COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Wade Taylor IV scored 21 points, Dexter Dennis added a double-double and Texas A&M beat Missouri 69-60 on Saturday for its fifth straight victory.
Taylor made 4 of 7 shots with three 3-pointers for the Aggies (20-7, 12-2), who are off to their best start in Southeastern Conference play since becoming a member in 2012. Taylor was also 10 for 10 at the free-throw line. Dennis hit three 3-pointers, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Tyrece Radford pitched in with 12 points.
Kobe Brown finished with 24 points to pace the Tigers (19-8, 7-7), who have lost two straight and saw a three-game win streak at home end. Brown hit 8 of 13 shots, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. D’Moi Hodge added 12 points and six steals.
Texas A&M scored the first five points, but Missouri, which missed eight of its first nine shots, battled back to grab an 11-9 lead on a 3-pointer by Hodge with 13:07 remaining. Taylor made two free throws to tie the game. Dennis followed with a 3-pointer and a jumper to give the Aggies a 16-11 lead at the 9:17 mark. They never trailed again.
Dennis and Taylor both had 14 points by halftime as the Aggies upped their lead to 39-25. Texas A&M made half of its 26 shots, while the Tigers hit only 9 of 30. The Aggies, who lead the nation in free throws made and attempted, sank all eight of their first-half attempts.
Taylor hit a 3-pointer to give the Aggies a 44-27 lead with 18:47 left to play. Brown answered with a 3-pointer for Missouri and a layup by Sean East II capped a 26-17 run as the Tigers closed to within 61-53 at the 7:04 mark. Radford followed with a layup, Taylor hit two free throws and the Aggies pushed their lead back to double digits and cruised to the finish.
Aggies coach Buzz Williams improved to 5-2 against Missouri with a 3-0 record on the Tigers’ home floor. Texas A&M leads the all-time series 24-20 after sweeping the Tigers this season. The Aggies beat then-No. 10 Missouri 82-64 in November.
Texas A&M: The Aggies host No. 10 Tennessee on Tuesday.Missouri: The Tigers host Mississippi State on Tuesday.