COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Julius Marble, Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV each dropped in 17 points Wednesday evening as Texas A&M men’s basketball team held off a late charge by the Florida Gators to post a 66-63 victory inside Exactech Arena.
With the game tied 63-63, Taylor floated a jumper in the lane over Florida’s big man Colin Castleton with 42 seconds remaining.
Florida had two opportunities to tie the game, but Kyle Lofton missed a jumper with :15 on the clock and after an A&M turnover, Radford made amends by drawing a charging call on a layup attempt by Kyle Bonham.
Following another foul by Florida, Radford made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with :06 left to stretch the lead to three points. A buzzer-beating attempt by Bonham from 30 feet front rimmed and fell to the floor.
The Aggies led 34-23 at the intermission as Marble logged 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. Texas A&M staked claim to an 18-10 advantage at the 8:43 mark of first half when Manny Obaseki converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Florida needed just over two minutes to whittle the deficit to 20-17. Ol’ Sarge’s charges offered an immediate response, going on an 8-0 run bookended by Taylor sinking two free throws at the 6:37 mark and a 3-pointer with 4:57 on the clock for the 28-17 advantage.
The Gators outscored A&M 12-2 coming out of the locker room to shave the Aggie margin to 36-35 with 16:46 remaining.
Florida eventually tied the contest at 39-39 before Marble and Radford combined to score all the Aggies’ points in a 9-0 run. The A&M spurt featured a layup, free throw and dunk by Marble and a layup and to free throws by Radford as the Maroon & White held a 48-39 edge at the 12:54 mark.
A Castleton layup and free throw capped a 15-5 surge for the Gators as the claimed their only lead of the second half, 54-53, at the 5:49 mark.
The Aggies inflated their cushion to 62-57 on two made foul shots by Dexter Dennis at the 3:36 mark. The late game heroics were necessary after Castleton made two free throws and a layup to tie the game, 63-63, with 1:06 remaining.
Texas A&M’s hounding defense forced 20 Florida turnovers, including 10 steals, and the Maroon & White owned a 21-9 advantage in points off turnovers. The Aggies also. Owned a 38-26 margin in points in the paint.
Marble and Dennis led the Aggies on the boards with six rebounds apiece.
Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Postgame Quotes/Notes
Texas A&M 66, Florida 63
Exactech Arena (Gainesville, Florida)
Head Coach Buzz Williams
On his thoughts about the win…
“So much of their contributions are not completely shown in the box score. When you’re playing a possession game like that on the road, when it’s a one or two possession game throughout, there’s so many things that don’t show up on the box score. I think you get mesmerized by points or some of the things that the general public realizes. The game that we have to play are in those intangibles that don’t necessarily have a stat attached to it. In this kind of environment, I thought our staff was spot on with our plan. I think our guys did a really good job executing that plan. In practice, there was a lot of confidence in that plan because of how they received it and how they practiced it. Then it came to fruition beginning to end. It was a great step in regards to maturity and understanding the intangibles for a chance at success.”
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
Texas A&M defeated the Florida Gators, 66-63, Wednesday night at Exactech Arena in Gainesville.
The Aggies improve to 9-5 overall and 1-0 in Southeastern Conference play. A&M also picks up its second road win of the season.
The Maroon & White earn their third consecutive win over the Gators, moving the all-time series to 7-9.
Texas A&M opened SEC play on the road for the fourth straight year with head coach Buzz Williams improving to 2-2 in SEC openers.
· Three players finished with 17 points apiece.
· The Aggies scored more than half of their points in paint. (38)
· The Maroon & White forced 20 turnovers, scoring 21 points off turnovers.
· A&M finished with 10 steals, recording double-digit steals for the fifth time this season.
· Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Henry Coleman III, Dexter Dennis, Julius Marble, Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV for the fifth time this season (4-1).
Led the Aggies with six rebounds, tied with Julius Marble.
Finished with four points and a steal.
Swiped two steals to match his season high for the second straight game.
Recorded three rebounds.
Surpassed 200 points with three points.
In his third game playing against an SEC opponent, recorded a season high 17 points, just shy of his career high of 18.
Scored 10 of his points in the first half.
Slammed down two dunks, his seventh and eighth of the season, respectively.
Hauled in a team-high six rebounds, tied with Dexter Dennis.
Finished in double figures for the seventh time this season.
Registered 17 points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist.
Scored 11 of his points in the second half.
Logged double-digit points for the third consecutive game.
Recorded double figures in points for the eighth time this season.
Wade Taylor IV
Logged 17 points for the second consecutive game.
Went a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.
Dished out two assists and had two steals.
Registered double figures in points for the 11th time this season.