Arkansas's Last-Second Shot Foils Huge Comeback by Texas A&M Basketball

Wade Taylor had some late-game heroics for Texas A&M basketball, but they were all for naught. The problem is why they were needed in the first place.
Dec 30, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) handles the
Dec 30, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) handles the / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M Basketball Falls to Arkansas After Suspect Defense on Final Play

Texas A&M basketball found themselves in a huge hole early against the Razorbacks. Exactly what you didn't want to happen was what took place early on in the game, as the lagging Hogs came out gangbusters against the Aggies. A talented team like Musselman's group, riding a three-game losing streak, playing at home has a chance to be dangerous, and they proved to be just that, exceeding the Aggies' energy right from the jump.

It didn't take long for the Aggies to get down by as many as 20 points. They fought back to make the deficit only 12 at the half, but a late call after the buzzer sounded (which was judged to be made before the buzzer, upon review) handed the Hogs two free throws. As the game ended with a one-point deficit, those free throws would obviously prove to be huge.

The refereeing in this one interrupted the flow of the game quite a bit. Foul after foul after foul was called on both sides; both Wildens Leveque and Solomon Washington picked up 5 by the end of the game, and Arkansas's Devo Davis was ejected for a flagrant 2 (which, admittedly, was the correct call). Still, though, there were just too many touch fouls throughout the game.

There was no touch foul called, however, on the improbable three-point make by Wade Taylor with 7 seconds to go. After a foul was called against the Aggies on the other end, allowing the Hogs to break a 74-74 tie with a 2-of-2 trip to the line, Wade drew contact and tossed the shot up, hoping to get a call. He didn't, but his shot found its way into the hoop nonetheless, crowning a 20-point comeback and setting up what figured to be a storybook ending for the Aggies.

That hope was dashed, however, as Tramon Mark of Arkansas, who had been on fire all game, walked the ball up the floor, got into the paint against Eli Lawrence, and knocked down a hanging jump shot to put the nail in the Aggie coffin with less than a second to go. A double never came against Mark, which was a bit questionable, and Lawrence was forced to play off him a little bit due to the high prevalence of foul calls in the game.

Wade Taylor's effort was extremely impressive in this one, pouring in 41 points. At the same time, however, he was 13/32 from the field. His shot making down the stretch was a sight to behold, but there were several that he should have not tossed up.

This loss drops the Aggies to 10-7 (1-3). This is a team that is more skilled than that record, without a doubt, but they have to show it by playing complete games and stacking good efforts in a row. So far this season, they have been unable to do so.