THE NCAAM has witnessed yet another boilover result, with the 25th-seeded Texas A&M Aggies taking down the Tennessee Volunteers, who are ranked 11th in the nation.
Reed Arena was stunned earlier on Wednesday, with the underdog claiming a five-point triumph and producing a terrific second half that had an excellent mix of explosiveness and composure. Despite being seeded 14 spots lower, the Aggies delivered their best win of the season.
Texas A&M has been steadily on the rise this season, having had their best start since joining the SEC a decade ago, and Wednesday’s result further echoes the team’s improvement. On the other hand, it is Tennessee’s fourth loss in five games, with the side needing to lift ahead of the most important patch of the season.
Wade Taylor IV led the way for the Aggies, overcoming some inaccurate shooting to still finish with a game-high 25 points to go with three rebounds and four steals. He shot just 4/11 from the field, with the Volunteers’ tough defence throwing off a large part of his offensive rhythm.
However, Taylor continued to attack the rim and draw contact, which is where he did his best work. He shot an impressive 16/17 from the free throw line, including four crucial attempts down the stretch to help seal the win.
Not far behind on the stat sheet was Julius Marble, who had a serious offensive impact over the entire course of the contest. He finished with 21 points (6/10 FG) to go with nine rebounds in an immense showing. Much like Taylor, he made a significant impact at the foul line, showing a cool head despite the pressure that came with many of his attempts.
For the Volunteers, their sheer number of contributors was almost a winning factor. Four Tennessee players scored double-digits in the points column, as the team shared the offensive load, which has proven to be a winning formula for the team in the past.
Top scoring was the duo of Zakai Zeigler (14 points, four assists, two steals) and Santiago Vescovi (14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists), with the latter producing a terrific all-around performance.
The Aggies’ ability to draw contact and get to the free throw line ended up being one of the biggest factors in the game, getting 18 extra points from the charity stripe as a result of their relentless attack on the opposition.
In one of the most memorable upsets of the NCAAM season, Texas A&M was dominant on its way to an impressive boilover. With March approaching, there is plenty to play for from an Aggies perspective, and the side has shown a capability to match it with the best.