January 29, 2009

Aggie bench key to win and maybe more

Texas A&M sophomore guard B.J. Holmes may only be 5-foot-10 and look far less than imposing on the court, but the pint-sized guard from Houston has ice water in his veins. Texas Tech found that out the hard way Wednesday night in A&M's 79-70 win at Reed Arena.

On a night when Texas Tech sophomore guard John Roberson was hot from the field, scoring 16 points in the first half and taking, and making every shot when he had just inches of space, Holmes came in off the bench and caught fire, hitting two 3-pointers within a minute of each other when he entered the game and three more within a minute of each other later in the half to finish a perfect 5-5 from the 3-point line in the first half. He nearly caught Roberson in points in the first half when he ended with 15 compared to Roberson's 16 in half the minutes.

He surpassed Roberson in the second half on his way to a career-high 24 points. Holmes' flirtation with perfection came to an end at the 12:24 mark of the second half. It was the only shot Holmes missed on the night as he finished 7-8 from the field, 6-7 from 3-point range and 4-4 from the free throw line.

"I thought it was in. I think it touched the bottom of the net and it came back out," Holmes said about the one shot he missed. "I think maybe two of them felt like they were way off, but it's easy when your teammates put you in that position. I was just trying to help my team get back into the game, and I'm glad I was able to do it."

Coming into the game, it was the Red Raiders' bench that was obviously deeper and seemed like more of a threat. The one thing Texas Tech definitely has is bodies to throw at the opposition, and the Red Raiders' leading scorer in Big 12 play, sophomore forward Mike Singletary, hasn't started a conference game. Their third top scorer, guard Nick Okorie, comes off the bench as well. The duo was held scoreless Wednesday night.

In fact, the bench statistic is probably the underlying factor in the Aggies' win. A&M's bench outscored Tech's bench, 35-1, with Tech's lone bench point coming from an Esmir Rizvic free throw.

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