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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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Double-double, double-digit win for A&M basketball

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior G Tyrece Radford (23) talks with a teammate before the start of Texas A&M’s game against SMU at Reed Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.

After 15 days of winless basketball, Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams and his Fightin’ Texas Aggies displayed tough character, grit and resilience in their 64-52 win against Southland Conference powerhouse Northwestern State.
Just two days after Christmas, A&M gifted Aggieland a night of free admission at Reed Arena, a double-double performance from senior guard Tyrece Radford and a season-high 24 points from junior forward Henry Coleman III.
“We needed to win a game like that. We needed to win in the ways that we have lost,” Williams said. “It was a great growth opportunity.”
For the first time since their 86-71 loss to Boise State, Coleman replaced senior guard Andre Gordon in the starting lineup for the Aggies and was a problem offensively for the Demons.
A&M struggled both offensively and defensively in the first eight minutes of the game as the team only connected on three of its first 14 attempts and faced a 27-12 deficit to a mid-major team that upset then-No. 15 TCU and kept it close against a then-No. 12 Baylor team.
Williams’ strategy to apply no pressure defensively only harmed the Aggies as first-year Northwestern State coach Corey Gipson gave the green light to his three guards who all averaged more than 12 points per game for the season. Senior guards Demarcus Sharp and Jamonta’ Black and sophomore guard Isaac Haney shot a combined 7-15 from behind the arc in the first half and each took turns isolating Aggie defenders to set up their shots.
“Three guys shot 90 percent of their balls,” Williams said. “That’s a statistical anomaly.”
After facing a 15-point deficit midway through the first half, Williams decided to make a defensive adjustment that removed the chance of isolation opportunities and forced quick passes and shots for Northwestern State. This led to an 8-0 run by the Aggies and forced four minutes of scoreless basketball.
At the end of the half, A&M cut the deficit to 5, however, only two players were able to connect from the field as Radford and Coleman shot a combined eight for 11 from the field with the rest of the team shooting a mediocre one for 15.
Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV struggled to connect from the field in the first half and left the game early after a dirty hit to the eye that kept him on the sideline for the majority of the half. At the start of the second half, Taylor made sure to make his presence known.
The Dallas native drove past two defenders with a right-hand floater for the first score of the half. Two minutes later he would connect on his and the team’s first 3-pointer of the night to gain the Aggies’ largest lead at 37-33. From this point on, A&M found its groove and outscored Northwestern State 34-19 in the second half.
After connecting 47% from behind the arc in the first half, the Demons only made 24% of its 3-pointers in the second half and only allowed two points to Haney who accumulated 13 points in the first.
“We got consecutive stops and finished those stops with a rebound,” Williams said. “We shrunk the rotation with guys who could get rebounds.”
Coleman finished the night with 24 points and shot 100% from the charity stripe as the night’s leading scorer. Radford finished with a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
A&M will host Prairie View A&M on Friday, Dec. 30, at 6 p.m. for its final non-conference game of the season before traveling to Gainesville, Fla. on Jan. 4 for its first SEC matchup of the season.

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