Defense First Gets Texas A&M Wins

There was a moment of surprising self-pity from Coach Mark Turgeon a couple weeks ago.

"I know no matter what I do, Gillispie is getting the credit if we win," said Turgeon, referring to former A&M coach Billy Gillispie, who guided the Aggies on a successful three-year run before leaving last spring for Kentucky. "If we lose, it's my fault. I'm in a no-flipping-win situation this year, and that puts me in a bad mood.

"I've got no chance this year. If we win, it's because of Gillispie. If we lose, it's because of Mark Turgeon. So I can't win."

Texas A&M has since responded, and Turgeon has recovered. They lost a 5 OT game to Baylor but have now won 3 straight and moved back into the upper-half of the Big 12 standings. Not coincidentally, they have allowed opposing teams to sub-60 points.

Both Oklahoma and Texas A&M feature former All-American High School players, who as freshmen have done nothing to repudiate their honors. In this game, however, Oklahoma's Blake Griffin and Texas A&M's DeAndre Jordan deferred to a couple seniors who carried their teams. Joseph Jones and Texas A&M were able to scrap out a win over David Godbold and Oklahoma, 60-52.
In a great defensive effort by both teams, Texas A&M came up with the better effort in the final minutes. With 3 minutes left in the game, Oklahoma only managed one shot attempt and a couple free throw attempts. The Aggies defense deprived the Sooners of looks and even getting shots off.

Jones for Texas A&M was solid inside with Bryan Davis to stop Griffin and Longar Longar. Jones didn't shoot particularly well, but was continually around the basket and drew fouls to get to the line and finish with 18 points.

Godbold kept the Sooners in the game from outside with 22 points including 6-10 from the 3-point line. By the end of the game, though, Godbold, who had 14 of the points in the second half, couldn't get free for any good looks in the final 4 minutes as the Aggie defense keyed on him.

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