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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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Last minute fouls lead to A&M’s fifth loss of the season

Photo by Cameron Johnson

Coach Buzz Williams calls out to players during A&M’s game against A&M Kingsville at Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (Cameron Johnson/The Battalion)

The Aggies and Terriers have only faced off one time in the two programs’ history, two years ago tomorrow, with the maroon and white throwing the first knockout punch in a 70-52 win inside Reed Arena.
Round two began on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in the same arena with Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams in one corner and interim head coach Dwight Perry in the opposing corner. The Fightin’ Farmers bring with them a whole new lineup from two years ago minus one individual who tallied 9 points in 34 minutes in the 18-point victory.
Senior guard Andre Gordon received the start in their 11th matchup of the season and set the tone early for the Aggies. After a three-minute scoring drought, Gordon sparked the first score of a 16-7 run that began with a strong defensive effort. After grabbing a rebound on the defensive end, the Ohio native took it coast-to-coast before he shuffled a pass to junior forward Henry Coleman III for a one-handed slam. Nearly four minutes later, Gordon would pull up from behind the arc to record his first made attempt of the evening.
After a strong start from A&M, Wofford put the ball in the hands of one of its stronger scorers that has been red-hot from the 3-point line all season. Freshman Guard Jackson Paveletzke came to College Station with a 51.6% 3-point percentage strapped to his belt. The first-year guard stroked the first of four threes for the Terriers and went on to score 8 more points before cutting the deficit to four before the end of the first half.
However, the freshman forward from the home bench put on an even more impressive half. Forward Soloman Washington recorded 7 points in the first half, with the majority of them coming from strong dunks at the rim.
Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV was nearly perfect from the field in the first half before missing a 3-pointer in the final seconds to send the Aggies into the locker room. Taylor led the team at the half with 8 points, shooting 2-3 from behind the arc.
After sitting on the bench to start the game, Taylor came out with the starting five to start the second half and did not disappoint. The Dallas native came out with two consecutive 3-pointers to give the Aggies their largest lead of the game.
A&M did a great job at sharing the ball around in the second half. Minus Taylor’s two 3-pointers, junior forward Julius Marble achieved his first bucket of the game with a left-hand finish at the rim, off an assist from Gordon. Senior guard Tyrece Radford took the ball coast-to-coast with no sign of any defenders to record his fifth point of the evening and Gordon recorded his fifth point as well with a left-hand floater.
Wofford would go on a 12-0 run of its own as they took the lead for the first time this game at 46-44. This weak defensive effort and sloppy ball handling by A&M forced Williams to use his first of four timeouts of the second half.
Six lead changes, a 7-0 run and 11 total turnovers later, A&M finds itself in a four-point deficit at home with 1 minute and 50 seconds left to play. The Terriers passed the ball in and the Aggies made a great defensive effort to hold the opposing team in the backcourt long enough to cause a 10-second violation and a turnover. Instead, junior guard Hayden Hefner fouled his man causing the shot clock to restart with the 10 seconds.
This questionable decision by the A&M coaching staff caused another valuable 20 seconds before graduate guard Dexter Dennis came up with a huge steal and was fouled driving in. He made one of his two free-throw attempts, however, the Terriers’ good ball-handling and disciplined free-throw shooting ultimately cost the Aggies the game and their fifth loss of the season.
Taylor finished as the leading scorer for the second straight game as he finished the evening with 20 points. Taylor leads the team in points, rebounds and steals per game, the first to do so since 2007 when A&M legend Acie Law IV ran the court.
A&M will host Northwestern State at Reed Arena for its second-to-last non-conference game of the regular season on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

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