COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M men’s basketball team was dominant from start to finish in an 82-57 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in front of 12,640 fans at Reed Arena on Saturday.
It was the third straight crowd of more than 12,000 as the Aggies improved to 16-7 overall and 8-2 in Southeastern Conference play. It’s the first time Reed Arena has drawn three-straight 12,000-plus crowd in seven years.
Texas A&M was efficient on offense as they hit 30-of-60 shots for its third 50.0% shooting night in SEC play this season, while also connecting on nine long balls and 76.0% of their free throws. For the 10th time in the last 12 games the Aggies earned a rebounding advantage – tonight by a 13-rebound margin, 43-30.
The Aggies took control out of the gate as they raced to an early 10-2 lead that forced a Bulldog timeout. But the timeout had little effect on the onslaught as the Aggies came out of the break to score the game’s next five points before the Bulldogs would get their second field goal of the game at 13:17.
Texas A&M eventually led by as many as 21 points before taking a 16-point advantage into halftime at 38-22. It was the sixth time in 10 SEC games that the Aggies have held their opponent to 25 or fewer points in the first half.
The Aggies continued their dominance over the Dawgs in the second half, allowing multiple reserves to get valuable minutes in a conference game. No starter played more than 24 minutes and four reserves logged 15 or more minutes of action. All 13 players in uniforms saw at least a minute of playing time.
Leading the way offensively for the third straight game was junior forward Henry Coleman III, who scored 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 on free throw tries while also pulling down six rebounds. Graduate guard Tyrece Radford also scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds while dishing out three assists. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was graduate guard Dexter Dennis with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists. Wade Taylor IV had six assists to lead the Aggies to a season-high 22 dishes as a team. Super sub Andersson Garcia posted a game-high eight rebounds, while logging his third game with at least 20 minutes of playing time in his last four.
Head Coach Buzz Williams
On tonight’s performance…
“We're thankful that we started this month the right way. I thought we handled Thursday really, really mature and I think that came to light on Friday. I thought we were really good in shootaround today. There weren't a lot of hang ups in what was going on from start to finish tonight. I think one thing that I mentioned at halftime that we tried to adjust to, 19 of their 29 balls were from three and there was a lot of weak side action that was happening that typically doesn't happen when zero (Dexter Dennis) is in the game. I thought our zone press on made baskets was effective, that was the lesson for this week and our guys executed it really well to the point that they kept changing their attack and we began to morph into handling that attack. But there were a few possessions, we call it the gray area, where we're going from that zone press back to half court man that we were a little sketchy on.”
On the team holding themselves accountable…
“What I just told the guys in there was, you know, normally the adults have to help hold the young adults accountable and that's flipped in what we're doing. The young adults are holding the adults accountable because they come in here every day going. I know they're hearing; I know they're understanding our execution because it continues to improve.”
Senior Guard Andre Gordon
On the team’s energy…
“I think it’s just what we do every day. We had a few practices to prepare for [Georgia]. Knowing that, we have to protect our home. I think that’s the biggest part of it. Coming here, I think our energy is what helps us get those wins and those close games.”