Texas A&M and Head coach Buzz Williams knew that after last Saturday’s close loss to Kentucky, the road ahead would only get tougher as the Aggies would travel to Alabama to face the 15th-ranked Auburn Tigers on Wednesday night. Knowing full well of the home-court advantage the Tigers held inside Neville Arena, also known as “The Jungle”, Williams and the Aggies were more than ready to take the challenge head-on, handily defeating the Tigers 79-63 behind 30 points from Tyrece Radford, ending the program’s 28-game home winning streak, and improving to 6-1 in the SEC.
Tyrece “Boots” Radford made a statement on Wednesday night, not only scoring 52 total points in his last two games for Texas A&M but proving to be the go-to scoring threat and leader at the point alongside Wade Taylor IV, providing the team with the confidence that when in game adversity strikes, Radford has your back. Speaking of Wade Taylor, the sophomore scoring leader had 15 points on 6-9 shooting, and went 3-5 from deep, as Radford and Taylor provided a majority of the offense throughout the game.
At the start of the first half, the Aggies simply succumbed to the raucous atmosphere that helped propel the Tigers to a quick 10-2 lead, briefly looking like the makings of a potential blowout for the home team, until Wade Taylor IV hit back to back 3-point shots to start what would be a 58% first half shooting performance for the Aggies, including 54.5% (6-11) from deep. Lead by the heroics of Tyrece Radford with 16 of his 30 points, a perfect combination of shutdown man-to-man defense, efficient rebounding (15), and smart shot selection resulting in a 21-5 run with 3:38 remaining, and a 13-2 run to finish out the half with a 45-30 halftime advantage.
The second half provided a much-needed spark for the Tigers, as Head coach Bruce Pearl switched to a zone defense on a majority of Texas A&M’s possessions, yet the Tigers’ continued to struggle on offense as the Aggies’ kept their composure defensively while matching every made Auburn basket with a make of their own. Leading 61-52, the Tigers’ attempted to steal back momentum before a beautiful fade-away jump shot plus a foul from Tyrece Radford, essentially killing any shot Auburn to mount a second-half comeback, as the Tigers would only get within 8 points the rest of the way.
At about the 3:00 mark, the foul game ensued, as the Aggies continuously slipped their way through backcourt pressure by the Tigers, making 9 free…