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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M men’s basketball dominates New Orleans at home, 85-65

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Fifth year guard Quenton Jackson (3) runs down the court in Reed Arena on Nov. 30, 2021.

In their first home game in nearly two weeks, the Aggies gave their fans a performance worth watching.

Following the completion of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, Texas A&M men’s basketball returned to Reed Arena for a matchup against New Orleans.

The Aggies started the game hot, netting their first five 3-point attempts to take an early 21-11 lead. Freshman guard Wade Taylor IV helped A&M further extend its lead, drawing a foul on a 3-pointer and bucketing all three shots at the line. 

After the Privateers went on a brief scoring run, sophomore guard Hayden Hefner rattled home a 3-pointer from the left wing off an assist by sophomore guard Hassan Diarra. The basket was Hefner’s first score of the season after the Nederland native saw his first minutes against Notre Dame last week.

The maroon and white entered the half with a 44-26 lead. They went 7-for-16 from beyond the arch in the opening period and tallied a season-high 44 points. Sophomore guard Marcus Williams led the Aggies in scoring with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Following the game, Williams said his hot start was contagious, as several players on the team found their shots from beyond the arch in the game’s early stages.

“We came out hot early,” Williams said. “We shot 100% from three for the first five minutes. We all just came out on fire. It was just one of those games.”

The Privateers opened the second half with a 7-4 scoring run before five-straight points from junior guard Andre Gordon got the maroon and white back on track. The Privateers went on to score eight unanswered points, highlighted by a dunk from freshman forward D’Ante Bell. Taylor responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession to stop the bleeding for the Aggies.

After a pair of layups from Diarra extended A&M’s lead to 21, graduate guard Derek St. Hilaire tried to bring New Orleans back into the game with a layup and a free throw. However, the maroon and white continued to score, and a late 3-pointer from graduate guard Quenton Jackson officially put the game out of reach for New Orleans. The teams exchanged free throws, and A&M captured the 85-65 victory.

A&M continued to build its team chemistry in the outing, as five Aggies finished with 10 or more points. Gordon was the team leader in both points and assists, totalling 15 and four, respectively. Sophomore guard Aaron Cash showed off his 6-foot-6 frame, grabbing a team-leading eight rebounds. 

A&M coach Buzz Williams said Gordon has blossomed into the Aggies’ first option from beyond the arch, shooting 55% from three this season. He also said the guard’s defense has provided an anchor to one of the Southeastern Conference’s scrappiest units.

“I stand at attention for [Andre],” Buzz Williams said. “I love him. I love his story and I love the people around him … He echoes what we want with conviction as well as anyone in our program. He cares for the right reasons, and he wants Texas A&M to win. There is no selfishness in what he is doing, and he is an everyday guy.”

The victory lifts the Aggies to 7-1 on the season, while the Privateers fall to 3-5.

A&M’s season continues on Dec. 11 when the Aggies will take on the TCU Horned Frogs in the Battleground 2k21 event at the Toyota Center in Houston. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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