56
TF 13
FINAL
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2nd
SECN
Tue Feb. 12
7:00pm
BONUS
73
TF 12
ML: +201
TEXAM -5, O/U 148.5
ML: -241
UGA
TEXAM

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Starks and Chandler help lift Aggies over Georgia 73-56

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) When the Texas A&M Aggies were struggling through a stretch where they dropped six of seven games, coach Billy Kennedy maintained the same upbeat and optimistic attitude with his team.

That, his players say, is what helped them get on track and win their last two games, capped by Tuesday night's 73-56 victory over Georgia.

''Coach Kennedy is always positive,'' Jay Jay Chandler said. ''No matter how many losses we have he's always positive. We just follow him. He comes in with the same attitude of getting better.''

TJ Starks had 19 points and Chandler added 18 to help Texas A&M roll to the win.

It's the fifth straight loss overall for Georgia (10-14, 1-10 Southeastern Conference) and the team's ninth straight conference defeat.

Georgia coach Tom Crean shared what he spoke to his players about as their skid continued.

''You've got to keep believing in each other and that's hard,'' he said. ''You have to identify where you can get better and you have to have your teammates get better and that's hard to do in this day and age. That's the most important thing. It all comes down to your level of desire to improve. Those are the most important aspects.''

The Aggies (10-13, 3-8), who won at Missouri on Saturday to snap a three-game skid, got their first home SEC win by downing the Bulldogs and won consecutive games for the first time since December.

''Finally getting a conference win at home is big,'' Chandler said. ''It brings a lot of momentum.''

The Bulldogs cut the lead to eight after three free throws by Jordan Harris early in the second half. But Texas A&M scored the next six points, with three each from Christian Mekowulu and Wendell Mitchell, to make it 40-26 with about 16 minutes remaining.

Nicolas Claxton ended the run with a 3-point play for Georgia, but the Aggies added seven quick points after that to push the lead to 47-29. John Walker had a dunk in that stretch before a steal and a dunk by Starks and a 3 by Chandler.

''We had good poise,'' Kennedy said. ''They had to press and take some chances and we moved the ball better than we have been.''

Georgia was led by Claxton, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Harris added 10 points.

Mekowulu had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Aggies. Crean raved about his performance.

''He played fantastic,'' Crean said. ''He played with great force. If he plays like that they'll get better all the time.''

The Aggies were still up by 18 with about seven minutes left before Claxton scored the first five points of a 7-2 run that cut the lead to 61-48. But Texas A&M used a 4-1 spurt, with a jump shot by Starks, after that to push the lead to 65-49 with about four minutes left and cruise to the victory.

Georgia shot just 35.3 percent overall, but really struggled from long range, making 3 of 23 shots.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: The Bulldogs haven't won since a non-conference victory over Texas on Jan. 26 and could see their conference losing streak stretch to double digits with a visit from No. 19 LSU coming up on Saturday.

Texas A&M: The Aggies handled business on Tuesday night against a struggling team, but will need to play better if they hope to keep their winning streak going.

THEY SAID IT

Kennedy was impressed with the game by Starks, who also had three assists and four steals with just one turnover: ''That's one of the most efficient games he's played and one of the best stat lines he's had since he's been here.''

BENCH POWER

The Aggies got a big boost from their bench, which outscored Georgia's reserves 39-10, led by Starks and Chandler. The solid play of the bench came on a night when leading scorer Mitchell finished with just nine points and third-leading scorer Savion Flagg had only seven.

UP NEXT

Georgia: Hosts No. 19 LSU on Saturday.

Texas A&M: Visits South Carolina on Saturday.

