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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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

A&M picks up quality early-season victory at Ohio State

Graduate+G+Eli+Lawrence+%285%29+dribbles+the+ball+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+vs.+A%26amp%3BM-Commerce+on+Monday%2C+Nov.+6%2C+2023+at+Reed+Arena.+%28Ishika+Samant%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Ishika Samant

Graduate G Eli Lawrence (5) dribbles the ball during Texas A&M’s game vs. A&M-Commerce on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023 at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

After two seasons where Texas A&M basketball’s non-conference resume hurt them in March, the Aggies flipped the script.
On Friday, Nov. 10, A&M improved to 2-0 on the young season after a 73-66 victory at Ohio State. Although it’s uncertain how impressive the win will look at the end of the season, picking up a road win against a Power-Six opponent is crucial for the Maroon and White in the long run.
In the 2021-22 season, A&M was one of the first four out of the NCAA Tournament, partly due to the inability to pick up resume-building wins against Wisconsin and TCU.
Despite making the tournament last season, the same can be said. The Aggies were awarded a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament last year, despite finishing 15-3 in SEC play with a trip to the SEC Championship. That seed would have been higher if they did not struggle in the non-conference, losing to Colorado, Boise State, Memphis and Wofford.
Instead, A&M was forced to play a hot Penn State squad that knocked the Aggies out in the first round. This season, A&M is already off to a good start to help prevent a let-down in March.
It did not come easy as the Buckeyes and Aggies were neck-and-neck throughout the contest. The Buckeyes quickly jumped out to a 7-point lead, but A&M recovered, going blow-for-blow with Ohio State down the stretch.
The 7-0 lead for the Buckeyes was their largest of the contest, and the Aggies largest lead ended up being the final margin, 7.
A&M also had to deal with a slow first half from its preseason SEC Player of the Year in junior guard Wade Taylor IV, who shot 1-for-9 from the field in the first half.
With Taylor’s slow start, the Aggies relied on their other veteran experience in graduate guard Tyrece Radford and senior forward Henry Coleman III. Radford and Coleman scored 11 and 10 points in the first half, respectively.
Taylor found his groove in the second half, leading the Maroon and White with 16 second-half points.
Despite an impressive season last year, one of A&M’s biggest struggles was defensive rebounding, ranking 258th in the NCAA. On Friday night, the Aggies out rebounded Ohio State defensively 29-23 while also remaining successful on the offensive board, out rebounding the Buckeyes, 16-12.
Although quality non-conference wins do not directly translate to conference play, the rebounding and play of its veterans will be a large factor in determining if A&M can live up to the second-place finish the media predicted them to have.
The chances to pick up quality wins will continue for the Aggies in their next contest, as they will stay on the road to face SMU in Dallas, Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

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