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No. 24 Texas A&M beats Iowa State 60-56

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Donald Sloan scored 14 points and No. 24 Texas A&M held off Iowa State 60-56 on Saturday for its fifth win in six games

Khris Middleton added 12 points for the Aggies (19-7, 8-4 Big 12), who bounced back from a close loss to top-ranked Kansas on Monday with their seventh straight win over the Cyclones.

Texas A&M let a 10-point lead dwindle to 54-53 before David Loubeau's inside basket gave the Aggies a 56-53 lead with 1:10 left. Sloan and Middleton then hit four straight free throws to put Texas A&M ahead 60-53 with 17 seconds left.

The Aggies have won three straight road games by a total of nine points.

Diante Garrett and Marquis Gilstrap each had 15 points for Iowa State (13-14, 2-10), which lost for the ninth time in 10 games. The Cyclones have lost 21 straight to ranked teams dating to 2006.

Much like in recent road wins over Missouri and Texas Tech, the Aggies had to sweat this one out.

Iowa State held Texas A&M scoreless for nearly 5 minutes and rallied to pull within 54-53 on two free throws by Garrett with 2:31 left. But Craig Brackins grazed the rim with a jumper following Loubeau's basket, forcing the Cyclones to put the Aggies on the line.

Sloan and Middleton calmly made their free throws. Gilstrap hit a 3 and Iowa State got the ball back by forcing a 5-second violation underneath the basket, but the Cyclones couldn't get a decent look before the buzzer sounded.

Points were hard to come by for both teams, but that was to be expected. Iowa State and Texas A&M came into the game ranked 10th and 11th, respectively, in the Big 12 in scoring offense.

The Aggies got a bit of breathing room midway through the second half, though. Middleton's dunk capped a 7-0 spurt that gave Texas A&M its biggest lead to that point, 47-39, with 9:38 left.

Texas A&M's B.J. Holmes then made a layup to make it 54-44 with 5:58 left. It would take nearly 5 minutes for the Aggies to score again.

The Aggies held a slim lead for most of the first half. They went into the break ahead 31-28 despite shooting 37.9 percent from the field.

The Cyclones frontcourt duo of Brackins and Gilstrap combined to shoot 9 of 30 from the field. It was the second straight rough outing for Brackins, who scored 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

Brackins was 3 of 17 from the field in a 69-64 loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday.

Iowa State has lost nine of 10 since a 1-1 start in league play. Its one victory — a 64-63 home win over Colorado — only came after the Buffs missed a short shot at the buzzer.

Texas A&M's 8-4 mark in the Big 12 trails only its 2006-07 team, which finished 27-7 and reached the NCAA regional semifinals. The Aggies will have a lot to say about who emerges from the muddled pack below Kansas in the league standings, with games against Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma State coming up in the next two weeks.

Texas A&M will likely have to play better than it did Saturday if it hopes to survive that stretch. The Aggies shot 39.6 percent and had 13 turnovers against just eight assists.