Hot-shooting Texas A&M dispatches Nebraska

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 07:08 AM

Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

MEMPHIS -- The team that couldn't shoot straight during the regular season suddenly can't miss in March.

Ninth-seeded Texas A&M converted 13 3-pointers Friday night in a first round South Region game of the NCAA Tournament and enjoyed a comfortable 98-83 win over No. 8 Nebraska.

Wade Taylor IV bombed in 7 of 10 attempts from deep and scored 25 points for the Aggies (21-14), who advanced to a second-round game on Sunday against top-seeded Houston. Manny Obaseki added 22 points, while Tyrece Radford stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

"I think offensively, we looked good," Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. "And we're not used to looking good. We're a little bit of Jekyll and Hyde sometimes offensively."

The Aggies, who entered the game ranked 338th in the regular season in Division I at 39.9 percent from the field, canned 49.3 percent in this one, and hit 56.5 percent of their 3-pointers. It marked their third straight game of scoring at least 90 points.

"Congrats to Texas A&M," Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. "That team is playing as well as anybody in the country with the way they're shooting the ball. It's a very tough matchup with the way they drive it and when they're hitting shots."

Brice Williams scored 24 points to pace the Cornhuskers (23-11), who were making their first NCAA tourney appearance in 10 years. Keisei Tominaga added 21 points and Josiah Allick hit for 14 points.

There were nine lead changes in the first 12 minutes before Texas A&M took the lead for good. It led in double figures for the entire second half, stretching it to 22 multiple times.

Tominaga got Nebraska off to a fast start, firing up its huge fan contingent inside FedEx Forum. He made his first three shots, all deep 3-pointers, as the Cornhuskers established a 20-13 lead about five minutes into the game.

But as he cooled off, Taylor and Obaseki stayed at microwave temperature. Taylor made all five of his 3-point tries in the first half and finished with 17 points. Obaseki took over where Taylor left off later in the half by canning three straight 3-pointers and adding a 3-point play.

"They gave me the ball and allowed me to do my thing," Obaseki said. "I knew I had a mismatch all night. They let me take advantage of that."

That helped Texas A&M build its lead as high as 16 points late in the half before it settled for a 58-44 advantage at the break. The Aggies hit 53.7 percent from the field and sank 9 of 15 3-pointers in the half.

"I think we're going in the right direction," Williams said. "Faith can't just talk, it's gotta walk, too. I think this group is walking out the faith in one another. That's uncommon."

--Bucky Dent, Field Level Media