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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • June 18, 2024

There’s nothing quite like Omaha when June rolls around.  Fans from across the country head to Charles Schwab Field to watch their teams...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024
Advertisement
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Aggies fall to Quickley, Kentucky

Senior%26%23160%3BWendell+Mitchell+drives+past+his+Kentucky+opponent.
Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Senior Wendell Mitchell drives past his Kentucky opponent.

On Tuesday night, Texas A&M men’s basketball allowed Kentucky sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley to finish with a career-high 30 points, as the Aggies lost to the No. 8 Wildcats 69-60 at Reed Arena.
With the loss, the Aggies snap a three-game win streak and move to one game over .500 in the SEC.
In front of their largest home crowd since facing Gonzaga on Nov. 15, the Aggies (14-13, 8-7 SEC) struggled to contain Quickley on the three-point line, as he finished shooting 8-of-12 from deep, as he finished with a career-high in shots and three-pointers. For Kentucky (23-5, 13-2 SEC), a strong offensive night from Quickley allowed the Wildcats to secure their seventh straight win as they enter a home matchup against No. 15 Auburn with SEC Tournament implications on the line.
After seeing how A&M left the corners open in tape, Quickley said he specifically worked on that part of his game knowing he could exploit that against the Aggie defense.
“Pretty much right after our last game, that was the first thing we worked on,” Quickley said. “We knew they left corners [open], so I put that in my workouts as well. So just being ready for that, that was a credit to the scout report.”
With a defense centering around forcing you to take three-point shots, A&M coach Buzz Williams said he credits Quickley for his performance.
“Our premise defensively is to do everything that we can to keep the ball out of the paint,” Williams said. “We can’t afford to foul, we can’t afford to get in rotation and we’ve got to work incredibly hard to not get obliterated on the defensive glass. So relative to those characteristics, we want to force the team to shoot more threes than normal. I think [Quickley] has been playing at an unbelievable clip. Pick one of those guys, I would assume that they will be player of the year in this league relative to what I’ve seen.”
A&M started off strong against Kentucky, scoring on a Quenton Jackson layup four seconds into the game before building an 8-4 lead. Kentucky quickly responded, as three Quickley three-pointers over the next two minutes allowed Kentucky to separate themselves from A&M, building a 10-point lead. A&M kept pace with Kentucky, cutting the deficit to four before entering halftime down 36-27. In the first half, Kentucky shot 50 percent from the floor, including 6-of-12 from three-point range, while A&M shot 9-of-25 from the field.
To open the second half, Kentucky pounced on the Aggies, scoring three of the first four field goals to grab a 44-30 lead. Not holding back, A&M responded with a run of its own, using an 8-0 scoring run to cut Kentucky’s lead to six. After two Quickley three-pointers extended the lead to 12, A&M and Kentucky went back and forth with scoring drives. A&M could never cut the Kentucky lead to less than seven, as the Wildcats won by nine.
After the Aggies held a single possession lead early in the first half, the Wildcats led for the final 37:36 of the game, including leading by as much as 14.
Despite their difference in record, Kentucky coach John Calipari said he is happy to win what looked to be a trap game on their schedule.
“I was scared to death of this game; this was a trap game and I knew it,” Calipari said. “We had a couple of trap games the week before that I knew would be hard, but they’re all [hard]. Every game we play in this league has been five, six or seven points every week. I mean from top to bottom. I don’t care what your record is, we’re all within five or six points of each other.”
On the offensive end for the Aggies, senior guard Wendell Mitchell led the way for the Aggies, scoring 18 points while also adding three rebounds, two assists and a block on Quickley. Mitchell has now scored in double-digits in seven of his last eight games. Forward Savion Flagg had another big contribution on the offensive end, as he recorded his fifth straight game of double-digit scoring with 17 points, four rebounds and a team-high five assists.
In the frontcourt, senior forward Josh Nebo was a dominant force inside all game, finishing with 14 points and four rebounds. Nebo’s best work came in limiting Kentucky forward Nick Richards, forcing Richards into tying his season-low in scoring with two points and below his rebounding average with six. Despite Nebo’s great play, the length of Kentucky hurt A&M on the rebounding end, as the Wildcats grabbed 31 boards compared to A&M’s 23.
When Nebo is working as well as he does in the paint, it allows for A&M to open up their offense, said Flagg.
[On offense] the emphasis is really on Nebo,” Flagg said. “I would say when he kicks the ball out to us it’s just like, ‘Oh, everything’s open’ because everyone’s still focused on him. That’s what leads to everyone getting open shots on the perimeter lanes and to drive. I feel like everyone’s focused on Nebo down there [in the paint].”
With players like Nebo and Mitchell in foul trouble, the Aggies’ bench failed to help ease the gap with them on the sideline. Guard Jay Jay Chandler was the only bench player to score for the Aggies, scoring three points off of 1-of-5 shooting in over 26 minutes of action.
After the two-game homestand, the Aggies return on the road for their last weekend away contest of the season, as they face off against rival LSU on Saturday, Feb. 29. Tipoff against the Tigers is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, with the game being streamed on ESPN 2.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *