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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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Fly, Aggies, fly

The+Aggie+mens+basketball+team+celebrating+on+the+court+after+a+dramatic+win+early+in+their+season.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

The Aggie men’s basketball team celebrating on the court after a dramatic win early in their season.

Dunks and defense best summarize Texas A&M men’s basketball’s latest victory.
A&M won its fourth straight game to start the season against Houston Baptist University 73-39 on Wednesday, Nov. 17. This win marked coach Buzz Williams’ longest win-streak as a coach at A&M and the team’s largest margin of victory this year.
In the first three games this season, A&M struggled in both transition defense and defensive rebounding. Although, the matchup against the Huskies was a step away from these issues, Williams said.
“I thought we played incredibly hard today,” Williams said. “We played for one another, we didn’t give up points in transition and, when the ball was shot, it was easily our best job in being physical and not giving them second-chance points.”
With the help of a bounce pass by sophomore guard Marcus Williams, junior guard Andre Gordon picked up his first points of the game on a baseline cut to the basket. Down early in the first, freshman guard Wade Taylor IV drove to the rim and finished with an and-1 to give A&M a 10-9 lead. From there, the Aggies sparked a 9-0 run that started with a Taylor jump shot and finished with a slam and two free throws from junior guard Aaron Cash.
Junior guard Tyrece Radford said Cash, who started on the bench, lived up to his role as the “energy guy” for the Aggies after subbing into the game.
“[Cash] did a great job coming into the game and forcing two turnovers,” Radford said. “One of the turnovers led to a dunk, and the energy that he brought was amazing today.”
After seven missed attempts, Radford knocked down the first three of the game for the Aggies. Fifth-year guard Quenton Jackson let it fly from outside the arc and drilled three-straight 3-pointers to give A&M a 35-21 boost and finish the second quarter.
Radford finished the first half as the Aggies’ leading scorer with 11 points; Jackson followed closely behind with nine. Defensively, A&M forced 13 turnovers and six steals; two blocks from sophomore forward Henry Coleman III cemented the defensive dominance.
The Aggies started the second half with a monster slam from 7-foot freshman center Javonte Brown. The next nine minutes featured five-straight dunks by the Aggies, allowing zero points for the Huskies, with one coming off a tip by freshman guard Manny Obaseki that had fans out of their seats.
Cash elevated the next three possessions after Obaseki’s dunk. The final slam of the 22-0 run featured Marcus Williams rising over two Houston Baptist defenders for a powerful finish.
Jackson punched his ticket to this season’s NBA dunk contest with his next two dunks. The first was an alley-oop pass from Taylor that required Jackson to levitate to catch and finish. The second was a windmill dunk that had Jackson’s head at the top of the rim, holding Reed Arena in awe.
The Aggies led the game in all statistical categories against the Huskies with 43 rebounds, 19 assists and 12 steals. They also finished with 38 points in the paint — just one less than Houston Baptist scored through the whole game.
Cash finished the night with a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson and Radford tied as the team’s leading scorers, finishing with 13 points each. As a team, A&M finished with nine dunks, eight of which came in the second half.
Despite receiving limited reps at practice, Cash said his performance reflected the potential he and his teammates have to succeed on the court.
“I see it as a step moving forward,” Cash said. “We aren’t trying to go backward, so our goal as a team is to just keep getting better.”
A&M will return to action when it travels to the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Las Vegas on Monday, Nov. 22 to face off against Wisconsin at 1 p.m.

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