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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

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Aggies fall to top-ranked Kentucky in double overtime

Junior+guard+Danuel+House+scored+25+points+and+gathered+nine+rebounds+in+a+losing+effort+to+Kentucky+Saturday.
Junior guard Danuel House scored 25 points and gathered nine rebounds in a losing effort to Kentucky Saturday.

Despite a valiant performance by junior guard Danuel House, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team fell to the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats 70-64 in double overtime Saturday in Reed Arena.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said that he was proud of the effort his team put in against top-ranked Kentucky, but was disappointed with the score at the end.
“I’m really disappointed for our guys because I really thought they bought into the game plan and gave us every opportunity to win,” Kennedy said. “Kentucky is just really good, they’ve got so any weapons and did a good job making some plays when they had to. That’s a pretty strong weapon when you’ve got a freshman point guard who can come into overtime and hit a big three like that.”
The Aggies came out to play in the first half, drawing first blood and jumping on a 9-0 run to open the game. Texas A&M led the entire first half and even had an 11 point 28-17 lead at the 5:34 mark after an Alex Robinson jump shot. Kentucky would surge on an 8-0 run and hold the Aggies scoreless in the final 5 minutes of the first half.
The Wildcats took their first lead of the game early in the second half after junior center Willie Cauley-Stein made a tip-in shot and sophomore Aaron Harrison converted two free throws.
Kentucky managed to extend their lead to 48-41 midway through the second half, but the Aggies wouldn’t let it go any further. Texas A&M fought back with a 10-5 run of their own to bring the score to 53-51 with 2 minutes remaining in regulation.
With 19 seconds left in the second half, Danuel House drove on Aaron Harrison, managing to get to the foul line where he made two clutch free throws to tie the game at 53.
Before time expired, the Kentucky bench called a time out to try and set up a play with 1.3 seconds left on the clock. Aaron Harrison took the shot but missed, resulting in the first overtime.
Kentucky took the 55-53 lead early in overtime after a made layup by freshman Devin Booker. Danuel House, once again got to the foul line and converted two free throw attempts to take the 56-55 lead with 2 minutes left.
With 28 seconds left in the first overtime, Kentucky fouled sophomore forward Tavario Miller before the inbounds play, sending him to the line in hopes of two misses. Miller converted 1-of-2 free throws at the line, giving Texas A&M the 57-55 lead.
In the final seconds of overtime, Aaron Harrison took a jump shot and missed, but it was rebounded by Kentucky freshman stand-out Trey Lyles, who was fouled by Antwan Space on the put back attempt. Lyles made two clutch free throws at the line to force double overtime. Texas A&M had a chance to score in the final six seconds, but settled for a deep three-point shot as time expired.
Double overtime was where this bout would be decided. For Kentucky, freshman guard Tyler Ulis hit a go-ahead three-point with 1:27 left to put the pressure on the Aggies. Down 66-63, the Aggies had a chance to cut the lead to one with two makes at the free throw line by senior Kourtney Roberson, but he went 1-for-2 at the line.
This took the pressure off of Kentucky and after a pair of free throw makes by sophomore Dakari Johnson and Devin Booker, the Wildcats would escape Reed Arena with 70-64 win over the Aggies.
Despite the outcome of the game, Texas A&M completely outplayed the much taller Kentucky Wildcats in points in the paint. Texas A&M scored 38 points down low and held Kentucky to 14 through regulation and two overtimes.
The Aggies also made more shots than the Wildcats, going 23-for-69 compared to Kentucky’s 18-of-64. The Wildcats ended winning the game at the free throw line, making important shots at critical moments in the game. Kentucky shot 25-for-35 at the free throw line compared to the Aggies 16-for-30.
Kentucky suffered three huge losses during the game when Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Town and Aaron Harrison committed their fifth fouls, resulting in disqualification during overtime.
Danuel House seemed to be all over the court tonight, scoring a career-high 25 points and pulling down a career-high nine rebounds. Daniel House also had an emphatic dunk off the assist by Alex Robinson to start a Texas A&M run in the second half.
House said that he thought it disrespectful when people say that SEC play will be easy for Kentucky.
“It was like a slap in the face,” House said. “It’s basically saying that we shouldn’t even show up to the game. We should just crown the SEC champions right at this moment. The teams in this league are very good. People crowning [Kentucky] as superhuman or king was okay because they are a great ball team, but talking about giving the SEC Championship over without a fight, that’s not possible.”
For the Wildcats, Devin Booker was their leading scorer Saturday with 18 points off the bench. Booker scored the majority of his points from behind the arc, going 4-7 from three-point range. Coming into Saturday’s matchup, Booker had made 12-of-14 three-point shots in his last four games.
Billy Kennedy had nothing but good things to say about Booker, saying that he was a special player and an x-factor for Kentucky.
“I just think he plays with poise and confidence,” Kennedy said. “With his dad being an NBA player, he has a great feel of how to play. Kind of like Elston Turner, who comes from a different background basketball wise. To have a guy like that on the floor, he’s not your typical freshman.”
Kentucky head coach John Calipari said that his struggled and wasn’t “that” good in the last few games, but was happy to escape with a win.
“We’re just not a very good team right now and Texas A&M did everything they needed to do to win,” Calipari said. “We got lucky and walked out of here with a win. Think about this, A&M played without their best player. I’m a big Billy Kennedy fan and he knows that. This was a battle. [A&M] fought and they played. I told Billy after the game, they deserved this one. [A&M] was more active, more physical. They fought and we just accepted it. We were looking at officials for fouls. There were three rebounds at the end where our guy was looking around for a foul and A&M’s guy got it.”

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  • Junior guard Danuel House scored 25 points and gathered nine rebounds in a losing effort to Kentucky Saturday.

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