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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

A&M cruises to victory over Georgia

Freshman+F+Andersson+Garcia+%2811%29+catches+a+rebound+during+a+game+vs.+Georgia+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+5%2C+2023.
Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Freshman F Andersson Garcia (11) catches a rebound during a game vs. Georgia on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2023.

After Tuesday’s road loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, Texas A&M men’s basketball returned home to face the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Feb. 4. Both teams came into the game with similar records of 15-7 and 14-8, respectively. The difference is A&M has fared far better than Georgia in the SEC, with its record being 7-2. On the other hand, Georgia has struggled to the tune of a 4-6 conference record.
Georgia came into the game without one of its most important players in senior guard Terry Roberts due to an injury.
To start off the game, Georgia came out in a 2-3 zone to try to force A&M into making shots from the perimeter. A&M’s relentless defense also forced Georgia to shoot from the perimeter. Three minutes in, A&M led 5-2.
On offense, the maroon and white got out in transition to generate easy shots. The Aggies quickly built a 10-2 lead over the Bulldogs.
Georgia continued to struggle on the offensive end, going 1 of 10 from the field. Seven of its first 10 shots were from the 3-point line. Finally, Georgia managed to make its first 3-pointer roughly seven minutes into the game on its eighth attempt. The score was 15-5 in favor of A&M.
Senior guard Tyrece Radford was hot early, scoring 9 of the maroon and white’s 18 points. Radford’s 9 points included a pair of 3-pointers.
As the half wore on, Georgia continued to be forced into attempting inefficient looks from the perimeter by A&M’s suffocating defense. On the other end of the spectrum, A&M kept generating quality looks on the offensive end to build on its early lead.
Down 25-7, Georgia decided it was time to switch to a man defense. However, it didn’t change much and A&M continued to build on its lead.
With five minutes left in the half, the Bulldogs went on a bit of a run and got within 28-16 of the Aggies. However, a floater from freshman forward Solomon Washington put the Aggies back on the front foot. A pair of free-throws from junior forward Henry Coleman built the maroon and white’s lead back to 16 at 32-16.
Going into halftime, A&M led 38-22 over the Bulldogs. Georgia shot under 25% from both the field and 3-point line. A&M was far more efficient on offense, shooting right around 50% of offense and four of its 12 3-point attempts. Radford led the way for the A&M with 9 points. For Georgia, its lone bright spot in the game was junior guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim’s 10 points off the bench.
The Bulldogs opened up the second half once again in a 2-3 zone. However, the Aggies continued to consistently score from both the paint and the perimeter. Georgia’s offense continued to rely on Abdur-Rahim. The maroon and white led 47-30.
The game quickly started to get out of hand for the Bulldogs. A maroon and white run highlighted by a showtime-style fastbreak ending in a Coleman dunk increased their lead to 53-31.
Halfway through the second half, A&M continued to lead 63-36 over Georgia. Georgia continued to have issues on both ends of the floor. However, an 8-0 run by the Bulldogs kept the game interesting. Much of the run could be attributed to carelessness on both ends by the maroon and white.
In the end, A&M righted the ship and won 82-57. Saturday’s win improved A&M’s overall record to 16-7 and conference record to 8-2.
Senior guard Andre Gordon mentioned the Aggies’ preparation as one of the catalysts for the outcome of the game.
“We had 2-3 practices to prepare for them,” Gordon said. “We had to protect our home [court]. I think that’s the biggest part of it. Coming in here, I think our energy is what helps us [in these games].”
A&M coach Buzz Williams said responsibility amongst players led to its victory over Georgia and is a great sign for the team looking towards the rest of the season.
“I thought there was great connectivity not just offensively, but defensively [as well],” Williams said. “I think what’s happening is the young adults are holding the older adults accountable. They are receiving, understanding and continuing to execute at a high level the game plan the staff has given them.”
Statistically, A&M shot a solid 50% from the field and 37.5% from the 3-point line. Also their free-throw shooting, 13-17, was much improved from previous games. The scoring leaders for A&M Radford and Coleman with 15 points in under 25 minutes of playing time. It was tough out there for Georgia, as it shot 30% from the field and 16% from the 3-point line.
A&M also had a season-high 22 assists. Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV said great decision-making led to that total.
“We just had a lot of great reads,” Taylor said. “We had a good practice yesterday and a good shootaround this morning. Just moving the ball, letting everybody touch it. It looked good tonight. It paid off well.”
All in all Saturday’s win was a superb bounceback outing for the Aggies. The maroon and white took advantage of a lackluster Bulldogs performance and walked out of Reed Arena with a dominate victory. For the Aggies, their efficiency, especially in the paint, was drastically better than in its last game against the Razorbacks. While the Bulldogs don’t have near the same length as the Razorbacks, it’s still an impressive showing from the maroon and white as they look towards the rest of their conference schedule.
Next up for the Aggies is a home matchup against No. 25 Auburn on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Tipoff at Reed Arena is set for 6 p.m.

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