CONWAY, S.C. (AP)JaCobi Wood scored 23 points and Murray State took down No. 24 Texas A&M 88-79 on Thursday in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
The Racers (2-1) will take on UMass in the semifinals while Texas A&M (2-1) faces Colorado on Friday.
The victory was the first for Murray State over a ranked team in a decade. The Aggies made their first appearance this week in The Associated Press Top 25 since Jan. 1, 2017.
Wood led a foursome of transfers who were in double figures for the Racers. Kenny White Jr. (Tennessee Tech) scored 18 points, Jamari Smith (Queens of North Carolina) had 17 and Rob Perry (Stetson) had 12. Wood transferred from Belmont.
Murray State shot 50% and made 10 of 22 3-point attempts.
Steve Prohm, in his second stint as Murray State’s coach – the first coming 2011-15 before leaving for Iowa State – was pleased with the performance of the Racers’ reconstructed roster.
”It’s a terrific win,” Prohm said. ”We’re trying to set the foundation. This program has been so good for so long, but we do have brand-new guys. We do have some pieces to make a good puzzle at the end of the day if we build our foundation the right way.”
Tyrece Radford scored 19 points to lead Texas A&M, going over 1,000 for his career. Wade Taylor IV added 16, Manny Obaseki scored 12 and Julius Marble had 11. The Aggies shot just 38% after hitting better than 50% in its first two games.
”We were trying to find our footing, never got it and in many respects, that was the difference in the game,” Aggies coach Buzz Williams said. ”We didn’t have a presence on the glass, we shot a very low percentage collectively as a team at the rim. I don’t think we contested shots at the rim or from the perimeter the way that we do.”
White scored seven straight points in an 8-0 run for the Racers’ largest lead of 15 five minutes into the second half. After the Aggies got within two, White had a six-point streak in a 10-2 run to rebuild a 10-point lead with about six minutes remaining. Texas A&M cut the margin to five with 2 1/2 minutes left but a bucket by Smith and then 11 free throws to end the game ensured the Racers of the upset.
”Basketball is a game of runs but our coach told us how are we going to handle adversity,” Perry said. ”We’ve been down before, we just had to handle adversity well and come back swinging.”
Smith, Wood and White were all in double figures in the second half, combining for 34 points.
Murray State jumped out to a 15-6 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers by Wood and was up 35-28 at halftime.
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