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Texas A&M 97, Kentucky 92

Texas A&M 97, Kentucky 92

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Wade Taylor IV scored a game-high 31 points, Tyrece Radford scored a season-high 28 and Texas A&M defeated No. 6 Kentucky 97-92 in overtime.

Radford hit the only field goal of the overtime period, and went 1 for 2 at the free throw line. Taylor made all four of his free throws in the extra frame.

Taylor hit 6 of 13 from 3-point range after having shot 3 of 20 in his last two games.

In their last two games, both Southeastern Conference losses, the Aggies shot under 30% from the field and under 20% from 3-point range.

“I think it’s just the exact opposite of what happened here last Saturday (against LSU),” coach Buzz Williams said. “Different opponent, but how we operated, how we work, how we competed was more aligned with who we have to be.”

With seven seconds remaining in regulation, and the score tied at 87, Radford hit both of his free throws, after going 0 for 5 at the free throw line. The Aggies (10-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) forced a long 3-pointer by Rob Dillingham as time wound off the clock, but Radford was called for a foul on the rebound attempt and sent Reed Sheppard to the line with less than a second remaining. Sheppard hit both for the Wildcats (12-3, 2-1) sending the game to overtime.

Through the final five minutes of the game, Dillingham and Taylor combined to hit seven 3-pointers in the back-and-forth affair.

“I told our team, ‘They’re desperate. They’re a desperate team at home. They’ve got to have this game. Let’s make it hard to beat us,’” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “I thought we did, but the end of regulation when we had a chance and the overtime, it was like, ‘I’m just going to do my own thing.’ And that’s on me as a coach.”

Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves scored 22, including 5 of 10 from behind the line. D.J. Wagner had 18 and Dillingham had 15 for the Wildcats.

A&M shot 38% from 3-point range in the game, its highest mark in the category since its Dec. 6 win over DePaul. Kentucky finished at 39% making 15 of 39 from behind the arc.

The Aggies jumped out to a 15-8 lead in the first four minutes of the game and saw that lead extend to 11 with five minutes remaining in the first half. Taylor finished the first half 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

Kentucky’s transition game fed its offensive through the first half, with senior guard Reeves hitting 16 points in the opening 20.

“We just wanted to continue to get stops, because we know stops will lead us into our offense,” Taylor said. “They scored 90 points, which is a lot, but I feel like we were still together as a team. We told each other, ’Just keep shooting. Shots are going to fall and we’ll be fine. I think that’s what happened today.”

BIG PICTURE

Williams notches his first win over Kentucky in his fourth attempt during his time at A&M. All four games have been decided by an average 4.6 points.


January 13, 2024





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