Well, this sucked. Aggie Basketball had a bit of momentum and the attention of the non-diehards... and they no-showed on national TV.
Let's just get to it.
You wouldn't believe it if you looked at the final score, but A&M came out smokin'. The zone offense was humming, the defensive rebounding was just holding on, and our man defense was causing Baylor fits. The end result was an early 12-4 lead and some very subdued Waco enthusiasts.
But then Roberson picked up his second foul, which started a wave of substitutions... which opened the flood gates. Baylor torched our second unit to the tune of a 12-0 run that ignited the comatose crowd, and we oddly chose not to use a timeout (and we ended up bringing 3 into halftime). We certainly could have used one.
The starters held their resolve and the next 6-8 minutes were pretty even, but BU started to press their advantage on the offensive glass to open up a 7 point lead by the break. Again, the Ags went through large patches of sloppy ball... and again, the first half timeouts were shelved.
Halftime score: Baylor 36, Texas A&M 29
Key first half statistics:
- Texas A&M: Free throws (80%; 8-10); good ball movement (8 assists)
- Baylor: Huge rebounding margin (21-8; 7-0 OREB)
- A&M Scoring: Jalen Jones (7 points); Danuel House (7 points); Antwan Space (7 points)
- Foul Trouble: Roberson (two early), House (two early)
Things picked up exactly where they left off. Our offense continued to be sloppy, and Baylor continued to be relentless down low. To make matters worse, Roberson picked up his third foul on a complete flop.
And the fun times continued when a cheap block call on Jalen Jones gave him his 4th foul and further increased the Bears size advantage.
I won't re-hash the rest. Just imagine a montage of offensive rebounds, made shots, and happy Baylor fans.
Kudos to Alex Robinson for his late game efforts. Were it not for him, the scoreline would not have been remotely as kind.
What did we learn?
We learned a few things.
1) The road is dark and full of terrors.
A&M basketball in true road games is an abject disaster, and that hasn't changed. When things go wrong on the road, they go really, really wrong.
2) It wasn't about shooting.
The final shooting percentages look downright pleasant
- Field Goal % - Texas A&M 58% / Baylor 49%
- Three Point % - Texas A&M 39% / Baylor 27%
- Free Throw % - Texas A&M 58% / Baylor 65%
3) We aren't Kentucky.
A&M will not implement a platoon system any time soon, as the second unit (sans Robinson) just didn't get it done. Our depth can really help starters in small doses, but we can't rest House/Jones/Caruso/Roberson at the same time. We just can't. The current 10-11 man rotation needs to become 8-9, and if a bench guy doesn't have it that night, the hook needs to be quicker.
4) Oh, god. We play Kentucky.
Yep. Kentucky's height advantage will be even bigger. But it's not just that. Every SEC team will skew their lineups as tall as they possibly can, which tends to happen when your kryptonite gets exposed on national television.
Ok, everyone. How are we feeling? Take to the comments and express your anguish through the majesty of gifs.