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Buzz Williams
Taylor & Coleman
Texas A&M Basketball

Second-half surge from backcourt propels Texas A&M past ACU, 77-58

November 11, 2022
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Back in black.

Sporting new black uniforms with "Fightin' Texas Aggies" across the front, Texas A&M defeated Abilene Christian, 77-58, in front of 6,782 at Reed Arena on Friday night. The Aggies held ACU to 38 percent from the field while forcing 21 turnovers and outrebounding the Wildcats 35-24.

"Really encouraged, in a humble way," A&M head coach Buzz Williams said of his team's performance. "I thought we were dramatically better, specifically in the second half, than we were in the first half."

Wade Taylor IV had a game-high 21 points to lead the Ags in scoring in back-to-back contests to open the season.

Henry Coleman III posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double. The ever-steady Tyrece Radford and Dexter Dennis added 13 points each.

"At halftime, I'm not going to say we were worried, but we were cautious.We said one step at a time, one meeting at a time, one play at a time, and everything will take care of itself."
- A&M guard Wade Taylor IV

"I was just doing my job," Coleman said. "Coach talks about doing your job every day. I think I was just doing my job. Going out there, rebound and play hard. Just doing my job."

Ultimately cruising to a 19-point victory, A&M's turnover issues from a year ago still remain as the Ags gave it away 19 times. While the Ags figure to be a better shooting team this year, they shot just 52 percent from the field and only 6-of-16 (38 percent) from deep.

"We're still trying to sort through all of the different mix-and-match groups that can play together, offensively and defensively," Williams said. "I've got to continue to improve. We can put a lot of different pieces out that there can do a lot of things, but it needs to be specific to what we're trying to accomplish at that time, and a couple of times, I got out of sorts, and the staff had to help me.

"I love where I think we're headed, and it's a lot of fun."

Last year, A&M needed double overtime and a buzzer-beater to beat ACU. On Friday, no such dramatics were necessary, although the outcome was still in doubt at the break.

While A&M's lead grew to 13-5 thanks to a 9-0 run nearly nine minutes into the action, ACU whittled that deficit down to three. Dennis' layup with 14 seconds remaining sent A&M into the locker room with a 34-29 lead.

"At halftime, I'm not going to say we were worried, but we were cautious," Taylor added. "We said one step at a time, one meeting at a time, one play at a time, and everything will take care of itself."

Cade Ingersoll, TexAgs
Along with his first double-double of the season, Coleman also led the team in steals (4).

Four nights after hitting 12 3-point shots vs. ULM, A&M mustered only one triple in the opening 20 minutes, but Taylor drilled a pair of deep shots early in the second act as the Aggies reclaimed control, 42-29. The advantage never again dipped below double digits.

"Me and Javonte Brown were talking at halftime, like, 'Yo, we got to get us a spark,'" Taylor said. "When I started the spark, I looked at him and said, 'I appreciate that.'"

At the same time as A&M's offensive resurgence, ACU went ice-cold, suffering through a stretch of over seven minutes without a field goal from 15:10 until 8:04 to play. A&M's lead grew from 12 to as many as 17 during that span.

A Dennis triple with 3:19 left staked A&M to its largest lead of the night at 70-51, a margin that was equaled on another Dennis 3-ball for the game's final bucket with 25 seconds remaining.

With two home victories in the books, A&M sets its sights on the Myrtle Beach Invitational, which begins on Thursday.

"I'm very excited," Taylor said. "We get to take a trip to the beach. We get to go play in the sand."

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Second-half surge from backcourt propels Texas A&M past ACU, 77-58

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