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Texas A&M Basketball

A&M flexes & defends SEC's honor in 98-83 annihilation of Nebraska

March 22, 2024
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Press conference videos courtesy of the NCAA


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Defense was in full force for Texas A&M on Friday night.

The Aggies defended the paint. They defended the arc. They defended the SEC’s honor.

Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi State were already ousted from the NCAA basketball tournament.

Inside FedExForum, thousands of rowdy Nebraskans thunderously chanting “Go Big Red” saw the Aggies as the Southeastern Conference’s next sacrifice to the March Madness gods.

Instead, the forlorn Huskers ultimately watched in stunned silence as the No. 9 seed Aggies (21-14) completely overwhelmed No. 8 seed Nebraska (23-11) in a 98-83 annihilation.

Talk about creamed corn. The Aggies charged into the NCAA second round to face Houston on Sunday.

Wade Taylor IV scored 25 points. Manny Obaseki scored 22. Tyrece Radford had 20. Jace Carter and Henry Coleman contributed 13 and 10, respectively.

A&M routinely drove inside to score 44 points in the paint. The Aggies hit 13 times from 3-point range. Taylor made seven of his 10 attempts.

The 98-point output made it obvious A&M continued a recent offensive onslaught. The Aggies have scored at least 80 points in five consecutive games.

But coach Buzz Williams still couldn’t relax until the final minutes when A&M’s lead was mathematically insurmountable.

“We’re happy when things go good and when we make a shot or get fouled, but our reliance has to be on our ability to get stops and finish with a defensive rebound.”
- A&M head coach Buzz Williams

“Our offense has been so up and down that we can’t rely on our offense,” Williams said. “We’re happy when things go good and when we make a shot or get fouled, but our reliance has to be on our ability to get stops and finish with a defensive rebound.”

Case in point: A week ago, A&M lost 95-90 to Florida, which hit 14 times from behind the arc.

Nebraska was an even greater 3-point threat than Florida. The Huskers averaged 9.5 treys per game and made almost 36 percent of their attempts this season. Five Huskers made at least 36 treys this season.

Leading the way was guard Keisei Tominaga, who is so prolific behind the arc that he has been dubbed the “Japanese Steph Curry.”

But he was more a “Japanese James Harden” — Tominaga scored a lot of points but faded in the big moments of a demoralizing loss.

He finished with 21 points, but nine came via a trifecta of triples in the game’s first five minutes. The Aggie defense adjusted, and he never recovered.

Tominaga scored just two more points the rest of the half.

Meanwhile, A&M began asserting its dominance. First, with Taylor leading the charge from the 3-point line. Then, with Obaseki — who was also effective behind the arc — routinely weaving inside to score.

Obaseki scored 19 points in the first half. His final basket, a driving layup, ensured the Aggies held a 58-44 lead.

Tominaga hit an early trey in the second half to pull Nebraska within 12 points, but he was hardly noticeable the rest of the way.

The Aggies made sure Nebraska wouldn’t rally behind a Florida-like 3-point barrage.

“I don’t think we changed anything defensively. We played HOH — hands over our head,” Radford said. “Because they’ve got really good shooters, and we tried to prevent them from going off or getting hot.”

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
After making his first three shots — all 3-pointers — Tominaga was just 4-for-14 from the field the rest of the night and only 2-for-8 from deep.

The Huskers struggled to get off 3-point shots. And too often when they did, 6-foot-7 Solomon Washington thwarted them.

Indeed, the game’s most dynamic play was a defensive gem. Washington used both hands to block a 3-point shot.

He came down with the rebound and passed off to start a break which ended with a Carter layup and an 85-64 lead with eight minutes left.

The Aggies had taken Nebraska’s best shot. They had taken momentum. They had taken command. This after they had taken Nebraska’s athletic director.

The Aggies have also taken flight. They’ve won six of their last seven games and are undoubtedly playing their best basketball.

They’ve also inspired the typically dapper Williams to change his game-day attire. Since breaking out of a five-game losing skid, he has worked the sidelines in casual attire rather than a three-piece suit.

“There is some level of superstition with it,” Williams said. “I think we’ve won six of our last seven, so I’m wearing the same shoes, boxers, socks, jeans, undershirt and pullover.”

Whatever it takes, right?

Just keep getting the same results.

Discussion from...

A&M flexes & defends SEC's honor in 98-83 annihilation of Nebraska

6,098 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by RAB83
KingOaksAg
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AG
Let's go Ags! Time to take out Houston. BTHO Cougar High

el_guapo
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"Creamed corn."
Niiiice.
sanaug
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AG
Thanks Olin. Very good. Liked "creamed corn". You gave me a laugh.

And Buzz really cracked me up with the clothes / superstition comment. Best laugh I've had in a while.

I'm glad these guys are having success. They represent us well.
RAB83
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AG
I followed the game from a hunting stand. It's an annual hog hunt and most of the hunters are from Nebraska. I enthusiastically kept everyone on the group text updated throughout the game.
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