Vols Lose Late to Aggies
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Antwan Space hit a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left in the game to give Texas A&M a stunning 57-56 win on Saturday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. Space’s 3-pointer gave the Aggies their first lead since they scored the game’s opening basket.
A&M improved to 11-4 and 2-0 in the SEC while the Vols saw their four-game win streak come to an end. Tennessee is now 10-5 and 1-1 in the league.
The Aggies took advantage of two missed free throws by Jeronne Maymon with 17 seconds left as Jordan Green grabbed the rebound for the Aggies. That set the stage for Space’s trifecta, just his second field goal of the game, coming off a feed from Alex Caruso.
Jordan McRae raced down the court, but his desperation 3-pointer grazed the front of the rim and the crowd of 18,079 went home disappointed.
Jamal Jones led all scorers with a career-high 23 points for the Aggies. Caruso chipped in with 12 points and eight assists.
McRae (9 points) and Jarnell Stokes (6) were held well below their normal scoring averages.
Up by 14 at the half, Tennessee saw its lead dwindle to two with four minutes left in the game before consecutive buckets by Maymon and Richardson regained a two-possession lead with 2:21 left on the clock, 54-48.
Jones’ 3-pointer made it a one-possession game yet again with 2:03 at 54-51. Barton calmly swished two free throws with 36.9 seconds left to put the Vols up 56-52.
Caruso drove the length of the court and scored with 29.7 remaining, cutting the Aggies’ deficit to 56-54.
Texas A&M had a chance to tie the game with 17.2 left but Caruso was short on the first of two free throw attempts and long on the second leaving the Aggies two points behind.
Maymon corralled his 15th rebound and was fouled. But he missed both foul shots which set the stage for the Aggies’ dramatics in the final seconds. Space proceeded to knock down the fourth 3-point field goal of his season.
Tennessee took control late in the first half with a 15-6 spurt to lead 32-18 at intermission. The Aggies missed their final 10 field goals of the half as they didn’t make a basket for the last 9:34 of the first half.
Tennessee held Texas A&M to just 18 points and 25 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes.
The defensive effort of allowing just 18 first-half points, was the best for the Vols in an SEC game since leading Auburn, 30-16 on Jan. 28, 2012.
The Vols used an 11-4 run, keyed by five Richardson points, to take a 19-11 lead with 12:42 left in the first half.
A 3-point bank shot by A.J. Davis with 5:45 left in the first half gave the Vols the first double-figure lead of the game at 27-17.
This was Texas A&M’s first game in Knoxville as a member of the SEC. The Vols now lead the all-time series, 5-2 including 3-1 at home. In the team’s initial meeting as conference foes last season, UT outlasted A&M, 93-85, in four overtimes, the longest game in Tennessee basketball history.