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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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‘Incredible fight’

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior Guard Tyrece Radford (23) starts the second half of the game hot with a 3 point shot that narrows the Arkansas point lead to just one. 

After an exciting 4-0 start in the SEC, Texas A&M men’s basketball has followed it up with two close-call SEC losses.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, A&M fell in overtime in another close game on the road. Earlier in the season, A&M topped Arkansas 86-81 in College Station but was not able to get it done in Fayetteville, Ark.
Five minutes in, Arkansas quickly capitalized on turnovers and hopped out with a 10-2 start. The Aggies couldn’t quite seem to find a rhythm and let the Razorbacks grab a 10-0 run, upping the score to 20-4.
The Aggies pushed to close the gap to 23-15, with freshman guard Wade Taylor IV scoring 11 of the Aggies’ first 15 points. The freshman continued to contribute tremendously throughout the game, finishing 62.5% from the 3-point line, coach Buzz Williams said.
“I just adore who [Wade Taylor] IV is,” Williams said. “I love his spirit. You can tell he was raised by two parents who taught him right from wrong on and off the floor. [Wade Taylor] IV was really good for us and helped us play from behind after a slow start.”
However, turnovers remained persistent throughout the half, and sophomore guard Marcus Williams gave the ball up eight times on Saturday. Buzz Williams said in longer games, sloppy play is not excusable and feels he needs to do a better job of coaching despite a heavy possession battle.
“I’m just exhausted emotionally,” Buzz Williams said. “My brain is chaotic to begin with. Through an 80-possession game, there are so many things going through my mind.”
Despite the prolonged game, A&M’s defense did not relent. Sitting at No. 5 in the nation in steals, the Aggies grabbed 11 steals, affecting the closeness of the score.
The Aggies ended the half, 33-29, after battling back from a 16-point deficit. They have struggled all season with inconsistent performances in both halves and once again could not quite piece together the halves.
The maroon and white came out of the locker room feeling hot. A pair of 3-point shots from
Marcus Williams and junior guard Tyrece Radford cut Arkansas’ lead to one.
The Aggies and Razorbacks continued to exchange baskets, pushing the score to 50-41 with 11:19 remaining. As the final 10 minutes burned out, A&M persisted, and a layup from Taylor tied the matchup, 56-all.
To wrap up the end of regulation, back-and-forth fouling consumed the final two minutes of the game, until sophomore guard Hassan Diarra drilled a 3-point shot with nine seconds left to tie the game and send the SEC matchup to overtime.
“There’s not a stat for the leadership or the DNA of who Hass[an Diarra] is as a winner,” Buzz Williams said. “The stats don’t tell the story of who he is.”
In overtime, A&M possessed its first lead of the game, however, the Razorbacks went on a 6-0 run and ultimately outplayed the Aggies.
A&M shot 19-20 from the free-throw line, an aspect of the game the Aggies have been struggling with all season. Taylor said it’s frustrating to see free throws made and the team still couldn’t pull out a win.
“We practice free throws four times a week,” Taylor said. “We all shoot more than 100 each. Tonight, we just keyed in. We got all the easy points we could get.”

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