NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Texas A&M used a 21-7 run to start the second half and claimed a 67-61 victory over Arkansas in the SEC Quarterfinals Friday evening at Bridgestone Arena.
Arkansas led by 13 (38-25) at halftime after a 3-pointer by Jordan Walsh at the buzzer.
However, the Aggies, which was 2-of-2 at the foul line in the first half, got to the charity stripe early and often to start the second half to set the tone for the A&M comeback. The Aggies were 16-of-22 at the line in the second half, compared to Arkansas going 5-of-9.
Texas A&M also dominated the glass to secure the win. The Aggies outrebounded the Razorbacks 43-26 and pulled down 17 offensive rebounds.
Arkansas set a program record in an SEC Tournament game with 11 blocked shots, including four each from Makhi Mitchell and Anthony Black. Nine of the rejections came in the first half.
Wade Taylor IV led A&M with 18 points, 16 coming in the second half and Henry Coleman III posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Nick Smith Jr., led Arkansas with 16 points and Mitchell contributed 15 points, thanks to five dunks, to accompany his four blocked shots.
Arkansas will find out its postseason destination on Sunday (Mar. 12). The CBS Selection Show will start at 5 pm (CT).
FIRST HALF: Arkansas 38, Texas A&M 25
• Texas A&M scored first but Nick Smith Jr., answered with two 3-pointers and Arkansas led the rest of the first half.
• Smith scored 9 of Arkansas’ first 11 points.
• Arkansas blocked nine shots in the first half, accounting for nine of A&M’s 19 missed shots.
• Arkansas shot 54.2% overall and 41.7% (5-of-12) from 3-point. A&M only shot 36.7% and was just 1-of-5 from 3-point.
• Texas A&M entered the game No. 1 in the NCAA in both free throws made and attempts. The Aggies were just 2-of-2 from the line in the first half. Arkansas was 7-of-10.
• Texas A&M outrebounded Arkansas 18-11, including 11 offensive rebounds. However, A&M only scored eight second chance points.
• Arkansas had eight assists on 13 made baskets.
• Smith led Arkansas with 13 points.
• Anthony Black had four blocked shots and Makhi Mitchell had three.
SECOND HALF: Arkansas 23, Texas A&M 42
• Coleman scored the first nine points for A&M to start the second half. Overall, he had 12 points and nine rebounds in the period.
• Taylor scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half.
• Both teams combined to go 0-of-13 from 3-point range in the second half (0-of-8 for Arkansas and 0-of-5 for A&M).
• Arkansas committed seven of its 12 turnovers in the period.
• Despite its struggles, Arkansas was up one (50-51) after a Davonte Davis steal and layup with 7:56 left. Arkansas was down four with 1:23 left and, after going down eight with 46 seconds left, got back to within four (65-61) with 27 seconds left.
• Texas A&M sealed the game with two free throws by Taylor with 14 seconds left.
• After shooting 54.2% in the first half, Arkansas was just 30% from the field in the second half.
• Arkansas’ starting lineup was Anthony Black – Nick Smith Jr. – Davonte Davis – Makhi Mitchell – Makhel Mitchell for the second time.
• Texas A&M won the tip.
• A&M’s Tyrece Radford scored the first points of the game at 19:35. Nick Smith Jr., scored the first points for Arkansas, a 3-pointer at 19:08.
• Ricky Council IV was the first Razorback sub.
• Arkansas and Texas A&M split the regular-season series, but the Aggies have now defeated Arkansas in the SEC Tournament in each of the last two years.
• Arkansas falls to 16-3 in SEC Tournament quarterfinal games.
• Anthony Black had two steals to tie Kareem Reid for the most steals by an Arkansas freshman in a season with 65.