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Missouri edges No. 21 Texas A&M 62-58

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri held an 11-point lead with 5:39 remaining against No. 21 Texas A&M. Then came the press, which has caused Missouri problems recently.

The Aggies trimmed the lead to one within three minutes, and stole an inbound pass down two with 14 seconds left. Texas A&M’s Robert Williams missed a put-back layup and the Tigers escaped 62-58 Tuesday night.

It looked good, I thought it was going in,” Missouri’s Kassius Robertson said. “Just in case, we all boxed out. It rimmed out, we got a little lucky.”

For the first 30 minutes, Missouri (18-8, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) played solid defense and clean offense. At halftime, the Tigers had committed just two fouls and three turnovers. Robertson led the Tigers with 16 points and Jordan Barnett added 15.

Missouri turned the Aggies over 16 times and committed just nine fouls. The Tigers scored 12 points off Texas A&M turnovers.

“I thought Missouri’s defense, their ball pressure and our inability to get the ball inside to Tyler Davis was the big key of the game,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.

Texas A&M (17-9, 6-7) came in ranked fourth nationally averaging 41.76 rebounds per game. The Aggies won the rebounding battle 46-30, but Davis picked up his second foul with 11:07 remaining in the first half and played limited minutes after.

Davis’ absence allowed Missouri’s Jeremiah Tilmon to flourish, scoring a season-high 14 points.

T.J. Starks and Admon Gilder led the Aggies with 14 points each. Robert Williams had nine rebounds for Texas A&M. The Tigers held Texas A&M to just 32 percent from the field in the first half, including 1 of 13 from 3-point range.

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: A&M’s four-game winning streak, which included wins over Auburn and Kentucky last week, ended. After scoring more than 80 points in each of its last four games, Texas A&M was locked up by Missouri’s defense.

Missouri: The Tigers continue to climb the SEC standings. Mizzou is fourth, a half-game behind second. When its offense doesn’t turn the ball over, Missouri can be a scary opponent.

FLIPPED THE SCRIPT

Texas A&M big men Davis and Williams dominated Missouri in the post in the two teams’ first meeting on Jan. 20. The Aggies fouled out both Tilmon and forward Jontay Porter.

On Tuesday, Tilmon outscored both of Texas A&M’s starting bigs. This time, it was Davis in foul trouble, and the Tigers were able to keep the points in the paint battle at 28-26 in favor of the Aggies.

“Last game, they got the best of me,” Tilmon said. “This game, I just went out there and played ball. The ball was coming my way, I was feeling really confident.”

IT’S NEVER EASY

On Saturday, Missouri held a 79-67 lead over Mississippi State with just over 90 seconds left in the contest. The game ended up going to overtime after the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run. The Tigers won in overtime.

“We find ways to make it very interesting,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said.

“Now, we can’t inbound the ball,” Robertson said. “That’s our new problem. We’ve got that on the board and we’ll try to fix that.”

Bubbles brewing with season on horizon

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INDIANAPOLIS — With the coronavirus pandemic already forcing changes for college basketball, a bubble may be brewing in Indianapolis.

Indiana Sports Corp. released a 16-page proposal Friday that calls for turning the city convention center’s exhibition halls and meeting rooms into basketball courts and locker rooms. There would be expansive safety measures and daily COVID-19 testing.

The all-inclusive price starts at $90,000 per team and would cover 20 hotel rooms per traveling party, testing, daily food vouchers ranging from $30-$50 and the cost of game officials. Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn said the price depends on what offerings teams or leagues choose.

“The interest has been high,” Vaughn said. “I think as conferences figure out what conference and non-conference schedules are going to look like, we’re we’re a very good option for folks. I would tell you we’ve had conversations with the power six conferences, mid-majors, it’s really kind of all over the Division I spectrum.”

Small wonder: The NCAA this week announced teams could start ramping up workouts Monday, with preseason practices set to begin Oct. 14. Season openers, however, were pushed back to Nov. 25 amid wide-ranging uncertainty about campus safety and team travel in the pandemic.

There is already scrambling going on and some of the marquee early-season tournaments have already been impacted.

The Maui Invitational will be moved from Hawaii to Asheville, North Carolina, with dates still to be determined and organizers clear that everyone involved “will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.” The Batttle 4 Atlantis has been canceled. The Cancun Challenge will be held in Melbourne, Florida, not Mexico.

More changes almost certainly will be coming, including what to do with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

“I think we’re past the guesswork on whether we play 20 conference games or more than that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said Friday. “We’re trying to get everybody set like in terms of MTEs (multi-team events), figuring out when to play the ACC-Big Ten challenge.”

Painter, who was part of the NCAA committee that recommended how to start the season, noted part of the uncertainty stems from differing protocols imposed by campus, city and state officials.

In Indianapolis, Vaughn believes the convention center, nearby hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses, many within walking distance of the venue, could safely accommodate up to 24 teams. The 745,000-square foot facility would feature six basketball courts and two competition courts.

Anyone entering the convention center would undergo saliva-based rapid response testing, which would be sent to a third-party lab for results. Others venues could be added, too, potentially with more fans, if the case numbers decline.

If there is a taker, the event also could serve as a dry run for the 2021 Final Four, also slated for Indy.

“It’s not going to hurt,” Vaughn said. “I can tell you all the planning we’re doing right now is the same for a Final Four that’s been scheduled here for any other year. But it would be nice to have this experience under our belt to see if it can be done.”

Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina during pandemic

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Maui Invitational is moving to the mainland during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the premier preseason tournaments on the college basketball schedule, the Maui Invitational will be played at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Dates for the tournament announced Friday have yet to be finalized. The NCAA announced Wednesday that the college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

This year’s Maui Invitational field includes Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

All teams, staff, officials, and personnel will be in a bubble environment that limits their movement and interaction outside the venue.

Burton eligible at Texas Tech after 2 seasons at Wichita State

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Junior guard Jamarius Burton has been granted a waiver from the NCAA that makes him eligible to play this season for Texas Tech after starting 52 games the past two seasons for Wichita State.

Texas Tech coach Chris Beard announced the waiver Thursday, which came five months after Burton signed with the Big 12 team.

Burton has two seasons of eligibility remaining, as well as a redshirt season he could utilize. He averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists per game as a sophomore at Wichita State, where he played 67 games overall.

Burton is from Charlotte. He helped lead Independence High School to a 31-1 record and the North Carolina Class 4A state championship as a senior there.

NCAA season set to open day before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus.

The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for non-conference games.

The maximum number of regular-season games has been reduced from 31 to 27. The minimum number of games for consideration for the NCAA Tournament was cut from 25 to 13.

Teams can start preseason practices Oct. 14 but will be allowed to work out 12 hours per week beginning Monday.

No scrimmages against other teams or exhibitions are allowed.

In other action, the council voted to extend the recruiting dead period for all sports through Dec. 31. In-person recruiting is not allowed during a dead period, though phone calls and other correspondence are allowed.

The men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees had jointly recommended a start date of Nov. 21, which would have allowed for games to be played on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The council opted not to do that to avoid a conflict with regular-season football games.

The council is scheduled to meet again Oct. 13-14 and could delay the start date and change other pieces of the basketball framework if circumstances surrounding the virus warrant.

UConn’s Tyrese Martin granted waiver to play this season

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season.

The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

NCAA rules require undergraduate transfers to sit out a season, but the organization has been more lenient in granting waivers during the pandemic.

Martin, 21, is expected to compete for playing time at UConn on the wing as both a guard and small forward.