After upsetting top-seeded Auburn on Friday, Texas A&M showed no signs of slowing down Saturday as they blew out Arkansas 82-64 to advance to the SEC Tournament Championship Game.
The Aggies, now seven-game winners in a row and eight of their last nine, will face the winner of Kentucky or Tennessee. Playing for the third time in three days, A&M put on their most impressive performance to date as they manhandled an Arkansas squad that had won 15 of their last 17 games going forward. The Browns and Whites led for more than 37 minutes on Saturday and were never behind.
Quenton Jackson led the way with 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. Tyrece Radford also added 11 points.
For the third day in a row, Texas A&M got off to a quick start in the lead for more than 17 of the first 20 minutes and never trailed taking a 36-24 halftime advantage.
The Aggies did most of their damage from behind the 3-point line, with five players knocking down a three. Hassan Diarra continued his good run in Tampa with 10 points in the first half while Wade Taylor also added seven points.
The Maroon and White also frustrated Arkansas, forcing nine turnovers while first-team All-SEC guard JD Notae picked up three fouls in the first half and was limited to just two runs.
As Arkansas began to heat up offensively, the Aggies had an answer. After Arkansas closed in five runs, Jackson responded with six straight runs to give A&M a 47-36 lead with 14:41 left in the game.
The Razorbacks came right back with an 8-0 run to fall back to 47-44. The Aggies got a boost from Hayden Hefner, who helped lead the A&M response with five quick points to push the A&M lead back into double digits.
A 3-point play from Au’Diese Toney cut the A&M lead to eight, but the Aggies responded with a 10-0 run to take an 18-point advantage. Equally important, the Aggies got some guy contributions outside of their star games with Hayden Hefner knocking down a jumper while Aaron Cash closed out the run with a big dunk.
After seeing Auburn and Florida make late rallies, Williams’ group delivered the knockout blow in the stretch with the lead rising to 23 points with over a minute left before the Aggies emptied the bench. .