put on the Aggies last season in Waco.
Well, mission accomplished.
Billy Kennedy’s Aggies squad used a 51-point first half to trounce Baylor, 80-61. And honestly, this game wasn’t even as close as that score line would indicate, as the Bears used a late 12-2 run to pull it within 20.
The Aggies became the first team to score more than 75 points on Baylor in 54 games, which was the longest active streak in the country. The Bears never really had a chance, as Texas A&M leapt out to a 7-0 lead in the first 75 seconds and never looked back. This was a coaching victory as well as player’s one, as the team just had every single answer for Baylor’s 1-3-1 zone. They knew how to bust it up inside with great passing to the middle of the floor, and they were able to bust the zone from the outside with terrific outside shooting. The team’s defense was also superb, holding Baylor to only .884 points-per-possession and 35 percent shooting from the field, and forcing 16 turnovers.
Danuel House led the way with 17 points, as he knocked down four 3s and attacked the Baylor defense. Jalen Jones and Tyler Davis were the guys inside, as they combined for 32 points and 10 rebounds. For Baylor, Rico Gathers had eight points and 18 rebounds, and Lester Medford had 16 points and five assists. But it was all for naught, as they could never really mount a true challenge at Reed Arena.
On a day where Kentucky fell to Ohio State, where does this Texas A&M in the SEC picture? That’s a good question, and one that we’ll have an answer to beginning in January. However, this is certainly a team that could challenge the Wildcats for the crown if John Calipari’s team doesn’t start playing better. Worth noting: the Aggies only have to play Kentucky once this year, and they get to do it at home in the same friendly confines that they used to dominate Baylor.
If they can keep this play up and continue to build on their momentum in recruiting, we could be in the midst of seeing a nice run for the Aggies over the next few years.