No. 25 Aggies turn back Vols for sixth straight win
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Fueled by the inside-outside combination of Julius Marble and Wade Taylor IV, the No. 25 Texas A&M men's basketball team took down the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers, 68-63, in front of a sellout crowd of 12,989 on Tuesday at Reed Arena.
It was the sixth straight SEC victory for the Aggies, who improved to 21-7 overall and 13-2 in league play. The Volunteers fell to 20-8 overall and 9-6 in the SEC.
The 13 conference wins are tied for the fifth-most in school history for the Aggies with three games to play. It was the Aggies' third win over a ranked opponent this year after previous wins over then-No. 20 Missouri and then-No. 15 Auburn.
Taylor IV, a sophomore from Dallas, Texas, led the Aggies in scoring for the fifth straight game with 25 points, while Marble, a junior transfer from Dallas via Michigan State, muscled in a career-high 21 points and matched his season high with nine rebounds. The SEC leader in free-throw percentage, Taylor hit an impressive 16-of-17 from the free throw line.
Deadlocked at halftime, 31-31, the Aggies came out hot in the second stanza to quickly take a four-point advantage, but Tennessee roared back to grab a one-point advantage at the 15:28 mark. Ten seconds later Dexter Dennis countered with a jumper that gave the Aggies a lead they would not relinquish.
The Maroon & White eventually built a nine-point but the veteran Vols would not quit as they outscored Texas A&M 15-7 over the next five minutes to pull within a point at 57-56 with seven minutes left.
With the game in the balance, Taylor and Marble accounted for the Aggies' final 11 points, including seven points via free throws, and the Aggies' defense limited UT to seven points on just three field goals over the final seven minutes for the five-point win.
Scoring in double figures for the 10th straight game was graduate Tyrece Radford with 10 points. The Aggies connected on 40% from the field while attempting nine more shots than the Volunteers and hit 28-of-34 from the line.
Coach Buzz Williams
On the response of the team when they were down... "It's remarkable how much they care and the togetherness that they compete with and the unity amongst the players and the staff and the unity between the players and staff. It drained every single ounce out of everyone in the program and I think that even as they were reaching empty, they played with effort and togetherness."
Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV
On playing in front of the intense crowd... It means a lot. Our fans know when to cheer and when to be quiet. When we needed the big stop at the end, it got really loud and I couldn't hear. That momentum and pressure they put on other teams really fuels us and helps us."
Junior forward Julius Marble
On how to fight through tough games... "It starts in practice. The coaching staff prepares us for situations where we have to get a stop and get a turkey in the last minute or two to win the game. It's echoed throughout the team and we practice that all the time so we are always poised in that situation."
- The Aggies are 2-4 against the Vols in the Buzz Williams era. Texas A&M snaps a three-game losing skid against Tennessee at Reed Arena and move to 11-7 in the all-time series.
- Three players finished in double figures for third straight game and the 12th time this season. Julius Marble (21) and Wade Taylor IV (25) finished with 20 or more points for the second time this season. The duo previously completed this feat on Feb. 7, 2023 against Auburn.
- The Aggies are 3-0 against ranked opponents 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 19th time this season (16-3).
- Marble recorded a career-high 21 points finishing 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. Logged double-digit points for the 12th time this season and 21st of his career. Matched his season high in rebounds with nine. Led the team in rebounds for eighth time this season.
- Radford registered double figures for the 10th straight game after finishing with 10 points. Marked the 20th time this season he's finished in double figures and the 78th time in his career.
- Taylor IV Led all players with 25 points to match his career-high. Logged 20 or more points for the second straight game. Recorded double figures for the fifth straight game, while also leading the team in points in the last five games. Finished in double digit points for the 21st time this season and 37th time of his career.
- Taylor IV also registered his second straight game to finish in double digit points in free throws after going 16-of-17 from the charity stripe. The last player to go to the free throw line 15 or more times was Emmanuel Miller against Tarleton on Dec. 2, 2020.
- In the final two minutes of games within 10 points, Taylor is a perfect 18-for-18 from the charity stripe this season. He was 4-for-4 vs. Tennessee within the last 17 seconds.
- Taylor IV also swiped a team-high four steals.