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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

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Aggies tame Mustangs in 83-64 win

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior F Henry Coleman III (15) celebrates after dunking on the ACU basket during Texas A&M’s game against ACU at Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

Texas A&M basketball was back in Reed Arena tonight for the first time in four weeks against a competitive AAC opponent they haven’t played since 2013 led by first-year coach Rob Lanier.
The SMU Mustangs are coming off a 75-50 win at home against Lamar. This victory marked their third of the year as they hold an average record through six games.
On Nov. 30, A&M coach Buzz Williams and his Fightin’ Farmers defeated SMU 83-64 for its fifth win, the third straight win of the 2022-23 season. This marked Williams’ third straight game with a new starting five, this one starring junior forwards Julius Marble and Henry Coleman III at the same time.
“We haven’t figured out all of that yet, but there’s a lot of confidence in that group of starters,” Williams said.
A&M prioritized getting to the rim early in the game and has been successful in doing so. The first of its first four baskets featured a finish at the rim. This duo of Marble and Coleman has proven to be successful as they use their size and strength to create miss matches between the Mustangs’ big men and the Aggie guards to create quick easy buckets.
Graduate guard Andre Gordon subbed into the game for sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV and immediately set the tempo with a quick 3-pointer. The 3-pointer seemed to be contagious because on the very next possession senior guard Tyrece Radford knocked in his first three of the night to bring the lead from zero to six in a span of 30 seconds.
Despite a quick change in momentum, Radford got into foul trouble with just 10 minutes remaining in the first half and sat on the bench for the remainder of the half.
Gordon continued to splash behind the arc with his second shot attempt of the night developing into another 3-pointer. This shot gave the Aggies their largest lead of the night at 41-29.
At the end of the first half, Coleman led the team in points with 11 and obtained two rebounds, one being on each side of the court. As a team, they forced 11 turnovers on the defensive end and 15 points off turnovers. However, the Aggies were outrebounded on the offensive end eight to four.
All it took was eight seconds for Taylor to draw an offensive foul on the mustangs. With 18 steals so far this season, there’s no question as to why Taylor is one of the best defending guards at the collegiate level.
SMU sophomore guard Zhuric Phelps had been dominating the Aggies’ behind-the-arc all game. With 15 minutes remaining in the second half, Phelps had connected on five of his nine 3-point attempts and had scored 23 for the game. Phelps is averaging 18.5 points per game this season.
“[Zhuric] Phelps is a good player,” Williams said. “He got to cooking and we were struggling. We were able to calm it down some but he was still very effective in the second half.”
Taylor continued to cause mayhem on the defensive end. Taylor reads a pass perfectly and tips it out of bounds. Immediately after they pass it in, Taylor reads another pass and takes it home for two with a reverse lay-up.
Taylor shakes number three and steps back behind the 3-point line and makes it. Points at a player on the opposing bench and said something.
“One of the guys on their team said something to me in the first half,” Taylor said. “I kept his name on my mind so when I did that I wanted to let him know that we’re here.”
On Taylor’s last steal, many thought he would lay it in. Instead, he bounced it behind him to Coleman for his ninth assist of the night.
Coleman finished the game with a season-high 23 points and along with five rebounds. Taylor finished an assist away from a double-double with 13 points and nine assists.
When Coleman was asked what was working for him tonight, Taylor interrupted and said, “Everything.”
A&M will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in The Battlefield 2k22 against Boise State on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. in Dickies Arena before heading back home to host Oregon State on Dec. 11.

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