- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M; had lost four games in a row and was trailing big early against Mississippi on Tuesday night.

The Aggies knew they had to turn things around and do so quickly before things got out of hand.

“We were like: ‘We can’t lose this game,’” senior Alex Caruso said. “We’ve got to get our sense of urgency up.”

Texas A&M; did just that as Danuel House scored 13 points to lead four Texas A&M; players in double figures, and the Aggies snapped their skid with a 71-56 win.

They led by 5 at halftime and were still up by that amount before scoring the next eight points to extend their advantage to 53-40 with about 15 1/2 minutes remaining. House got A&M; going in that stretch with a 3-pointer and Jalen Jones added a dunk to help Texas A&M; (19-7, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) push the lead.

Mississippi (16-10, 6-7) missed six shots in that span, with four coming on layups and never threatened again.

The Rebels were led by Stefan Moody’s 17 points.

Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy did not speak at a postgame news conference, as is customary for head coaches, and was not made available to reporters despite repeated requests made to the team’s sports information director.

Tyler Davis added 11 points for A&M; and Anthony Collins and D.J. Hogg had 10 apiece.

Ole Miss couldn’t do much in the second half offensively and made just 2 of 20 shots in a stretch in the second half that ended with about one minute remaining. The Aggies used a 6-0 run at the end of that span to stretch the lead to 71-54.

“We had some purpose, especially defensively, holding them to 56 points,” Texas A&M; coach Billy Kennedy said.

Texas A&M; dropped out of the top 25 this week after a loss at LSU that was its fifth in six games. Their last three games had been close, with the losses coming by a combined nine points. Early on it looked like they might be headed for another defeat with Ole Miss jumping out to a 20-11 lead after a 3-pointer by Moody with about 12 minutes left in the first half.

The Aggies found their offense soon after that, using a 13-5 run to cut the lead to 25-24. Admon Gilder opened that spurt with a 3-point play and House capped it with another one.

Tomasz Gielo made a 3-pointer for the Rebels, but A&M; responded with three consecutive dunks to take a 30-28 lead about 4 1/2 minutes before halftime.

The game was tied a couple of minutes later when the Aggies scored eight straight points, with the first six on free throws, to make it 40-32.

But Moody hit a 3 at the buzzer to cut the lead to 5 at halftime.

Billy Kennedy was glad to see his team bounce back with a big game against No. 14 Kentucky up next.

“It’s obviously a relief, no question,” he said. “Our guys have been good for us all year and when they’re good and put the effort in and listen you want to see them succeed.”

After Texas A&M; built the big lead in the second half both teams went on scoring droughts. The Aggies finally broke theirs on a jump shot by Tavario Miller about two minutes after their last basket.

Mississippi scored for the first in almost 3 1/2 minutes after that on a bucket by Sebastian Saiz that cut the lead to 56-46.

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TIP-INS

Mississippi: Gielo finished with 15 points and led the team with eight rebounds. … Moody, who leads the SEC in scoring, made just five of 19 shots. … Martavious Newby had five assists.

Texas A&M;: The Aggies are 14-1 at home this season. … Collins played after struggling with a stomach virus for the last few days. … House had seven rebounds. … Jones finished with six points and nine rebounds.

1,000-point CLUB

Caruso scored four points on Tuesday night to reach 1,000 for his career.

He was self-deprecating about the milestone, joking that: “it took me four years to do it.”

The College Station native does a little bit of everything for the Aggies and is Texas A&M;’s all-time leader with 258 steals and his 591 assists are second in school history.

UP NEXT

Mississippi: Travels to Auburn on Saturday.

Texas A&M;: Hosts No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday.

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