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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies beat Florida 66-63 after forgetting team uniforms in hotel

Sophomore+forward+Henry+Coleman+III+%2815%29+holds+the+ball+away+from+Florida+defenders+in+Reed+Arena+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+15%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Sophomore forward Henry Coleman III (15) holds the ball away from Florida defenders in Reed Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

After forgetting the team’s uniforms in its hotel before Wednesday’s matchup against Florida, Texas A&M men’s basketball was handed an administrative technical foul, resulting in a lead for the Gators before the game’s opening tip.
The Aggies traveled to Gainesville for the start of their conference bid earlier this week, hoping to start 2023 with their first SEC victory and third straight win. However, while finishing its pregame warmups and prayer at Exactech Arena, the team noticed that its uniforms were nowhere to be found inside the facility.
While A&M team managers were quick to address and solve the issue — immediately returning to the team’s hotel to retrieve the uniforms — the delay left both teams waiting for fifteen minutes, and the maroon and white were penalized for the time wasted.
Rather than placing blame on the managers, Coach Buzz Williams was quick to take full responsibility for the debacle, according to GatorSports.com. The uniforms had been left in his hotel room in an effort to keep them wrinkle-free and game-ready for his players.
“I used to be a manager and if that would have happened, my head coach would have stuck up for me,” Williams said. “It’s my fault, it won’t happen again, and I apologized to coach.”
The players in maroon and white were the first to notice the discrepancy, Williams said, because they typically warmed up without their jerseys to avoid getting their uniforms sweaty before the start of the game.
Junior forward Julius Marble said starting the first half down a point motivated the Aggies to play harder, according to GatorSports.com, resulting in the maroon and white quickly reclaiming the lead and shifting the momentum of the game immediately following the opening tip.
By the end of the first half, the Aggies had climbed to a 34-23 lead.
The Gators were led by dominant players such as senior forward Colin Castleton. With higher field goal and 3-point percentages — in addition to their 1-0 start — the Gators outpaced the Aggies throughout the entirety of gameplay and managed to tie the game 63-63 in the final minute of the second half.
However, A&M was able to regain possession, scoring 3 more points in the final seconds of the match to give the maroon and white the 66-63 win.
Before the start of their conference bid, the Aggies struggled with offensive possession and turnovers, both issues Williams hoped to solve in Florida. On Wednesday, the team was not only able to squander the amount of turnovers on the box score, but they were also able to cause 20 from the Gators using a display of dominant defensive playmaking.
“In practice, there was a lot of confidence in that plan because of how they received it and how they practiced it,” Williams told 12thman.com. “Then it came to fruition beginning to end.”
After entering the game, Marble recorded a season-high 17 points. Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV was also an offensive powerhouse for A&M, shooting 100% from the charity stripe.
With other key players like senior guard Tyrece Radford and sophomore guard Manny Obaseki excelling both offensively and defensively, the Gators defensive abilities were tested, allowing the Aggies to maintain the sometimes-wavering momentum.
“It was a great step in regards to maturity and understanding the intangibles for a chance at success,” Williams said.
The Aggies will return — with their uniforms — to Reed Arena to take on Louisiana State University on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. for their last game of the “Holiday Hoops” slate.

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