COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Savion Flagg scored 18 points and Texas A&M outlasted Texas Southern 58-55 on Monday night.
A&M clung to a 55-54 lead with 1:19 remaining when the Aggies’ Josh Nebo was fouled on an attempted layup. Nebo missed both free throws, however, giving TSU (3-10) a chance to grab the lead.
Nebo, who grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, responded by blocking Chris Baldwin’s short jumper in the paint, although the Aggies’ Andre Gordon turned over the ball on the other end. Following a TSU miss, this time by John Jones, Jay Jay Chandler was fouled.
But Chandler only made the second of two free throws, and the Aggies (6-5) led 56-54 with 29 seconds left. TSU’s Tyrik Armstrong missed a short jumper in the lane that would have tied the game, and Flagg grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
He made both free throws to push A&M to an insurmountable 58-54 lead. The Aggies avenged an 88-73 Texas Southern victory a year prior in Reed Arena, one more loss last season that led to the end of the Billy Kennedy era at A&M.
Yahuza Rasas and Jones each scored 15 points to lead the Tigers.
Texas Southern: Second-year Tigers coach Johnny Jones scheduled a slew of tough games leading to the opening of SWAC play, including road losses to No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Oregon this month, with the idea his team gets tougher and not worn down from stiff competition.
Texas A&M: The Aggies hadn’t played since Dec. 21 in taking an extended break for Christmas, and at times looked rusty. Buzz Williams’ first A&M team looks ready for SEC play in a few ways. But, ready or not, it’s here.
Texas Southern hosts Southern on Saturday to open SWAC play.
Texas A&M opens SEC play at Arkansas on Saturday.