8-seed Aggies score stunning upset of 1-seed Auburn
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Tyrece Radford scored 19 points and Quenton Jackson made five throws in the final minute Friday as Texas A&M beat fourth-ranked Auburn 67-62 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a loss that could wind up costing the Tigers a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Jackson also had a dunk and a key block late, finishing with 17 points to help Texas A&M (22-11) follow up an 83-80 overtime victory over Florida with another strong outing that enhanced the surging Aggies' chances of landing at least an at-large berth in the NCAA field.
Jabari Smith led Auburn (27-5) with 17 points. Walker Kessler had 16 points, while Wendell Green Jr. made four long 3-pointers to fuel a late comeback that fell short when Jackson delivered a dunk coming out of a timeout and went 5 of 6 from the foul line down the stretch.
Auburn, ranked No. 1 much of the winter and the SEC regular-season champion, fell to 3-3 over its last six games.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, has recovered from a stretch in which it lost eight straight games following a 4-0 start to SEC play. The final loss in the skid was a 17-point setback at Auburn, and the Aggies have been on a mission to rescue their season ever since.
Friday's win was the team's sixth straight and its seventh in eight games since pulling out of the tailspin.
For the second straight day, the Aggies started strongly in building a double-digit halftime lead. But unlike Thursday, when Florida rallied to force overtime, Auburn was unable to fully overcome 16% shooting that left the Tigers trailing 37-21 at halftime.
Green made four long 3s from the same spot on the court to help Auburn get back in the game after missing seven of his first eight shots.
Henry Coleman had 16 points, helping Radford carry Texas A&M much of the afternoon while Jackson was riding the bench with three fouls.
Texas A&M Men's Basketball Postgame Notes
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M bolstered its tournament resume with an 67-62 upset-victory over No. 4 Auburn on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
- The win marked the first over an Associated Press top-5 team since winning at No. 5 Texas, 71-69, on Jan. 30, 1982.
- The Aggies have won six of the last eight meetings against Auburn, and lead the all-time series, 13-6.
- Texas A&M, on a six-game win streak, limited Auburn to just 21 points and 16.5% shooting in the first half, both of which are season lows for the Tigers. During the six-game win streak, the Aggies are outscoring their opponents in the first half by 66 (234-168). The Aggies dominated the paint, outscoring the Tigers, 28-18. The Aggies used the starting lineup of Henry Coleman III, Quenton Jackson, Manny Obaseki, Tyrece Radford and Wade Taylor IV for the sixth time this season (6-0).
- Henry Coleman III recorded his fourth double-double of the season as he registered 16 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.
- A top candidate for SEC Tournament MOP, Coleman is averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds through the first two games.
- Tyrece Radford scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and was 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. On the glass, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native tallied eight. Boots has been on a tear, scoring in double figures in the last seven games and 11 of the last 12.
- Quenton Jackson registered 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting and was 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. The All-SEC Second Team member has scored 10-or-more points in the last 15 games.
Texas A&M squares off against No. 15 Arkansas at noon on ESPN on Saturday.