Texas A&M 71, Baylor 46
DALLAS (AP) _ Eighth-seeded Texas A&M, led by the playmaking of guard Darryl McDonald and Winston Crite’s inside power moves, routed Baylor 71-46 Sunday in the Southwest Conference Post-Season Basketball Classic final to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Aggies, 17-13, who had lost twice to Baylor during the regular season, will be in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1980. It will be A&M’s fourth trip to the NCAA playoffs.
Second-seeded Baylor, 18-12, was seeking its first NCAA playoff bid since 1950 when the Bears made the Final Four.
Four Aggies scored in double figures as they produced a tie for the worst rout in the 12-year history of the tournament with a 25-point victory.
McDonald led the Aggies with 17 points and guard Todd Holloway added 16. Crite had 16 points to finish the tournament with 72 points. John Trezvant scored 12.
The Aggies led by as many as 16 points in the first half and built a 34-21 halftime bulge over the cold-shooting Bears who were playing in their first SWC tournament final.
The tight A&M man-for-man defense held high-scoring Darryl Middleton to only three points. Middleton, the SWC’s leading scorer, had averaged 20 points per game. It was Baylor’s lowest point total of the year and their worst loss.
Baylor’s top scorer, guard Michael Williams, was the only Bear in double figures with 16 points.