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West Virginia holds off Texas A&M’s late comeback bid to kick off Big 12/SEC Challenge, 81-77

Another double digit lead turned into another late game scare for the Mountaineers

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers survived yet another scare, after giving up a 20-point second-half lead on Saturday, when the faced the Texas A&M Aggies in Morgantown to kick off the 2017 Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The Mountaineers took a 45-29 lead into the half after a 17-2 run that saw the Aggies go 6 minutes without scoring. West Virginia’s press rattled Texas A&M in the first half, causing the Aggies to hit the frustration event horizon fairly early and forcing 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of the game.

The Aggies came out of the half on the attack behind their starting guard Admon Gilder, who led all scorers with 24 points. The Mountaineers couldn’t seem to find an answer for the 6’3” freshman, much to the chagrin of West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins.

Esa Ahmad led the charge for the Mountaineers in the first half with 10 points and four assists, coming off of his career best against Kansas on Tuesday, but went ice cold in the second half until he hit the two game-winning free throws with four seconds left on the clock.

Jevon Carter led all scorers, and fell just short of a double-double, with 19 points and nine rebounds. Daxter Miles Jr. added 10 points, most of which came in the second half.

The Mountaineers return to conference play on Tuesday, January 31st when they travel to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State. That game tips off at 9:00PM and will be televised on ESPN2.