AUBURN, Ala. (AP)Tyrece Radford had 30 points and nine rebounds and Texas A&M beat No. 15 Auburn 79-63 on Wednesday night, ending the nation’s longest active home winning streak at 28 games.
The Aggies (14-6, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) used a strong offensive start to hand Auburn its first loss at Neville Arena since Feb. 23, 2021. Texas A&M shot 58.6% from the field in the first half to build a 45-30 lead.
”I thought we had poise,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. ”We weren’t out of sorts. We weren’t rattled.”
Wade Taylor IV made all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half and finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting for the Aggies. Texas A&M had only made a combined six 3-pointers in its previous two games, but it matched that total inside the first 14 minutes and finished 7 of 19 from long range.
Johni Broome and Wendell Green Jr. each scored 16 points for the Tigers (16-4, 6-2), who had won five straight games overall.
The Aggies closed the first half on a 13-2 run. Auburn tried to rally but got no closer than eight points after halftime.
”Texas A&M is a really good team,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. ”I think they’re one of the top four teams in our league. They outplayed us tonight. A veteran, talented, physical team. They’re going to have a good year.”
Texas A&M: The Aggies’ strong start to SEC play has been built on a tough interior presence and team defense. Their hot shooting on Wednesday is an encouraging sign for Williams’ team moving forward.
Auburn: The end to the Tigers’ win streak came with a familiar problem: defending high-scoring guards. Pearl’s squad struggled to slow down strong backcourts in its previous three losses, and Radford and Taylor were superb on Wednesday.
NO CALLER ID
After turning the ball over 16 times last Saturday in a road loss to Kentucky, Texas A&M only committed nine turnovers against Auburn.
Williams said he used an old-school analogy to explain to his players how they should handle the hostile environment.
”I told them, `There used to be phones without caller ID,”’ Williams said. ”You had to answer the phone, and you didn’t know who was on the other end. You had to tell by the voice when you answered. … And we have to only hear one another’s voice. We can’t partake in the voices of anybody else – not the crowd, not the opponent, not the officials.”
RADFORD RACKS UP
Radford’s 30 points were the most the Virginia Tech transfer has scored in a Big 12 game in his two seasons with the Aggies. He made three 3-pointers and finished 11 of 12 from the free-throw line.
”He’s a great player,” Pearl said. ”Great athlete. One of the best athletes in the country, really. Big, strong, physical and (had) a big game. Played great. I just didn’t have anybody who could stay in front of him.”
TEN FOR TEXAS A&M
Texas A&M improved to 10-4 against Auburn since it joined the SEC.
The Tigers have lost four out of the last five in the series and have won just one home conference game against the Aggies.
Texas A&M: Hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Auburn: Visits West Virginia as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.
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