November 26, 2009

A&M upends No. 19 Clemson in 76 Classic

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Heading into the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center Texas A&M knew that it was good, but the rest of the nation didn't know much about the 3-0 Aggies. After knocking off No. 19 Clemson Thursday in the first round, 69-60, fans around the country might have an idea.

But for A&M (4-0) it isn't time to rest on its laurels. Instead the Aggies will face No. 8 West Virginia (3-0) Friday at 1:30 p.m. CT in the semifinals after the Mountaineers knocked off Long Beach State in the morning game.

"In practice we tell ourselves we have to go hard every day and I think we have the potential to be really good," said A&M guard B.J. Holmes, who poured in a game-high 20 points. "I always believe that our team can go as far as we can take ourselves so I wasn't surprised at how we played today."

It didn't seem that the Aggies would knock off the Tigers (4-1) early, let alone a lead. Clemson's pressure defense frustrated A&M which shot 0-5 from the field to start while the Tigers pulled out to an early 7-1 lead over the first four minutes.

But then the roles reversed with A&M's defense frustrating the Tigers while reserve forward Khris Middleton's lay-up at the 13:30 mark of the first half started an eventual 12-0 run for the Aggies to give A&M a lead it would never relinquish.

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