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Buzz Williams
Taylor & Coleman
Texas A&M Basketball

"Turkeys" spark dominant second-half as A&M takes down SMU, 83-64

November 30, 2022
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A week after Thanksgiving, the Aggies were still feasting on turkeys.

Texas A&M got a spectacular defensive effort rife with turkeys to post an 83-64 college basketball victory over SMU on Wednesday night at Reed Arena.

In Texas A&M jargon, a turkey is three consecutive defensive stops. In a decisive 10-minute period of dominance, the Aggies seemed to be herding turkeys.

“When we’re on the third stop, everybody is yelling ‘turkey,’” sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV said. “So we know where we’re at. So, if we get that turkey, it restarts.”

They had a flock of turkeys.

“A whole flock,” Taylor agreed. “A whole flock. We need them. As many as we can get.”

“We were flying around. Guys were making mistakes, but we had other guys behind them recovering and covering up those mistakes. I thought our effort and the communication within that effort was as good as it's been.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

The Aggies (5-2) were obviously feasting on the offensive end, too. They shot almost 50 percent from the field and netted 48 points in the paint.

Sophomore Henry Coleman III did most of the damage inside with 23 points, while Taylor added 13 points and dished out nine assists.

“My teammates set me up and got me the ball,” Coleman said. “I just had to finish. They did most of the work. They put me in the right position, so credit to them.”

Julius Marble added 10 points, and Tyrece "Boots" Radford had nine.

But make no mistake, the game was won on the defensive end, particularly in a 10-minute stretch in which a close contest became a closed-out conquest.

SMU (3-4), which trailed 45-36 at halftime, pulled to within 52-47 after forward Samuell Williamson converted a three-point play with 13:28 remaining in the game.

The Aggies’ dominance began soon afterward. Andersson Garcia put back a Julius Marble miss to start a 10-minute stretch of complete dominance.

In that span, the Aggies did not surrender an SMU field goal, allowed just nine free throws and grew their lead to 24 points, 80-56.

There was an array of offensive highlights mixed in. Coleman beat a triple team to hit a turnaround jumper. Taylor drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Later, Taylor eschewed a break-away layup to bounce a pass backwards to the trailing Coleman for a crowd-pleasing dunk.

Brooke Homfeld, TexAgs
Wade Taylor IV registered three steals as the Aggies hit double digits in thefts for the fourth time this season (11). 

There might not have been as many highlights on the defensive end, but there was certainly high intensity.

SMU was denied a basket on 10 consecutive shots from the field. The Mustangs were held to 29.2 percent shooting in the second half (7-of-24). Guard Zhuric Phelps led the Mustangs with 23 points but scored only six in the second half.

“We played with overwhelming effort,” A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “The one thing that hurt us in that stretch was we didn’t finish enough of those possessions with a defensive rebound.

“We were flying around. Guys were making mistakes, but we had other guys behind them recovering and covering up those mistakes. I thought our effort and the communication within that effort was as good as it's been.”

Coleman echoed his coach’s appraisal.

“I think when we’re hooked up defensively, we’re a really good team,” he said. “For that stretch of time we were very locked in, we were very hooked up. Guys guarded the ball very well. Bigs were going out on the pick-and-roll. 

“I think it was just an overall effort. We might have had some mistakes within the defense, but I think our overall effort covered those up. If we can continue to play hard, there is no ceiling.”

For wins or turkeys.

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"Turkeys" spark dominant second-half as A&M takes down SMU, 83-64

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