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December 12, 2010COLLEGE STATION, Texas - When Washington's Isaiah Thomas got a steal with five seconds left and his team trailing by one point to Texas A&M, Aggies' coach Mark Turgeon had one thought.
"I hope they miss a shot," Turgeon said.
David Loubeau made sure they did.
Loubeau blocked a desperation shot by Thomas as time expired and Texas A&M held on for a 63-62 win over No. 21 Washington on Saturday.
"David just made a smart play," Turgeon said. "Instead of going to his man, he came and played the shot. That was a big time block. It was clean."
The Aggies (9-1) led by seven with about four minutes to go before the Huskies (6-3) scored six straight points to pull to 63-62 with about 1 1/2 minutes remaining. Texas A&M's Khris Middleton missed a 3-pointer and C.J. Wilcox missed one for the Huskies with 17 seconds left and Washington knocked the ball out of bounds.
The Aggies got the ball down the court before Thomas stole the ball from Nathan Walkup and raced back for the shot. But Loubeau knocked it down to give Texas A&M the win.
"The crowd was going crazy and everybody was into it and it was like a nail-biter," Loubeau said of the last few seconds. "As soon as he went up, I just put my hand up and got the ball."
Turgeon couldn't believe Washington didn't foul as soon as Texas A&M threw in the ball.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said they were trying to.
"We didn't quite get that done, but it worked out," he said. "Isaiah busted his tail and got the steal. As things were spread out we kind of slowed it down a little bit and we had two guys jump out on him. By then it was too late."
Middleton led the Aggies with 17 points and Loubeau added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The win is Texas A&M's sixth straight and its 70th consecutive regular-season non-conference win at home.
It is the third loss of the season for the Huskies, whose previous two were to No. 17 Kentucky and seventh-ranked Michigan State.
"We're still I think trying to find ourselves, but defensively we were better than we have been all year," Turgeon said.
Washington entered the game leading the nation in scoring with almost 96 points a game and had scored 100 four times this season. Their 62 points and 37.7 percent shooting were both season lows.
"They pretty much clogged up the middle and everything we got we had to work hard for," Romar said. "You're kicking yourself because you lose by 1 point and shoot 6 of 22 from the 3 and we lead the nation in 3-point shooting."
They were led by Thomas who had 13 points and Abdul Gaddy added 10.
Justin Holiday, who entered the game averaging more than 14 points, scored just four after getting into early foul trouble. He fouled out with about four minutes remaining.
"He's our smartest player and has been playing probably the best all-around basketball on our entire team," Romar said. "So if you lose somebody like that it definitely has an impact."
The Aggies were up by five points before Wilcox and Darnell Gant hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to give the Huskies a 47-46 lead with about 12 1/2 minutes remaining.
Texas A&M scored the first six points of the second half to take a 35-32 lead with about 18 1/2 minutes remaining.
These teams also met last year in what ended up being a difficult loss for the Aggies three days before Christmas. Washington won 73-64 and the Aggies lost top defender Derrick Roland for the season when he broke both his tibia and fibula in a grotesque injury that ended the senior's collegiate career.
The Aggies were up by six points in the first half before Washington went on a 9-1 run to take a 19-17 lead about eight minutes before halftime. Washington trailed by two points near the end of the first half before scoring five straight points to take a 32-29 halftime lead. Texas A&M's Dash Harris was called for a technical after a block by teammate Ray Turner and Thomas hit both foul shots to get that run going.
It was unclear why he received a technical.
Both teams shot under 38 percent in the first half and the Huskies' 32 first-half points were a season low.