Monday, February 20, 2006

Out of Waco With a Win - Baylor (2)

Chris Walker was a walk-on?

I don't know if many of you caught Reid Gettys' (Big XII ESPN+ announcer) rendition of The Chris Walker Story on Saturday, a touching tale about a REC league superstar from Dallas that walked on to the Aggie Basketball team. It's a good story if you have not heard about it.

Chris and Marlon Pompey were instrumental in a late first half collapse that nearly cost the Aggies the game on Saturday.

The Aggies took a 31-20 lead with 2:34 to go in the first half with Law, Jones, and Carter on the bench. This left Walker, Pompey, Bennett, White, and Kirk on the floor. The last 5 Aggie possessions of the half led to 5 turnovers and 0 shot attempts. All the while Baylor hit three 3's, had two dunks and two free throws to take a 34-31 halftime lead.

Baylor came out of the half and scored the first 4 points to go ahead 38-31, making it an 18-0 run at that point in the game.

Enter Josh Carter.

The kid from Dallas very well may have saved the day for The Good Guys in knocking down back-to-back 3's to cut the Baylor lead to 38-37.

Enter Antanas Kavaliauskas.

The next seven or eight minutes of the game were dominated by AK, a span which saw him have three buckets, 6 rebounds (4 offensive), an assist and a block. By the time the big Lithuanian was done the Aggies were up 55-51 and were well on their way.

Baylor hung around, as they always seem to do against A&M, but the game was put on ice when Acie Law hit a tough floater with his right hand (he is left handed) from about 6 feet away that put the boys in Maroon up 57-51. The Aggies were terrible from the line again, but managed to knock down 5 of their last 6 to finish off the Bears and net their third win in a row by knocking off Baylor 64-60.

Any road win in the Big XII is big, even if only in Waco, and this was a big one for the Aggies.

Some quick hits:
- A&M was 7 of 15 from the free throw line - bad again. That is 16-35 in the past two games. It's going to come back to hurt them at some point.

- Walker played only 15 minutes and Pompey only 14. Carter and AK made up most of their minutes. That has to be a good thing, right?

- Martellus played 5 minutes vs. Baylor. Again, he looked pretty good when he was in there. Strange.

- Walker and Pompey combined to go 2 for 8. That's 4-15 in their past two games. Bad Bad Bad.

Pompey Foul Update - Marlon only had 1 foul in his 15 minutes of action - something is still very wrong.

Bizarre Rotation of the Game - Eddie Smith, finally healthy, missed the game to attend to a family emergency. Hopefully he'll be ready to go tomorrow at Missouri. Watching White and Kirk handle the rock was painful.

Bizarre Stat(s) of the Game - Not much stood out again - A&M was 5 of 18 (28%) from behind the arc, that's two games in a row below 30%.

Looking Ahead

The Aggies head to Columbia to take on Missouri tomorrow (7:00 FSN - The Chronicle says FSN in Houston will carry the game - keep your fingers crossed).

Missouri, by all accounts does not seem to have much in the tank. They were blasted at Kansas on Saturday 79-46. There is no doubt that A&M can go into Columbia and win this game. Their best two players are Thomas Gardner and Jimmy McKinney. If Kirk and Law can lock down those two, I think Old Army should come out of Columbia with a 4 game winning streak.

Big 12 Standings
Texas 10-2
Kansas 10-2
Oklahoma 8-4
Colorado 7-5
Texas A&M 6-6
Nebraska 6-6
Texas Tech 6-6
Kansas State 5-7
Iowa State 4-8
Oklahoma State 4-8
Missouri 4-8
Baylor 2-10

As you were.


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