Building Champions
Texas A&M; Upsets No. 19 Clemson, 69-60

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Texas A&M guard Dash Harris, left, defends as Clemson guard Tanner Smith tries to score. (AP)

Texas A&M; guard Dash Harris, left, defends as Clemson guard Tanner Smith tries to score. (AP)

Nov. 26, 2009

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)--B.J. Holmes scored 20 points to help Texas A&M; upset No. 19 Clemson 69-60 on Thursday in the first round of the 76 Classic.

David Loubeau added 12 points and nine rebounds and Bryan Davis had 10 points for the Aggies (4-0), who will face No. 8 West Virginia in a semifinal game on Friday. That game will be televised nationally by ESPN starting at 1:30 p.m. (CT)/11:30 a.m. (PT).

Trevor Booker scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half for Clemson (4-1).

Texas A&M; led by as many as 17 early in the second half before Clemson pulled to 58-56 when Tanner Smith made two free throws with 5:14 remaining. Smith finished with 14 points.

A free throw and then Holmes' 3-pointer gave the Aggies some breathing room and Clemson could never recover.

With the game tied at 18, Khris Middleton and Holmes made 3-pointers during the Aggies 15-2 run that included three layups from Donald Sloan to take a 33-20 halftime lead. Clemson's 20 points in the first half were the fewest the Tigers have scored since getting only 17 against Florida State on Feb. 19, 2008.

Texas A&M; extended its advantage to 44-29 before Clemson used a 13-4 run to get back into the game. The Tigers were done in by poor shooting (33.9 percent) and 18 turnovers.

POSTGAME QUOTES

Texas A&M; Coach Mark Turgeon

"I'm proud of this team. We started off a little bit tentative, obviously, but we played great defense for 17 minutes in the first half and that helped us. Our post guys did a great job and followed the game plan. We knew Clemson could make a run because they are a great team and they did. We inflicted a lot of our own pain with silly fouls and missed shots. It's good to beat a great team like Clemson."

(on facing West Virginia) "It's going to be a good matchup with West Virginia. I watched a little of their game versus Long Beach State and they played good defense and were very physical. They shoot the ball well and have lots of good players. I don't even think they played their best guy yet. Bob Huggins always has good teams so it will be a good game tomorrow."

Texas A&M; Guard B.J. Holmes

(on how good Texas A&M; could be)"In practice we go hard every day and know we have the potential to be a very good team. We always believe that we will go as far as we take ourselves."

(on playing two back-to-back top-25 opponents) "It will be good to play two high caliber teams back-to-back because it will really help us get ready for Big 12 play and, hopefully, the post-season."

Texas A&M; Forward Bryan Davis

(on the slow start) "We started off a little bit nervous, but we came back and turned it around. We started rebounding and going after our shots. The team just tried to follow the game plan and not give up and easy lay-ups. We needed to play all the shots attempted and I think we were able to do that in the second half."

Clemson Coach Oliver Purnell

"Quite a physical ballgame. We give Texas A &M; a lot of credit, they came out with as much physicality as we've faced this year. We didn't react very well to it in the first half. When we went into droughts, it affected us defensively. First of all, with our pressure. Secondly, in transition, help-side position, we gave up a few layups and it just went south from there. I was pleased with our approach and effort in the second half. If we come out with that kind of approach and discipline for the rest of the season, then we'll learn from that."

Clemson Forward Trevor Booker 

"We came out in the first half and missed shots. We quit. I got frustrated. We tried to come back in the second half but we just couldn't It was physical in the first half, they outplayed us. In the second half we played better."


 

 

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