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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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A&M men’s basketball wins over ACU after second-half performance

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior G Andre Gordon (20) moves towards the paint during Texas A&M’s game against ACU at Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.

Despite a cold, rainy night in Aggieland, nearly 7,000 Aggies piled into the warm Reed Arena as they watched the Texas A&M men’s basketball team take down Abilene Christian University, 77-58 on Friday, Nov. 11.
The Aggies improved to 2-0 following a strong second-half performance where A&M outscored ACU 43-29. During the matchup, the maroon and white never trailed behind the Wildcats as the team held them to make only 38% of their shots from the field.
Despite the win, ACU put up a good fight and was a team that challenged the Aggies, coach Buzz Williams said.
“It was a really good game,” Williams said. “I have great respect for Coach Tanner and how they operate. Their defense is built on the same premise as ours. They’re the 15th winningest program since 2018 and they’re probably not the team you want to play in a guaranteed game. It was a good test, after what we learned from them last year, I felt that it was the right decision to play them again.”
Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV led the team with 21 points, including three 3-pointers and going a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Three other players joined Taylor in scoring double digits with graduate guard Dexter Dennis, senior guard Tyrece Radford and junior forward Henry Coleman III pitching in 13 points each.
By halftime, the Aggies had only put up 34 points with the Wildcats close behind at 29. Starting off the second half, Taylor got to work early making all of his first five shots from the field and every shot from the free throw line to put up an early lead. Dennis also contributed to the large score deficit during the second half, going 4-for-5 with two 3-pointers.
“It [second-half 3-pointers] gave us a lot of good energy,” Taylor said. “We have this thing called an eight-minute break where it’s the last four minutes of the first half and the last four minutes, and we lost the last four so we had to come out in the second half with a better job. [Sophomore forward] Javonte Brown and I were talking at halftime with him saying ‘you got to get us a spark’ so that [early three-pointers] started the spark and I looked at him and said ‘I appreciate that.’ Going out and not settling for anything. Just going head-on.”
A&M had great performances on both sides of the ball as they forced 21 ACU turnovers which were capitalized for 34 points on Friday. In addition, the Aggies scored 30 points from the paint, while the Wildcats only scored 22. The Aggies also hauled in 35 rebounds compared to the Wildcats’ 24; 11 of those rebounds came from Coleman himself as he recorded his first double-double of the season.
Looking forward on the rest of the season, there is a lot to be excited about regarding the team, Williams said.
“I’m excited about the togetherness of the program, and the transparency and translation between the players and the coaches,” Williams said. “There is a synergy that’s happening at a very fast rate after the completion of one week in the season. Our guys have been so receptive to what we coaches are teaching them. They are doing a near perfect job in coaching one another, which holds the coaches more accountable. There’s joy that’s happening amidst the group. They cherish the opportunity to work together. There’s not a lot to quantify that; there’s not a stat for that. But the joy that comes from that is going to be special.”
The Aggies continue its season on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Myrtle Beach Invitational inside HTC Center on Coastal Carolina University’s campus. A&M’s first round opponent will be Murray State with tipoff at 3 p.m.

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