Missouri men's basketball was down but not out against Texas A&M.

With 100 seconds remaining, the Tigers trailed by nine points. Then they mounted a last-minute comeback by forcing multiple turnovers and clawing closer with clutch 3-point shooting from Mark Smith.

The hole Missouri dug itself proved too deep, however.

An attempt at the buzzer from Torrence Watson rimmed out, and Texas A&M escaped Columbia with a victory.

The Aggies downed the Tigers 66-64 Tuesday night in front of an announced crowd of 8,529 at Mizzou Arena.

Missouri falls to 9-9 overall and 1-5 in the Southeastern Conference with its third straight loss. Texas A&M improves to 9-8 overall and 3-3 in league play.

Missouri only put up 15 attempts inside the arc compared to 35 shots from deep, though the Tigers were 9-for-35 from 3-point range (25.7%).

“We have a lot of confidence in them,” Missouri guard Dru Smith said of the Tigers' top 3-point shooters. “We have a lot of confidence that they’re going to make shots, and even if we have games like this where they don’t fall as often, if I pass them the ball and they’re open, I still want them to shoot the ball every time.

"They’re falling in practice and I think we’re going to see it translate here soon.”

Texas A&M entered Tuesday with a .255 shooting percentage on 3-pointers this season, third-worst among 353 Division I teams. The Aggies shot nearly 10% better than their average with a 35% effort against Missouri.

Missouri did claim the NCAA record for consecutive free throws made, breaking that mark late in the second half. That streak ended with 54 made attempts in a row over two games combined, dethroning the previous national mark of 50 set by Wake Forest in 2005.

The Tigers went 31-for-31 from the free-throw line Saturday at Alabama.

"The pain is the loss, but the pleasure is those guys did something that’ll go down in history," Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said of the record. "But all those guys will say they wanted to win the game more than anything. We've got to keep plugging along.”

Missouri struggled last week, averaging 44 points from the field in road losses to Mississippi State and Alabama, and did even worse against Texas A&M with just 39.

The Tigers are scheduled to play at West Virginia at 11 a.m. Saturday as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Missouri is slated to return home to face Georgia next Tuesday.

eblum@columbiatribune.com

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