Texas A&M Basketball Triumphs Over #6 Kentucky in Overtime
There was a moment late in the game where it seemed like the referees were determined to take the game away from Texas A&M football. After the Aggies had been scrapping against the Wildcats to take a late lead, UK was granted two free throws with 0.5 second left on some very light contact. They hit both, and free basketball ensued.
In that overtime period, the Aggies started to tighten their grip on the game, playing some suffocating defense to prevent the Cats from scoring. UK didn't record even one score from the floor in that period, only notching a few free throws. However, even these didn't come without controversy.
Up five with just over a minute to play, Tyrece Radford hit a three in the waning seconds of the shot clock on after two big offensive rebounds earlier in the possession. That call was overturned due to an offensive foul call against Radford, as the referee deemed that #23 had stuck his leg out to draw contact. Replay showed that this was not ht ecase, but there was no way to review this.
Back down the other end of the floor, the Cats shot a three and missed—but the Aggies were called for a shooting foul less than ten seconds following the miss by the referees on the other end, granting UK three free throws. Not only that, but it was their best free throw shooter, Reed Sheppard, taking them. He went 2/3, and the Aggies were able to ice the game away behind free throws from Wade Taylor.
On a more macro view, this is a huge win for the Aggies. They had been on quite the slump as of late, and so turning things around in this fashion—especially after a disheartening loss against Auburn late in that game—is huge. This also marks Williams's first win against the Wildcats as the head coach of Texas A&M basketball. For that matter, this is one of the most memorable wins of his career with the Aggies, thanks not only to the opponent, but moments like this one:
This is also a great sign for a team that has really struggled offensively as of late. The shot-making by Wade Taylor and (especially) Tyrece Radford was really huge. Those two were able to lift this Texas A&M basketball squad to the win, despite the other primary offensive threat for the Aggies, Henry Coleman, unable to contribute much on that end of the floor.
And I just can't say enough about the defensive capabilities of Solomon Washington. He more and more is beginning to resemble a full-fledged NBA 3-and-D type player with what he is able to give the Aggies. His continued development can help bring the Aggies closer to their full potential and begin to turn things around for a season that has looked a bit aimless in recent weeks.
Overall, this is one of the biggest wins of Williams's tenure; not only due to who they beat but when and how they beat them. Hoepfully this can springboard Texas A&M basketball forward as they continue the conference slate into the upcoming months.