The No.13-ranked Texas A&M men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 on the season after coming into Dallas and beating SMU 79-66 in a game where both teams struggled to shoot the ball on Tuesday night at Moody Coliseum.
The Aggies used the early portions of the second half to assert their dominant defense and pulled away late in the second half, thanks to their physicality and execution.
The teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with neither team leading by more than seven. Texas A&M held a 17-15 lead at the under-eight-minute media timeout, but SMU responded with a barrage of three-pointers that led to its best offensive spurt of the night and a 24-20 lead.
However, the Mustangs had too many dry spells throughout the game, and the Aggies closed the half with a Tyrece Radford three at the buzzer to claim a 39-32 halftime lead.
Texas A&M continued its run at the onset of the second half, forcing five turnovers and holding SMU to just 2-of-9 shooting over the first five minutes as the defense created a 12-point lead.
SMU did its best to stay in the game but made shots were hard to come by, and A&M forward Henry Coleman III dominated on the glass — finishing the game with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Still, SMU managed to generate a small comeback as Tyreek Smith’s and-one layup capped an 11-3 run and cut the deficit to four with just under nine minutes remaining.
Yet, SMU’s offense went cold again, and A&M pulled away with a 13-3 run and held off the Mustangs at the free throw line.
Radford led A&M in scoring with 21 points, while three other Aggies scored in double figures.
Butler transfer Chuck Harris also had 21 for SMU and made five of his seven three-point attempts.
WHAT TO KNOW
— No.13 Texas A&M and SMU faced off in basketball for the 180th time on Tuesday night at Moody Coliseum.
— Texas A&M won 79-66 and now trails the all-time series 91-89. It was SMU’s first loss of the season after starting 3-0.
— It was just the fifth time the teams have played since the Southwest Conference disbanded in 1996 and the first time the Aggies have made the trip to SMU since 2009.
— Texas A&M has won nine of the last 12 basketball games between the two universities.
BY THE NUMBERS
— SMU shot 43% from three-point range but was just 13/42 from inside the arc.
— Texas A&M forced 16 turnovers, leading to 20 points, while SMU only had eight points off seven turnovers.
— Radford and Wade Taylor IV averaged 16.5 and 13.3 points per game, respectively, last season, and both scored in double figures on Tuesday.
– Smith on the game atmosphere: “Well, it felt good seeing Moody packed like that. It’s just kind of unfortunate that we couldn’t bring home the win for the fans. We’re going to have to see past this, but I hope to bring the fans out again and get a dub.”
— Texas A&M head coach Buzz Williams on SMU’s team: “The complexion of the roster is completely different than it was a year ago at this time, and I think their style of play, because of the complexion of their roster, I think it all fits really well. I’m cheering for them now that this is over because I think this environment and the roster and what Coach [Rob Lanier] has them doing, it’s a hard guard.”
— SMU (3-1) plays in the Fort Myers Tip-Off against West Virginia (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Monday. Texas A&M (3-0) hosts Oral Roberts (1-2) at 7 p.m. CT on Friday.