COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Florida coach Mike White raved about his team’s performance on offense after the Gators routed Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
“We really moved the ball well,” he said. “It was the best we’ve moved the ball all year. That’s as well as we’ve played offensively all year.”
Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points and Florida used a big run early in the second half to take control of the game and cruise to the 78-61 win.
Noah Locke added 21 points for the Gators (15-9, 7-4 Southeastern Conference), who bounced back from a close loss to Ole Miss in their last game.
“For us to come in here and score 78, obviously we did a lot well offensively,” White said. “With this team we’ve struggled at times against really good defenses, especially on the road. So that’s about as well as we’ve played.”
Texas A&M (11-12, 5-6) cut its deficit to two points on a 3-pointer by Emanuel Miller early in the second half before the Gators used a 14-4 run to make it 53-41 with about 11 minutes to go. Keyontae Johnson scored six points during that span. The 6-foot-5 sophomore finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds – his second consecutive double-double – and a career-high six assists.
Texas A&M’s only points in that stretch came on free throws as the Aggies went almost eight minutes without making a field goal.
“Their team is so good,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “They put stress on you in every possible way.”
It was Miller who finally made A&M’s next basket, but it didn’t get the Aggies going and the Gators went on a 10-2 run after that to make it 63-45 with 7 1/2 minutes to go. Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann made 3-pointers to lead Florida in that run.
Locke made five 3-pointers for the Gators to give him at least one 3 in 22 straight games, which is tied for the 10th-longest streak in school history.
Miller had 19 points for the Aggies, who lost their second straight game and for the third time in four games.
Williams was disappointed that Florida got 14 offensive rebounds on 25 missed shots.
“That’s hard for any team to overcome,” he said.
Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Florida 78, Texas A&M 61
Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M fell to Florida, 78-61, Wednesday at Reed Arena to move to 11-12 (5-6 SEC) on the season.
- The Aggies are now 4-9 all-time against the Gators.
- The Aggies shot 50% (12-24) in the first half, the highest first half shooting percentage since connecting on 53.2% of their attempts at Vanderbilt (1/7).
- Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Savion Flagg, Wendell Mitchell, Emanuel Miller, Andre Gordon and Josh Nebo for the 13th time this season (6-7).
- Emanuel Miller led the Aggies in scoring with 19, tallying his fifth game this season with 10-or-more points. Miller shot 8-9 from the charity stripe, the most free throws he has made this season.
- Savion Flagg registered his 10th game in double figures this season and 32nd of his career after finishing with 11 points.
- Josh Nebo reached double-digits in scoring (12) for the 16th time this season.
- Buzz Williams is 11-12 in his first season at Texas A&M and 264-167 in his 13 seasons as a head coach.
The Aggies stay in the friendly confines of Reed Arena to take on Georgia on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach Buzz Williams
On facing Florida…
“Their [Florida’s] team is so good. All of them. They put stress on you in every possible way, not just on the perimeter. They have McDonald’s All-Americans on the perimeter. Inside, you have to help to some degree. As the coach at Texas A&M, I think my responsibility is to make sure that we’re doing our best regardless of who we play. Their talent is superb.”
On the team’s performance in the second half…
“It started out ok, but in that period between the 16 to eight-minute mark, it’s getting away from us. I burn every timeout, try every player, run every play just trying to gain some level of traction. The thing that hurt us the most is the fact that Florida missed 25 shots and rebounded 14 of the 25 misses. That’s hard for any team to overcome.”
On the Aggies’ defensive effort tonight…
“[We allowed] too many points in the paint tonight off of dribble penetration. If we force our opponent to shoot a lot of threes, then we need to finish the defensive possession with a rebound. That was our problem tonight. When it becomes moneyball and they’re either shooting threes or layups, then that means that on the path to the rim, something broke down. We weren’t in a position to help the ball out of the paint and make them make another pass along the perimeter.”
Texas A&M Guard Andre Gordon
On their feeling at halftime…
“I think it was pretty good for us. We closed out the half with a stop, so that pumped us up towards halftime. Just being down three points to a solid team with a lot of kids with good skills is good for us. It gave us momentum going into the second half.”
On their mindset in the second half…
“We just kept playing our game. We tried to focus on us, not so much on them. Sometimes coach says, ‘Don’t even look at the scoreboard, and just play your game. Play hard and just keep competing.’ I felt like that’s what we kept doing. We kept a good mindset, even though we were down, and we played until the end of the game.”
Texas A&M Forward Emanuel Miller
On his confidence to overcome a deficit…
“I think during those times, we have to stay disciplined. Stay focused on us and not worrying much about other teams. I think down the stretch, we just have to execute our plays and continue playing Texas A&M basketball. That’s us flying around, getting stops, and just doing anything to win.”
On what they did to win the rebounding margin…
“I think the first half, we came out fighting. In the second half, I felt like we could have done a better job of rebounding. That’s just effort. That’s all on us. There’s games where we are going to watch the film, get a recap of what we did wrong and learn from that.”
Florida Head Coach Mike White
On the key to pulling away in the second half…
“We just strung together some stops, and really moved the ball well. I thought that was the best we’ve moved the ball all year. That’s as well as we have played all year offensively. Texas A&M has really been defending at a high level. Their defense is unique, in that they do a great job of disrupting you, but also swarming to the basketball. They allow you, at times, no ball movement. But then at times, when you think you’ve got a driving lane, you drive it and they really collapse well. They fly around. They play really hard, have great activity, and for us to come here and score 78, we did a lot well offensively. With this current team, we’ve struggled at times against really good defenses. Especially on the road. That’s about as well as we’ve played, in the second half, offensively.”
On their defensive performance…
“When you’re making shots, it gives you a little bit of extra energy. When you’re playing with a lead on the road, sometimes it can give you a little bit more incentive to lock-in. I thought that our discipline was really good. We had to adjust, of course, and send a couple of guys at [Josh] Nebo, because he was terrific in the first half. We couldn’t guard him one-on-one. I thought our guys did a good job of adjusting there.”
Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics