Flagg leads Aggies to victory over Texas Southern 58-55

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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.

Yahuza Rasas and Jones each scored 15 points to lead the Tigers.

RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

· Texas A&M toppled Texas Southern, 58-55, Monday at Reed Arena to move to 6-5 on the season.

· The Aggies are now 10-1 all-time against the Tigers.

TEAM NOTES

· The opening 20 minutes involved two lead changes with Texas A&M holding the lead for a combined 18:22, the most by the Maroon & White in the first half this season.

· The Aggies outscored the Tigers, 20-6, in the paint during the first half.

· The Maroon & White tallied 15 offensive rebounds, the most this season.

· Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Savion Flagg, Jay Jay Chandler, Emanuel Miller, Andre Gordon, and Josh Nebo for the first time this season (1-0).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

· Josh Nebo recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

· The Houston native’s 15 rebounds marks the most he has had during his tenure at Texas A&M.

· Nebo registered double-digit (10) rebounds in the first half, the most by an Aggie in one half this season.

· Nebo added four blocks, and now leads the SEC in blocks (30) and blocks-per-game (3.0) heading into conference play.

· Savion Flagg led the Aggies in scoring for the third time this season with 18 points, tallying his sixth game this season with 10-or-more points.

· Jay Jay Chandler put up 10 points, increasing his career total to 21 games with at least 10 points.

· Emanuel Miller set a season high in steals (4) and assists (3).

· Andre Gordon dished out a season-high three assists.

· Buzz Williams is 6-5 in his first season at Texas A&M and 259-160 in his 13 seasons as a head coach.

DECADE NOTES

· With tonight’s win, the Aggies close out the decade with a 196-130 record. The .590 winning percentage is the highest for a decade since the 1970s.

· From 2010-19, Texas A&M posted a 134-41 ledger at Reed Arena.

UP NEXT

· The Aggies open up conference play at Arkansas on Jan 4. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Texas A&M Quotes

Head Coach Buzz Williams

On the effort that the team is giving…

“I have great respect for how hard our guys are trying to do what it takes for us to have a chance. They’re trying to follow the recipe that gives us a chance, and that says a lot about how competitive they are. There has yet to be a game here, since we’ve been together, that anyone would describe as pretty. But, there’s a respect for what we’re doing. You have to honor that, even if it’s not aesthetically pleasing.”

On Josh Nebo’s performance tonight…

“The amount of energy required to perform well physically is easy to see, not just from Nebo, but from everybody. What is more difficult to see is the amount of emotional and mental energy needed to follow our exact recipe and still have the same level of physical energy. We have to have Nebo have a double-double with almost as many offensive rebounds as defensive rebounds in order for us to have a chance. We need Nebo to be who he has been this month.”

On if the team is prepared for SEC play…

“I don’t know. We could have easily lost any guarantee game that we’ve played. We can continue to say that, or, we can turn it around and say, ‘but we didn’t.’ There’s something to be said for that. We have not been through what we are about to go through in the month of January. I think we have gained some traction, relative to what we have to do in order to have a chance. Does that mean that the results are going to be what we want? I don’t know. I think in the month of December we have improved, but at this time of the year, everyone is thinking that it’s time for the next thing.”

Forward Josh Nebo

On his clutch defense at the end…

“On the block, I was just trying to do what I'm best at and do anything to help the team win. I knew it was winning time, with the game winding down. So, in my mind I decided to make any winning play you can ask with a block or getting a rebound. I just wanted to do anything to help us try and win the game.”

On being able to remain aggressive but play smart…

“It’s very important whenever you’re going into situations like that (playing with four fouls). You can’t be too passive and not want to play defense. So, you still have to play aggressive, but be smart with your movements. At the same time I can’t be afraid to foul out, because we’ve got to try and win the game.”

Guard/Forward Savion Flagg

On closing 2019 with a win before conference play in 2020…

“It was really good to close 2019 with three wins in a row. We will be closing down this game tomorrow with Coach and going into 2020 getting ready for Arkansas.”

On SEC play approaching…

“I feel like we’re ready. We're starting to play better as a team. We still got a lot of stuff we have to work on but as a team, we're coming together. We just have to be prepared for what we're going to head into. Conference play is going be tough every night. But I think as a team we’re ready.”

Texas Southern Quotes

Head Coach Johnny Jones

Opening Statement…

“I thought we came in tonight with the right mindset. Obviously, we’re playing another road game in another really good environment against a power five school. Our guys came in and we were certainly ready for the challenge. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t shoot a great percentage tonight. I thought we did a good enough job at the defensive end of the floor holding the opponent to 58. You obviously have to credit them as well, I thought they did a great job down the stretch. We missed a couple of shots that didn’t go down for us, and unfortunately we didn’t come out of here with the win.”

On Josh Nebo’s performance…

“You know, he’s really a power player. You certainly have to pay a lot of attention to him. One of the things that we tried to make clear to our guys is that guarding him means stopping him from catching the ball. When he gets the ball on the block, he does an excellent job of getting the ball to his back shoulder and scoring from there. He was able to make a couple of those plays tonight. He’s also an energy guy. You have to have guys out there that are willing to go up against him and put a body on him. If you aren’t going to match his energy, it’s going to be very tough to beat him.”