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A&M Drops Regular-Season Finale to Auburn, 69-64

March 08, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- KT Harrell scored 20 points, including 12 in the second half, as Auburn defeated Texas A&M 69-64 Saturday.

The Aggies will be the No. 9 seed in next week's SEC Tournament inside the Georgia Dome, facing off with No. 8-seed Missouri on Thursday at 1 p.m. (ET)/12 p.m. (CT) in second-round action.

The Tigers (14-15, 6-12 SEC) snapped a two-game losing streak and won on the road for the first time in more than a month, a 79-74 triumph at South Carolina on Feb. 5.

The Tigers, who led 35-34 at halftime, outscored the Aggies 15-9 in second-chance opportunities. Auburn owned a 35-25 rebounding advantage, with 14 of those coming on the offensive end.

The Aggies (17-14, 8-10), who saw their five-game home winning streak snapped, closed out the regular season with two consecutive losses.

Chris Denson added 19 points for the Tigers, while A&M's Jamal Jones led all scorers with 24 points.


Postgame Notes

Auburn 69, Texas A&M 64

March 8, 2014 Reed Arena


● Texas A&M finished the regular season with a 17-14 overall record and an 8-10 mark in SEC play after the 69-64 loss to Auburn on Saturday afternoon inside Reed Arena … It was just the Aggies’ third loss on their home court this season (16-3).

● The loss snapped a four-game A&M winning streak in the series and left the all-time series ledger at 5-3 in favor of Texas A&M.


● Texas A&M made 22-of-50 shots from the field during the contest (44%) while Auburn shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51).

● As a team the Aggies made 12-of-15 free throw attempts (80%), while Auburn also shot 80 percent from the charity stripe (16-of-20).

● The Tigers owned a 35-25 edge on the boards, including 14 offensive rebounds.

● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Blake McDonald, Fabyon Harris, Jamal Jones, Antwan Space and Kourtney Roberson for the first time this season.


● Junior Jamal Jones tied his career-high with 24 points in the contest, making 8-of-18 shot attempts with a 6-of-12 mark from 3-point range.

● Sophomore Alex Caruso also finished in double-digit points for 14th time this season, contributing 11 points to go along with a team-high four assists.

● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 49-47 in his third season at Texas A&M and 260-226 in 16 years as a head coach.


● Texas A&M will be the No. 9 seed at next week's SEC Tournament and face Missouri on Thursday at Noon (CT).

For more info, including the full bracket visit www.SECdigitalnetwork.com


Postgame Quotes

Auburn 69, Texas A&M 64

March 8, 2014 Reed Arena


Opening Statement…

“Obviously, disappointed in our defensive effort on how many layups we gave up. Auburn played with greater energy at times; especially in the first half. Our post guys just got whipped. They would not step up and make plays defensively. We continued to give up dribble penetration—zone or man. Their post guy, Asauhn Dixon-Tatum 12 points, seven rebounds three blocks, pretty much bested our interior game all around.”

On the team’s effort…

“At the three, four and five, our energy level wasn’t very good—too casual. The problem is we can’t play anybody else. Those guys know they are going to play. Give Auburn credit. They ran guys in every two minutes. They kept fresh bodies in there the whole time. We could never get enough stops or enough baskets to separate.”

On playing man-to-man defense…

“We couldn’t guard (Chris) Denson as a team. Our Achilles’ heel all season long has been late game situations, keeping people from getting layups. We need one big guy to step up and knock them on the ground, make a tough play, block a shot, take a charge. We haven’t been able to get that in the games we’ve lost.”

On the team relying too much on Jamal Jones offensively…

“I don’t think that was the case. I think defensively, we couldn’t move. They drove it and got to the rim. You have to rotate over and someone has to make a play. You have to have more guys, or the guys you’re playing have to be really good on both ends of the floor every night.”


On the loss…

"I think our offense was stagnant-we couldn't get anything started. I think we got Jamal a lot of open shots, but I don't think we became dependent on him. We didn't come out with enough energy and we weren't focused enough, so that's on us."

On frustration the team is feeling…

"Yeah we're a little frustrated because of all these close games we've had, but I think we can turn that frustration into something positive. We haven't won a lot of road games this year, so we're going to take our time in Atlanta at a neutral site where both teams are away teams. We're frustrated, but we're going to use it as fuel to play harder. We have to get past today and continue to work hard in practice. We need to stop thinking about ourselves individually and focus on the team."


On the loss…

"There's no excuse for it. We didn't play up to par. We got rebounded out of the house, gave up 16 assists, countless layups. We didn't play like the team that we are, and I think it showed in the second half."

On the team's confidence…

"In no way shape or form is our team not confident, I can tell you that right now. Every time we step on the court, we think we're going to win. Sometimes we don't play as well as we should, but I can tell you this: No matter who we're playing, we're going full speed ahead at them. We always think we can win, there's no lack of confidence for this team."

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