By LARRY VAUGHT
Texas A&M scored a season-high 87 points Saturday in an 87-75 win over Mississippi State and now gets set to host Kentucky Tuesday night.
The Aggies also recorded season highs in field goals made (31), field goal percentage (59.6), 3-point percentage (52.9), free throw percentage (88.9) and assists (18).
Kentucky coach John Calipari said after this team’s win over Florida Saturday that the Aggies had won five straight games. It’s actually three — Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi State.
First-year Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said Saturday he had more to worry about than having Kentucky coming to Texas.
“The next game, and who it is, and where it is, after all that we’ve been through, that’s why I’m so pitiful up here after a game,” Williams said after Saturday’s win. “My brain is just playing ping-pong.
“I think our guys are exhausted because they’re absolutely giving everything they have, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. To be thinking ‘Oh, here comes Big Blue Nation and Coach Cal and he’s the best,’ none of those words are going on amongst our team, our staff or our players.
“We’re just grateful to have the chance to see what our work has been able to do. There’s a level of excitement that’s like, ‘Ok good, we get to try again.'”
Josh Nebo had a career-high 21 points against Mississippi State and Wendell Mitchell had all 20 of his points in the second half. Savion Flagg contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“Give them credit. I thought they played terrific. Flagg was really good as well. He’s a stabilizing guy that’s just solid. He just does a tremendous job for them. I think he scored 23 and 21 on us last year in the two games we played them. That starting five is very good and very tough, so give them credit,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.
“They shot 60 percent. For a team that was struggling to score earlier in the year, it’s really disappointing for us from a defensive perspective. All five of their starters were in double figures. I thought Nebo was terrific. When you look at the second half, Mitchell comes in and scores 20 in the second half.
“I give great respect to Buzz for what a great job he does and how this team has developed from the beginning of the year to where they are now. They’re a problem for everybody.”