COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M hasn't made 3-pointers with any consistency all season. That doesn't stop the Aggies from taking them.
The stubbornness paid off Saturday in a 78-71 victory over Baylor (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP).Keyed by B.J. Holmes' key three 3-pointers late, the Aggies (17-6, 6-3 Big 12) overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to deny Baylor (17-5, 4-4) its third consecutive victory."In the first half I was rushing my shots a little bit," Holmes said. "In the second half, I just rhythmed up, put some air under them, and they went in."Bryan Davis scored 22 points to lead Texas A&M, who trailed most of the game until it was able to rally behind Holmes' 3-pointers.Texas A&M, the Big 12's worst 3-point shooting team, stayed true to form for most of the game, finishing 4 of 18 from behind the arc. But Holmes, a 5-foot-11 junior, made 3s with 5:19 and 4:52 remaining to bring the Aggies within one point each time.The Aggies, who won their third straight, took the lead at 65-64 on a free throw by Davis with 3:21 remaining, and Donald Sloan the went 7 of 8 from the free throw line over the final 3:02. Holmes came through again from long range with 1:31 remaining, when his 3-pointer gave A&M a 72-66 lead.Sloan finished with 20 points for the Aggies, who entered the game shooting 64.4 percent from the free-throw line."Who said we couldn't make free throws?" A&M coach Mark Turgeon said, smiling.Sloan could."We put a lot of work in this week," Davis said. "We had guys coming up here late at night to shoot free throws."From a few feet farther out than those free throws were taken, Holmes came through again with 1:31 left in the game, when he hit a 3 to lift A&M to a 72-66 lead.LaceDarius Dunn led the Bears with 23 points."The 3-pointers ignited them," Baylor coach Scott Drew said of Holmes' late baskets. "If he doesn't hit those, then everything is fine."Bears guard Tweety Carter entered the game averaging 17 points, but was held to 10 on 4 of 13 shooting from the field. Baylor forward Ekpe Udoh scored 19 points, but only five of those came in the second half."They were playing the same defense on me," Udoh said. "I just didn't stay as aggressive as I should have been."Baylor played a zone defense for most of the game, which gave the Aggies fits over the first 9 minutes of the first half, as they scored only six points in that span."I was over-coaching early," Turgeon said. "I had our guys so messed up. I finally got out of their way and we started playing better."The Aggies, in good shape to make a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament following a 3-3 start in the Big 12, were coming off an inspiring comeback victory at Missouri on Wednesday, which snapped the Tigers' 32-game home winning streak."What a week for us," Turgeon said. "We beat two really good teams."