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A&M Advances in SEC Tournament, Downs Vanderbilt 69-52

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)–Savion Flagg scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the first half, and 11th-seeded Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt 69-52 Wednesday night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Texas A&M (14-17) snapped a two-game skid. The Aggies will play No. 6 seed Mississippi State in the second round Thursday night.

Jay Jay Chandler had 13 and Josh Nebo added 11 for the Aggies.

Saben Lee led Vanderbilt (9-23) with 19 points, and Yanni Wetzell had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Christian Mekowulu hit a jumper within the first minute, and Flagg added a jumper as Texas A&M took control from the opening tip. Lee scored four straight to tie it up for Vanderbilt. Chandler’s layup with 15:42 left put the Aggies ahead to stay, and he followed with a 3-pointer as Texas A&M built its lead to as much as 15 on Flagg’s jumper for a 34-19 halftime lead.

It got so bad in the second half that Flagg set a new career-high with 26 points on a jumper in the paint with 12:45 left, almost matching what the Commodores had as a team (28). Texas A&M took its biggest lead on a dunk by Nebo nearly midway through the half at 50-31. Then Vandy put together its best run of the game at 13-2, and Aaron Nesmith’s 3 with 6:23 to go pulled the Commodores within 53-43.

They never got closer than 10 down the stretch.

Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy, forward Savion Flagg and guard Jay Jay Chandler

KennedyFlaggChandler_0313.mp3

 

Texas A&M Basketball Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 69, Vanderbilt 52
Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tennessee) 

ABOUT THE GAME

  • The Aggies moved to 14-17 on the season with a 69-52 win over Vanderbilt in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.
  • A&M took control early on and was able to keep the lead in double figures for much of the final 10 minutes of the first half.
  • Savion Flagg, who nearly outscored the Commodores himself with 17 points in the opening period, scored A&M’s final eight points of the first half to help the Aggies take a 34-19 lead into the break.
  • A&M carried the momentum into the second half, never allowing the Commodores to get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
  • Vanderbilt put together a 13-2 run to cut it to 10 with under seven minutes to play, but back-to-back buckets by the Aggies halted the spree and extended the large lead.

TEAM NOTES

  • It was a productive shooting night for the Aggies as they shot over 50-percent field and over 40-percent from three in the same game for just the fourth time this season.
  • Entering the game, sophomores Savion Flagg and Jay Jay Chandler were the only scholarship players to have played in an SEC Tournament game.
  • The Aggies are now 4-6 all-time in SEC Tournament play.
  • The win is A&M’s first in the SEC Tournament since the 2016 season, when it advanced all the way to the finals, defeating Florida and LSU before playing Kentucky in the championship game.
  • The Aggies used the starting lineup of Jay Jay ChandlerChris CollinsWendell MitchellSavion Flagg and Christian Mekowulu for the first time this season.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Sophomore Savion Flagg led the Aggies for the 10th time this season, putting up a career-high 29 points in the win. He has recorded nine 20-plus point games this year.
  • Sophomore Jay Jay Chandler returned to the starting lineup and gave the Aggies a spark on both ends of the floor, finishing with 13 points and five steals. This is his third straight game scoring in double figures.
  • Junior Josh Nebo went 5-for-6 from the field to add 11 points off the bench.
  • Billy Kennedy is now 151-115 in his eight-year tenure at Texas A&M and 362-294 in his 21 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT
The Aggies advance to the second round of the SEC Tournament to take on 6-seed Mississippi State on Thursday evening. It will again be the final game of the day, as tip is set for 8:30 p.m. or at least 25 minutes after game five.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Mar 14 2019. Filed under Sports.
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