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
N. Claxton
S. Flagg
34.0 Min. Per Game 34.0
11.9 Pts. Per Game 11.9
2.4 Ast. Per Game 2.4
7.5 Reb. Per Game 7.5
43.7 Field Goal % 44.7
27.5 Three Point % 27.4
63.8 Free Throw % 61.4
  Defensive rebound by Texas A&M 17.0
  Tyree Crump missed 3-pt. jump shot 19.0
  Defensive rebound by Jordan Harris 24.0
  T.J. Starks missed free throw 24.0
  Shooting foul on Jordan Harris 24.0
+ 2 T.J. Starks made layup 24.0
+ 2 Teshaun Hightower made layup 50.0
  Defensive rebound by William Jackson II 59.0
  Christian Mekowulu missed layup, blocked by Jordan Harris 1:01
  Defensive rebound by Jay Jay Chandler 1:28
  Tyree Crump missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:30
Team Stats
Points 56 73
Field Goals 18-51 (35.3%) 24-56 (42.9%)
3-Pointers 3-23 (13.0%) 6-21 (28.6%)
Free Throws 17-26 (65.4%) 19-27 (70.4%)
Total Rebounds 35 40
Offensive 7 10
Defensive 26 27
Team 2 3
Assists 14 16
Steals 6 8
Blocks 3 1
Turnovers 12 7
Fouls 17 17
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
19 PTS, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Georgia 10-14 213556
home team logo Texas A&M 10-13 343973
Team Stats
away team logo Georgia 10-14 71.1 PPG 41.4 RPG 13.2 APG
home team logo Texas A&M 10-13 70.4 PPG 40.1 RPG 11.8 APG
Key Players
33
N. Claxton F 13.0 PPG 8.6 RPG 1.8 APG 46.0 FG%
2
T. Starks G 12.3 PPG 2.2 RPG 3.5 APG 36.6 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Claxton F 18 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
T. Starks G 19 PTS 0 REB 3 AST
35.3 FG% 42.9
13.0 3PT FG% 28.6
65.4 FT% 70.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Claxton 18 10 1 6/12 1/2 5/9 3 38 1 1 1 2 8
J. Harris 10 8 2 3/7 0/2 4/5 3 28 2 1 3 2 6
T. Hightower 9 2 3 3/8 0/4 3/4 2 26 0 0 3 0 2
R. Hammonds 5 5 2 1/3 0/1 3/4 1 19 0 1 3 1 4
D. Ogbeide 4 0 0 2/4 0/0 0/2 0 19 2 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Claxton 18 10 1 6/12 1/2 5/9 3 38 1 1 1 2 8
J. Harris 10 8 2 3/7 0/2 4/5 3 28 2 1 3 2 6
T. Hightower 9 2 3 3/8 0/4 3/4 2 26 0 0 3 0 2
R. Hammonds 5 5 2 1/3 0/1 3/4 1 19 0 1 3 1 4
D. Ogbeide 4 0 0 2/4 0/0 0/2 0 19 2 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Crump 6 1 3 2/11 2/11 0/0 4 23 0 0 1 0 1
E. Wilridge 2 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0
A. Ngumezi 2 1 0 0/3 0/1 2/2 0 11 0 0 0 1 0
C. Harrison 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 5 0 0 0 0 1
W. Jackson II 0 2 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 3 14 1 0 0 0 2
I. Sargiunas 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1
T. Fagan 0 2 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 1 1
M. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. O'Neill - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Toppin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 56 33 14 18/51 3/23 17/26 17 200 6 3 12 7 26
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Mekowulu 15 15 0 6/13 0/0 3/4 2 34 0 1 0 5 10
W. Mitchell 9 6 2 3/13 2/9 1/2 1 33 1 0 1 1 5
S. Flagg 7 9 4 2/9 0/3 3/4 3 35 0 0 3 2 7
B. Mahan 3 1 0 1/4 1/4 0/0 3 25 1 0 0 0 1
C. Collins 0 2 2 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 11 0 0 1 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Mekowulu 15 15 0 6/13 0/0 3/4 2 34 0 1 0 5 10
W. Mitchell 9 6 2 3/13 2/9 1/2 1 33 1 0 1 1 5
S. Flagg 7 9 4 2/9 0/3 3/4 3 35 0 0 3 2 7
B. Mahan 3 1 0 1/4 1/4 0/0 3 25 1 0 0 0 1
C. Collins 0 2 2 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 11 0 0 1 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Starks 19 0 3 7/9 1/2 4/7 3 26 4 0 1 0 0
J. Chandler 18 3 3 4/6 2/2 8/10 1 25 1 0 1 2 1
J. Walker III 2 1 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 10 0 0 0 0 1
J. Brown 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
J. Nebo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Gilder - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Byers - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. French - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Alo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Vaughn - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. McGhee - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Walker - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 37 16 24/56 6/21 19/27 17 200 8 1 7 10 27