CONWAY, S.C. – The Texas A&M men’s basketball team closed out the Myrtle Beach Invitational with a 67-51 victory over of the Loyola Chicago Ramblers on Sunday at the HTC Center on the Coastal Carolina University campus.
The Aggies, who improved to 3-2, were aggressive from the start and took a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish at the 12:00 mark of the first half. Texas A&M took an 11-point lead into halftime at 33-22 and kept the pressure on the Ramblers on its way to victory in the seventh-place game. The Aggies led by as much 21 points in the second half before finishing with the 16-point winning margin.
Texas A&M was stifling on defense as the Maroon & White forced a season-high 27 turnovers and posted season-high 16 steals. The Aggies enjoyed a 26-11 advantage in points off turnovers. Texas A&M generated clear advantages over the Ramblers in points in the paint (34-14) and bench points (33-25).
The Aggies used a new starting lineup that featured three players making their first starts of 2022-23, including junior transfer Julius Marble who made his first-ever start for Texas A&M. The three new additions to starting group – Marble, senior Andre Gordon and junior Hayden Hefner – contributed an impactful 22 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers. The veteran Gordon was making his 90th appearance in the Maroon & White and his 60th start, while Hefner made his fifth-career start and first since 2020-21.
Three Aggies posted double-digit points with junior Henry Coleman III leading the way with 13 points, while Marble chipped in 11 points and sophomore Wade Taylor IV had 10 points. With Taylor’s 10th point, he reached 400 for his career. Junior transfer Andersson Garcia led the way on the boards with six rebounds, including five offensive.
Texas A&M returns to action with a Black Friday matchup against DePaul in Chicago at 12 noon on Nov. 25.
Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 67, Loyola (Chicago) 51
HTC Center (Conway, S.C.)
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
Texas A&M improved to 3-2 on the season after winning its final game at the Myrtle Beach Invitational with a 67-51 victory over Loyola Chicago.
The Aggies remain undefeated against the Ramblers improving to 3-0 in the all-time series.
- Texas A&M used a 7-0 run to finish out the half to go ahead by double digits with a 33-22 lead.
- The Maroon & White tallied a season-high 16 steals to finish with 35 steals in three games in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
- Texas A&M had nine different players score, with seven players tallying four or more points.
- The Aggies forced a season-high 27 turnovers, (previously 21 vs ACU on Nov. 11). The Maroon & White scored 26 of its points off turnovers.
- Texas A&M scored 34 points in the paint, limiting Loyola to just 14 points in the paint.
- Loyola’s 51 points marks the least points the Aggies have allowed this season.
- Texas A&M swatted three blocks for the fourth time this season.
- Head coach Buzz Williams registered his 305th career win.
- Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Dexter Dennis, Hayden Hefner, Andre Gordon, Tyrece Radford and Julius Marble for the first time this season (1-0).
- Senior guard Andre Gordon eclipsed his 90th career game in Maroon & White and the 60th start of his career.
- Junior forward Julius Marble hit the 1,000-minute plateau for his career with 22 minutes of action in today’s victory. The Dallas, Texas, native registered double-digit points for the third consecutive game after finishing with 11. Marble also hauled in five rebounds.
- Junior forward Henry Coleman III led the team with 13 points, marking the third time this season he has finished in double figures and the 24th of his career.
- Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV matched his career-high in steals with four. The Dallas, Texas, native recorded 10 points, the fourth time this season to finish in double-digits, while also reaching 400 career points.
- Junior guard Hayden Hefner went a perfect 6-6 at the charity stripe at the MBI. He went 2-2 today with two 3-pointers to log eight points.
- Junior forward Andersson Garcia led the Aggies with six rebounds, tying his season high.
Texas A&M Coach Buzz Williams
“On Friday evening, our staff worked a lot and then Saturday morning, I met with each player for 25 minutes each. We watched defensive film of Thursday’s game and Friday’s game. We practiced for an hour and a half at a really good pace. This morning we had a really good shootaround. I taught them nine plays, they did a great job memorizing them. I’ve done a bad job the last three weeks. We’ve got good players who are better people. I’ve done a poor job as a leader. Over the last 36 hours we got back to what we’re supposed to be about. We forced 27 turnovers because we were better at what we’re supposed to be. We played better in practice than we did on Thursday and Friday. An expensive trip for Texas A&M athletics for us to stay on the beach for five nights and eat food that chefs made for us. We lived like kings and we played like we had very high egos and we can’t be that. Our response was better so if we’re going to spend all of that money, we need to make sure that in week 2 we learned a lesson and I should be the front of the lesson.” (On forward Andersson Garcia): “He’s sneaky good. Sometimes the sneakiness leads to taking him out of the play and doing undisciplined things. When he stays in what we want him to do slash what we do, he has a distinct role. When we stay within our role definition as a team and do individually what we know we can do, I think we’re pretty good.”
Texas A&M forward Julius Marble
“As Coach said, we have to get back to our identity. We had big egos coming into Myrtle Beach because of whatever was going on. Instead of focusing on what we need to do to get better we kind of strayed away from that and today we got back to who we are. Energy for sure. We have to have everyone engaged and focused on the job and the task at hand which is to win the game.”
Story by Brad Marquardt, Assistant AD/Athletics Communications