Aggies Deliver Upset of ‘Cats to Advance

Aggies Triumph Over Wildcats in Stunning Upset to Advance

In Nashville, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team, led by the outstanding performance of junior Wade Taylor IV, delivered a stunning upset to the No. 9 ranked Kentucky Wildcats with a 97-87 victory at Bridgestone Arena on Friday. This victory not only propelled the Aggies into the semifinals of the SEC Tournament for the third consecutive year but also marked their 20th win of the season, improving their record to 20-13. Coach Buzz Williams made history by becoming the third Texas A&M head coach to achieve three consecutive 20-win seasons, a feat previously accomplished by Billy Gillispie and Mark Turgeon.

The Aggies seized control of the game early on, thanks to Taylor’s four 3-pointers in the first half. They took the lead with 13 minutes left in the first half and successfully repelled every attempt by Kentucky to close the gap. Although Kentucky managed to narrow the lead to a single possession early in the second half, Texas A&M quickly extended their lead, and the Wildcats couldn’t get within four points for the rest of the match.

Wade Taylor IV, the dynamic 6-foot guard from Dallas, dazzled with a 32-point performance, hitting six 3-pointers, making four out of five free throws, and handing out three assists. This marked Taylor’s fourth 30-point game against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, the most in the nation.

Tyrece Radford, a graduate guard from Baton Rouge, also had a standout game, contributing 23 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dishing out six assists. This performance tied the SEC Tournament record for most games with 10 or more points, a record he now shares with Auburn’s Chuck “The Rifleman” Person and Alabama’s Buck Johnson.

Together with junior Manny Obaseki, who added 17 points, the trio of guards scored 72 of the Aggies’ 97 points. Taylor and Radford continue to climb the career scoring list in SEC Tournament games, with Taylor amassing 143 points and Radford 136 points across nine games.

Sophomore Solomon Washington also made a significant impact with his defensive prowess, scoring 11 points, securing seven rebounds, blocking two shots, and stealing the ball twice. He also hit two crucial 3-pointers that dampened Kentucky’s momentum.

Looking ahead, the Aggies are set to face the winner of the Alabama-Florida quarterfinal match, which will take place 25 minutes after the first semifinal game between Mississippi State and Auburn concludes.

Game Notes:
The experienced core of Tyrece Radford, Wade Taylor IV, Henry Coleman III, Manny Obaseki, and Hayden Hefner have led the Aggies to 72 wins over the past three seasons, just one win shy of the best three-season total in the program’s history. The dynamic duo of Taylor and Radford combined for 55 points in this game, showcasing their scoring prowess. The Aggies matched their season-high of 97 points, a testament to their offensive capabilities during their five-game winning streak. Their disciplined play resulted in winning the turnover battle against Kentucky, leading to 18 points off turnovers. Additionally, Texas A&M’s dominance in offensive rebounding translated into 26 second-chance points. This victory marks the first time Texas A&M has beaten Kentucky in consecutive games since joining the SEC in the 2012-13 season, including their first win over Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. Wade Taylor IV’s 32-point game pushed him over 1,500 career points, joining an elite group of players in program history with over 1,500 points and 350 assists.