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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
Junior P Emily Kennedy (11) pitches the ball during the Aggie softball teams Maroon & White game on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 at Davis Diamond (Katelynn Ivy/The Battalion).
A&M advances to Super Regionals with run-rule victory over Texas State
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 19, 2024

When Texas State softball senior RHP Jessica Mullins and Texas A&M junior LHP Emiley Kennedy each started Sunday’s Bryan-College Station...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Bitten, but not chomped

A&M rallies back from down 12 to grab home victory over Florida
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Fans hold up papers during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Aggies head coach Buzz Williams during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Fans hold a “Free Boots” sign for Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Aggies forward Solomon Washington (13) and Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) celebrate during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Junior G Wade Taylor (4) celebrates Texas A&M’s win against Florida as time expires on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024 at Reed Arena

  • Head Coach Buzz Williams coaches the Aggies in the final seconds as the Aggies lead by 1 point during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024 at Reed Arena

  • Liz Twiss makes the halfcourt shot during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Florida Gators guard Riley Kugel (2) looses possession of the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) gets helped up by Texas A&M Aggies guard Jace Carter (0) during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

  • Fans celebrate with Texas A&M Aggies guard Jace Carter (0) during Texas A&M’s game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

If you’re an Aggie fan: exhale.

Texas A&M men’s basketball is seemingly incapable of not playing in close games. Before Florida, A&M had five-straight games decided by single digits, including a heartbreaker last weekend when Ole Miss drained a 3 in the waning seconds of the game to seal victory. Make Florida six straight.

The Gators, fresh off a road win against No. 10 Kentucky, seemed poised to get another crucial road victory against the Aggies, as Florida drained two 3s to open the second half and grab a 12-point lead.

Despite this, the Maroon and White slowly clawed their way back into the game, grabbing the lead back at the 8:44 mark from a step-back 3 from junior guard Wade Taylor IV. This lead was short lived, as the Gators took it back and held it all the way up until the 35-second mark.

That’s when graduate G Tyrece Radford drove to the paint, stopped, pivoted and layed it in to take the final lead of the game.

The finale to this contest was not without dramatics, as after A&M tied up the ball on the ground to get possession, Taylor attempted to run the baseline on the inbound pass, resulting in a turnover that gave Florida the ball right back.

The Gators managed to get up two shots in the final possession, but after a missed jumper from junior G Walter Clayton Jr. and an off-the-mark 3 from senior G Zyon Pullin, sophomore forward Solomon Washington secured the rebound and the game for the Aggies.

The Aggies didn’t want to have this one. They had to have this one

A few weeks ago, A&M was nowhere near the bubble for the NCAA tournament, fluctuating anywhere from a 7-10 seed in the projections.

However, with losses like Ole Miss and Arkansas piling up, and opponents like Ohio State and Memphis from earlier in the season falling off, the Maroon and White’s potential seeding had begun to fall all the way to the last-four byes, according to Joe Lunardi.

While Florida isn’t projected in the field right now, they’re still a Quad-2 win that A&M desperately needed, especially at home. If the Aggies can rack up quality wins, and take care of their winnable games, they should feel comfortable come Selection Sunday.

This was one step in the right direction, especially considering the Maroon and White still have a fair amount of potential resume builders on the schedule like Tennessee and South Carolina.

Tyrece Radford avoided all distractions, and was the deciding factor from the opening tip

It had been a wild 24 hours for Radford, and many questioned if he would even play against Florida.

However, after his name was called in the starting lineup and the Aggies got the opening tip, there was little doubt that Radford was dialed in.

He’s been through a lot … I think the world of him. Not because he’s a good player. I thought how he responded was other-worldly. I’m thankful for the result.”

— Buzz Williams

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native opened the game with 4-straight points and led all scorers with 26 on the day, including the final shot to win it.

“The last 24 hours, for me and Buzz, that’s just an everyday thing,” Radford said. “We go way back. He believes in me, I believe in him. That’s the relationship we have. Faith, trust and Buzz is always going to be my guy for life, no matter what.”

There’s no doubt that Taylor can score in bunches seemingly at will, but when he can get serious help from his back-court comrade, it gives A&M’s offense serious depth. If Radford and Taylor can become that dynamic duo they were last season, the Aggies could cement themselves back into the single-digit seed conversation.

A&M shot well from the charity stripe, with one exception

After barely going over 50% from the free-throw line last game, the 62.5% increase doesn’t seem like that big of an improvement.

However, barring junior G Manny Obaseki’s 0-4 performance from the line — in which he missed all four on back-to-back possessions — A&M went 15-20 from the line, good enough for 75%.

Mind you, Obaseki’s four misses are still points left on the board, but for Aggie fans, seeing the team’s shooting from the charity stripe improve is a welcome sign, especially considering the Maroon and White are slowly rising nationally in free-throw attempts per game, now up to No. 18 before Florida.

A&M versus Florida has become a quasi-rivalry, at least in men’s basketball

Every school has that one other team that, no matter what, always plays them close. Usually, this time of matchup is what you would see in Duke versus North Carolina or Louisville versus Kentucky.

If someone were to tell you that the Aggies had a five-game winning streak against a school in which the combined point differential was 10, many would assume the Maroon and White had begun to play Texas again.

However, the Aggies and the Gators have had a fair share of tight contests over the last few years, and this matchup was no different.

Looking across the final stat sheet, you’d be hard pressed to find any statistic that one team did exceptionally better than the other. Both teams shot low 40% from the field, the Gators made six more 3s, but the Aggies countered with 13 more free-throw attempts.

The only real glaring differences are blocks, in which Florida has 11 to A&M’s three, and turnovers, with the Gators giving the ball up six more times than the Aggies.

It’s also not often the No. 1 and No. 2 in any statistical category square off, but the Maroon and White and Florida both came into the game holding the top spots in the country in offensive rebounding. Both teams played like it, as the No. 1 Aggies barely out-offensive rebounded the No. 2 Gators, 13-11.

It takes a lot to make a rivalry, more than five games, for sure. But if Florida and A&M keep finding themselves in these kinds of contests, some serious bad blood could brew between both schools, at least on the hardwood.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Hunter Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor
Hunter Mitchell is a sport management senior minoring in journalism. Hunter has covered football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, hockey, cross country, track and field, along with swim and dive. Hunter's favorite sport is college basketball, and he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association. Hunter also hosts weekly episodes of the Home Turf sports podcast.
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *