Thanks to a stunning second half turnaround, 13-seed Auburn shocked 5-seed Texas A&M 66-59 in the second game of the SEC Tournament's Day 2.
The Tigers led early in the game, but midway through the first half, A&M took control. Five different Aggies made five shots—three of them threes—to put their team on a 13-2 run and take a 21-14 lead with seven minutes to go in the half. TAMU finished out the half strong and led by a score of 33-23 at intermission.
Coming out of the half, Texas A&M looked like a completely different team. For one thing, Auburn came out of the locker room red hot. The Tigers scored 16 points before the first TV timeout compared to just one single point for A&M. That stretch included four three-pointers made in a row, two by K.T. Harrell, one by K.C. Ross-Miller, and another by Malcolm Canada. Suddenly AU had a five-point lead, and through A&M tried to keep it close, Auburn maintained and gradually extended that lead.
TAMU was without leading scorer Danuel House, who has a badly sprained foot. He could have made a real difference in that second half, as A&M is a very different team without him. Though the Aggies would make it closer in the fouling/game extension time, Ross-Miller made five free throws and Harrell another to seal away the win.
Harrell led all scorers with 25 points, while Cinmeon Bowers had 10 points and eight boards. Alex Caruso had 11 points to go with a ghastly 10 turnovers for A&M, while Alex Robinson had 11 points and Kourtney Roberson had 12 rebounds.
Auburn is a team that will soon be on the rise, but it has played hard this year and scored a few upsets here and there. None are more consequential than this one.
Texas A&M has been a fringe bubble team for a long time now, and maybe TAMU just isn't a tournament team this year. The Aggies certainly aren't a tournament team without House, as this game showed. It's still been a good season, and they can go home and host an NIT opener with their heads held high. No one expected them to be a bubble contender this year, so making it this far was an surpassing of expectations.