Tennessee’s rebounding concerns against Texas A&M were warranted Saturday night in College Station.
The Aggies’ 3-point shooting came by surprise.
Texas A&M entered as the Southeastern Conference’s worst team from long range with a 26.6% success rate, but the Aggies were 8-of-12 out of the gate on 3-point attempts to take quick control in their 85-69 upset pummelling of the No. 6 Volunteers. Senior guard Tyrece Radford and junior guard Wade Taylor IV scored 27 and 25 points, respectively, for Texas A&M and combined on seven 3-pointers.
The Aggies, who lead the league in rebound margin, posted a 43-35 advantage on the boards in improving to 15-8 overall and 6-4 in conference contests.
“Credit goes to Texas A&M, because they came out knowing it was a very, very big game for them,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said on the Vol Network. “We didn’t get enough consistent effort all around, and we didn’t have a great night shooting the ball from guys we need to shoot it well. We did a poor job at the free-throw line, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
Dalton Knecht scored 22 points for the Vols, who dropped to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in SEC play. Knecht was 6-of-11 from 3-point range but only 4-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Zakai Zeigler had the best all-around game for Tennessee with 15 points, six assists, six rebounds and four steals in 40 minutes.
“They were the aggressors to begin with,” Vols fifth-year senior guard Josiah-Jordan James said. “They played a little out of their bodies, but we knew that because of the rep we have and the ranking we have that teams are going to play better than they have all year. We have to come out with the mindset of whatever the film says, it’s out the window, because guys are going to play really well against us.
“We didn’t do our jobs at the beginning of this game, and if we don’t put ourselves in a big hole, we would have had a chance to win. We’ve got to be better at the start.”
Taylor made three 3-point attempts to stake Texas A&M to a 16-8 lead, and his fourth 3-pointer at the 9:11 mark of the first half handed the Aggies their first double-digit advantage at 27-15. Taylor’s fifth 3-pointer with 8:45 before halftime extended the lead to 30-16, and then he finally missed from behind the arc.
Texas A&M led 42-28 at the break and went up 45-28 on a Solomon Washington 3-pointer two minutes into the second half. Taylor’s layup with 15:33 remaining made it a 20-point game at 48-28.
“We got it back down to 12 with plenty of time and had the ball, but we weren’t able to get it beyond that,” Barnes said.
Tennessee on Saturday also landed the sixth football commitment for its 2025 class, receiving a nonbinding pledge from three-star receiver Joakim Dodson, a 6-foot, 178-pounder from the Memphis suburb of Collierville.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org.