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Texas A&M erases 12-point deficit, beats Missouri 68-59

Missouri blew a 12-point lead in the second half, falling to Texas A&M 68-59 on Saturday. (Kamen Entchev/KRCG13)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Wendell Mitchell scored 20 points to help Texas A&M erase a 12-point, second-half deficit and beat Missouri 68-59 on Saturday.

TJ Starks scored 15 points, Christian Mekowulu added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Savion Flagg finished with 12 points for the Aggies (9-13, 2-8 Southeastern Conference).

Javon Pickett led Missouri (11-11, 2-8) with 15 points, and Torrence Watson and Jordan Geist each scored 12. Junior forward Reed Nikko, making his first career start, finished with a season-high eight points.

The Aggies trailed 30-21 at halftime, largely because they committed 10 turnovers against Missouri's sagging man-to-man defense that ranks next-to-last in the SEC in steals. The Tigers expanded the lead to 12 points on a Watson 3-pointer with 17:39 left.

Starks sparked a Texas A&M comeback by blowing by defenders and converting drives to the basket. Flagg's 3-pointer in transition gave the Aggies the lead at 46-44 with 7:23 remaining. They pulled away late as Missouri frittered away offensive possessions with 10 second-half turnovers.

The Tigers' second- and third-leading scorers did not play. Sophomore forward Jeremiah Tilmon missed the game because of emergency wisdom teeth removal on Saturday, a team spokesperson said. Sophomore guard Mark Smith missed his fifth straight game after spraining his ankle on Jan. 23.

This was the second time in SEC play the Tigers squandered a double-digit second-half lead at home. On Jan. 26, Missouri led LSU by 14 points with just over two minutes left in regulation and lost in overtime.

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