KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Elston Turner hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2 seconds left, and Texas A&M stunned Washington State 55-54 on Tuesday night in the consolation game of the CBE Classic.
D.J. Shelton had a chance to ensure at least overtime for the Cougars when he went to the foul line with 17.5 seconds remaining. He managed to make the first free throw but missed the second, leaving his team clinging to a two-point lead as the Aggies (4-1) raced up court.
J’Mychal Reese got the ball in the hands of Turner, the Aggies’ best player, and he cleared out the right side of the lane as if he was planning to drive for a tying basket.
Instead, he launched a 3-pointer that hit nothing but net.
The Cougars’ Royce Woolridge could only get off a half-court heave that fell short, and the Aggies stormed the court to celebrate one night after getting trounced by Saint Louis.
Ray Turner finished with 14 points for the Aggies, and Elston Turner — who was 1 of 12 from the field when he popped his big 3-pointer — finished with 10 points.
Dexter Kernich-Drew had a career-high 16 points for the Cougars (2-3), who were blown out by No. 12 Kansas the previous night. Brock Motum added 15 points and five rebounds.
The first half was an exercise in frustration on the part of both teams.
Texas A&M missed every 3-pointer it attempted, Washington State made only one of them, and they combined for 11 turnovers against just six assists.
Little wonder that the Cougars only managed to pry open a 21-16 lead by the time the halftime buzzer sounded, and it was even less surprising that the roughly 1,200 fans on hand for the tipoff did more cheering for the third- and fourth-grade girls who played during the break.
Things began to heat up early in the second half, and it was the Aggies striking first.
They were trailing 26-22 when Elston Turner picked the pocket of the Cougars’ Mike Ladd, and Ladd grabbed him from behind for an intentional foul. Turner made both foul shots, and then Ray Turner was fouled while scoring off a nice feed from Elston Turner. He also made the free throw to finish off a five-point trip down floor and give Texas A&M a 27-26 lead.
They finished off a 15-5 run when Elston Turner found Ray Turner under the basket.
Kernich-Drew put an end to the surge when he scored with 15:02 left in the game, the first of 12 points he’d score over the next 10 minutes. The sophomore from Melbourne, Australia, added a 3-pointer on the Cougars’ next trip, and another 3-pointer with 8:13 left for a 44-38 lead.
J’Mychal Reese started to heat up for Texas A&M, which at that point was 1 of 9 from beyond the arc, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in a span of three possessions. Ray Turner then converted a couple of foul shots with 2:34 left, making it 51-50 in favor of the Aggies.
It remained close until the final seconds, when Elston Turner hit the shot of the night.