DES MOINES, Iowa - Playing in its first NCAA Tournament since 2018, the Texas A&M men's basketball team dropped Thursday's first round game to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 76-59, inside Wells Fargo Arena.
Dexter Dennis paced the Aggies with 19 points, including 17 in the second half. He hit 4-of-9 from 3-point range and added eight rebounds. Tyrece Radford added 14 points and three assists. Andersson Garcia grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Aggies built a 9-5 lead heading into the first media time out with three jumpers by Julius Marble and a 3-point field goal by Radford, but Penn State stormed back with a 13-3 run to take an 18-12 advantage at the 8:14 mark.
Hayden Hefner hit a 3-pointer to stem the tide, but the Nittany Lions responded with a 20-5 surge and held a 38-20 advantage before Dexter Dennis closed out the half with a pair of free throws.
Penn State slowly stretched its lead to 26 points, 69-43, at the 6:53 mark of the second half. The Aggies outscored the Nittany Lions 16-7 down the stretch, but came up short.
The loss dropped Texas A&M's mark to 13-16 in NCAA Tournament games and it snapped a string of making to the Sweet 16 in its last two March Madness appearances - 2016 and '18.
The Aggies wrapped up the 2022-23 campaign with a 25-10 record, a second-place finish in the SEC with a 15-3 mark and a runner-up showing at the SEC Tournament.
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M fell to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 76-59, Thursday night in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
- The Aggies conclude their 2022-23 campaign with a 25-10 overall record.
- Three players finished in double figures for the 18th 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 25th time this season (19-6).
Henry Coleman III
- Grabbed seven rebounds and scored two points.
- Scored a season-high 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds.
- Finished in double figures for the 17th time this season and 66th of his career.
- Matched his season high in 3-pointers made after draining four. Andersson Garcia Collected a team-high nine rebounds.
- Registered double figures for the sixth straight game after tallying 14 points.
- Has scored double digit points in 14 of the last 16 games.
- Finished in double figures for the 26th time this season and 84th of his career.
Wade Taylor IV
- Finished with 10 points, two rebounds and a steal.
- Registered double figures for the 12th straight game.
- Tallied double digit points for the 28th time this season and the 44th time of his career.