LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas A&M's hopes for a strong conference
finish didn't look so good after losing three of its first four Big
But with a 75-59 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, the Aggies
wrapped up the regular season with seven straight wins and will be
the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament that begins Thursday in
"For us to be able to string seven in a row together when
things didn't look so good says a lot about the kind of people we
have," Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. "I've never seen a
Marion Pompey scored a career-high 17 points to lead Texas A&M,
which was coming off a 46-43 win over No. 6 Texas on Wednesday.
A&M led by double digits throughout the second half, building a
23-point margin after Pompey hit three straight baskets and a free
throw in less than a minute with 7:22 remaining. The Aggies (20-7,
10-6 Big 12) were aided by poor shooting by the Red Raiders, who
hit on only 11-of-26 in the second half.
It was Tech's fourth straight loss, a first since Bob Knight
arrived in 2001. The Red Raiders' regular season finish is the
first time Knight has fallen below .500 since 1970-71, his final
year at Army when the Cadets went 11-13.
In Knight's first four seasons, Tech won at least 20 games.
Asked if the year had taken a toll on him, Knight said it's
"Every season wears on me," Knight said. "When we went
undefeated once, it wore on me."
Tech got only three field goals in final 8 minutes, two of those
coming in the final 60 seconds.
"We just got beaten today by a better team," Knight said.
"We've been a team that's really struggled all year and the
struggles haven't stopped."
Pompey was 8-of-10 from the field and sank his one free throw
"He's a better player than people want to give him credit
for," Gillispie said. "That's what really good players do this
time of year is find different ways to get it done. He really
helped ease the burden on Joe and Acie."
The emotional drain of beating the Longhorns earlier in the week
didn't seem to bother the Aggies.
"As good as it was on Wednesday, they're a very, very hungry
team every time out," Gillispie said.
The Aggies led for most of the first half until the Red Raiders
used a 9-2 run that included a 3-pointer by Tanner Ogden and a dunk
by Darryl Dora off an assist from Jackson to go up 23-22 with 6:05
But Tech sputtered from there, scoring only one more field goal
as the Aggies closed out the half on a 19-4 run to lead 41-27. The
spurt included back-to-back 3-pointers by Josh Carter and five
points from Kirk.