Texas A&M continued the SEC’s strong start to the 2018 NCAA Tournament, as the Aggies came away with a victory in the first game on Friday, taking down Providence, 73-69.
With the Texas A&M win, the SEC now moves to 5-0 in the tournament, following wins by Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and Alabama on Thursday. Three more SEC teams will play on Friday, as Auburn, Arkansas and Missouri will see the floor.
For a large portion of the game, the Aggies and Friars engaged in a back-and-forth affair. Neither team was able to build a large lead for the majority of the game, as the score was 28-27 at halftime and tied up at 50 with 9 minutes to go in the game.
But Texas A&M was able to wear down Providence going on a 12-2 run to establish a 62-52 lead which was enough cushion to hold on down the stretch.
Like Texas A&M had done all season, the Aggies relied on their strong front court of Tyler Davis and Robert Williams. The duo combined for 27 points and 29 rebounds, as each player had a double-double. The Aggies also got double-digit scoring outputs from guards TJ Starks and Admon Gilder, who led Texas A&M with 18 points.
Providence was led by senior Rodney Bullock, who led all scorers with 22 points.
This is the second time under Billy Kennedy that the Aggies have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, as the Aggies made it to the Sweet 16 in 2016. To do so again this year, the Aggies will have to beat the winner of the North Carolina-Lipscomb game, which tips off shortly afterwards. That game will be played in Charlotte on Sunday.
With the win, the Aggies improve to 21-12 on the season and live to see another day in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
What’s next for Texas A&M basketball in the 2018 NCAA Tournament
Game: Winner of North Carolina-Lipscomb
Date: Sunday, Game time TBA
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