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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies snap five-game skid

Radford’s double-double leads A&M to 70-56 win over Georgia
Photo by Chris Swann
Junior G Manny Obaseki (35) celebrates with senior F Andersson Garcia (11) after Texas A&M beats Kentucky at Reed Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

On Saturday night, A&M walked into Stegeman Stadium in Athens, Georgia, as it looked to stop the bleeding that was a five-game losing streak against the Bulldogs and keep its NCAA tournament hopes afloat.

And that’s just what the Aggies did.

Led by graduate student guard Tyrece Radford’s 20 points and 10 rebounds, the Maroon and White picked up a 70-56 win at Georgia.

Just like most games the team has played this season, the Aggies shot poorly in the first half, landing only 13 of 37 shots taken at a clip of 35.1%. However, the Bulldogs weren’t much better, as they made only a third of their shots taken, going 11 for 33.

Because of this, both A&M and Georgia were crashing the boards plenty, and the Aggies grabbed 23 total rebounds to Georgia’s 24. A&M led Georgia at the break with a slim 34-32 advantage.

The Aggies continued their poor shooting display in the second half, as they only scored 36 points in the half. The team’s defense in the half was their saving grace, as they put down 27 rebounds, three steals and two blocks; in addition, they scored 27 second-chance points.

Georgia made things close towards the end of the game, and A&M had only a 4-point lead with a couple of minutes remaining. The Maroon and White were able to close it out late, however, giving them the 70-56 road victory.

Junior guard Manny Obaseki and senior forward Andersson Garcia were key in helping the Aggies get the win, as both players logged double digit points. Garcia also provided great rim protection with 10 rebounds.

Is It Enough?

This win does help A&M’s chances at a bid in this month’s NCAA tournament, but how much did it help?

When looking at the team’s record, the Aggies have a staggering five victories in Quad One, which greatly helps their case.

The issue is that the team also has six losses to Quad One teams; not only this, but the Aggies are 2-4 against Quad Three competition. This is something that could outweigh the five wins against Quad One teams, and the team’s struggles against lower-end opponents could be what costs them.

This win over Georgia currently qualifies as a Quad Two win, and A&M now has a 4-3 record amongst their Quad Two schedule, so the win does help their chances. The question is, how much of an impact does it have when it comes to March Madness?

The Rise of Obaseki

Obaseki has been a bright spot in a rough stretch for this A&M team. He scored 12 points to go with five rebounds and four assists in the win over Georgia, and he’s been a key contributor over the last several games.

This marks the second straight game where he has logged double digits in the scoring department, and he has given the Aggies another reliable scorer when they need it most.

If the Maroon and White are going to make one last push at the tournament, the team needs strong play like Obaseki’s to make that happen.

Buzz’s Crapshoot

Regardless of how the 2023-24 campaign ends up for the Aggies, one thing cannot be argued: they have shot the ball terribly all season long.

The team is currently ranked 343rd out of the 351 NCAA D1 teams in field goal percentage, shooting a dismal 39.28%.

A&M is also the second-worst D1 team in 3-point percentage, shooting 26.7% from downtown this season.

Coach Buzz Williams has shown commitment to do what it takes to lead A&M to a national title, and if he wants to do that, the team must get better at shooting the ball.

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