No. 24 Tennessee improved to 12-4 on the season and 3-2 in conference play with a 75-62 win over Texas A&M today. Here’s how it played out.
Tennessee started out pretty balanced. They got contributions from Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams, Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden and Kyle Alexander to hold an early lead. The Vols looked like the better team in the opening half of play, turning the Aggies over 11 times in the opening 15 minutes of play.
The Vols capitalized off of those steals to hold an eight point lead at halftime. The Aggies turned it over 13 times in the first half, but shot 62 percent from three point range to keep it respectable.
Though Texas A&M was much bigger, Tennessee kept it even on the glass in the first half. That was a big key to their success early on, especially on the offensive side.
The two teams traded buckets out of halftime. John Fulkerson converted a couple of times on the offensive end, which was good to see. At the under 16 media timeout, Tennessee maintained their eight point advantage.
With 13 minutes to play, Jordan Bowden extended that lead with a wide open corner three. Texas A&M wasn’t quite finished yet, however.
After a three point play from Tonny Trocha-Morelos, the Tennessee lead had been trimmed to just six. It was as close as the Aggies had been in some time.
When Tennessee needed him most, Grant showed up. He hit two free throws to get the lead back to eight. Admiral Schofield was then fouled on a three point attempt, giving him another opportunity to salt this one away. He hit two, giving the Vols another ten point lead.
Lamonte Turner scored in transition seconds later to bring the lead to 12.
But A&M wasn’t interested in going home just yet. A quick 8-0 run brought them right back. As they have all season long, Tennessee struggled to close this ballgame.
Thankfully, Williams showed up once more to stop the bleeding. Grant nailed a hook shot to bring the lead back to eight. Kyle Alexander followed with an up and under move on the next possession.
The Tennessee faithful could breathe a sigh of relief after an Aggie miss on the other end. The Vols extended their lead back to 13 as they closed this one out.
A&M’s size in the front court shut down Grant Williams. Usually that would be a big issue for Tennessee, but not tonight. The Vols were paced by Bowden (15), Alexander (14) and Schofield (12) tonight, who were able to keep the Aggies playing from behind. That’s a fantastic sign for this team, who tends to lean on the one-man offense of Williams down the stretch.
Texas A&M falls to 0-5 in SEC play, losing their fifth straight contest. Tennessee (12-4) will travel to Missouri on Wednesday night.