NIT Men’s Teams: Texas A&M beats Wake Forest to advance to Semifinals at Madison Square Garden

Mar 23, 2022

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Wade Taylor IV and Quenton Jackson had 12 points apiece as Texas A&M defeated Wake Forest 67-52 in the NIT quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

Tyrece Radford added 10 points and eight rebounds for Texas A&M (26-12).

Isaiah Mucius had 15 points for the Demon Deacons (25-10). Dallas Walton added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Wake Forest totaled 15 points in the first half, a season low for the team.


Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
National Invitation Tournament – Quarterfinals
Texas A&M 67, Wake Forest 52
Reed Arena (Bryan-College Station, Texas)

RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

  • Top-seeded Texas A&M defeated second-seeded Wake Forest, 67-52, in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament inside Reed Arena on Wednesday.
  • Texas A&M has improved its record to 26-12 on the year. The Aggies’ 26 wins tie for the third-most wins in program history.
  • The Maroon & White have won in 10 of their last 11 games. They have recorded double-digit victories in seven of the 10 wins.
  • In the NIT, the Aggies own a 10-7 record and will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in program history.
  • Texas A&M owns a 6-2 record all-time in NIT games played in Bryan-College Station.
  • A&M evens the all-times series against Wake Forest, 1-1.

TEAM NOTES

  • The Aggies held the Demon Deacons to four points for the first 8:45 of the game, forcing five turnovers.
  • A&M went on a 10-0 run in the first half to extend its lead to 27-9. While doing so, they forced four turnovers, keeping Wake Forest scoreless for 5:34.
  • Texas A&M held Demon Deacons to a season-low 15 points in the first half. The 15 points is the lowest the Aggies have held an opponent in the first half this season.
  • The Aggies held Wake Forest to a 14.8 field goal percentage in the first half. The last time the Demon Deacons shot less that 20-percent from the field in a half was at Georgia Tech in 2011.
  • The Maroon & White won the turnover battle, forcing 21 while surrendering 12. A&M recorded 20 points off turnovers. Wednesday’s contest marked the ninth game in which the Aggies have forced 20-or-more turnovers in a game this season.
  • Texas A&M finished with 14 steals, marking the 21st time this season they have surpassed double figures.
  • In the paint, the Aggies outscored the Demon Deacons, 32-22. They are now 20-4 when outscoring the opponent in the paint.
  • Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Quenton JacksonWade Taylor IVHenry Coleman IIITyrece Radford and Manny Obaseki for the 11th time (10-1).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Quenton Jackson recorded team-high 12 points and has scored in double figures 30 times this season. It marked the 17th game this season where Jackson has led the team in points.
  • Wade Taylor IV also finished the game with 12 points, marking the 15th time the freshman has logged double figures.
  • Tyrece Radford tallied his 25th game in double figures, scoring 10 points in a team-high 31 minutes.
  • Radford led the team in rebounds for the third-straight game with eight. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native has hauled in a team-best 33 rebounds through the first three games of the NIT.

UP NEXT
Texas A&M heads to New York City to compete in the NIT semifinal against Washington State at Madison Square Garden on March 29.

Postgame Quotes
Texas A&M Head Coach Buzz Williams
Opening Statement…
“The first thing I would like to say is thank you to Ross [Bjork] and the administration for allowing all of the community to have access for the last three games. I think it’s been a tipping point in the ambiance and the environment. I thought tonight was incredible. Obviously, there was a lot at stake. I think long-term we found some new supporters. We appreciate those that are coming out. It’s been a lot of fun. I thought our staff was tremendous and the adjustments we made specific to Wake Forest. You know my relationship with coach [Steve Forbes]. He’s one of my favorite people in the world and I did not want to play him. I have the utmost respect for him, and he has multiple head coaches on his staff. They were a hard prep. I thought our staff and the adjustments that we made were spot on. I thought the execution by our players’ nuance was important.”

On defensive adjustments…
“Relative to our normal defense, I would say that we made 8-10% adjustments, but I thought those adjustments at this late of a stage is kind of hard. It’s not only the games that you’ve played your defense, but it’s also all your practices. Those adjustments were critical, and they were the right adjustments, but the execution by our players was really important.”

Sophomore Guard Hassan Diarra
On returning to his hometown…
“I was thinking about going to New York the whole game. It’s a blessing to play in front of my family for the first time. I was just so excited and I’m glad we won. We did a great job today, especially not turning the ball over. We did a good job.”

Graduate Guard Quenton Jackson
On his final home game…
“It was huge. My emotions almost got the best of me because it’s just a lot of love. Coming from California, I never expected it to end this way. The support and the love that I have, not only just for me, but for my teammates as well. The way that they were able to come in and support us for this win was just amazing. I can’t thank everybody who came enough for that. It feels good to win my last game at Reed, but New York is where we need to be and handle business.”

Wake Forest Head Coach Steve Forbes
Opening Statement…
“Credit to Buzz [Williams] and his staff for keeping their team together and winning this game tonight. I thought he had a way tougher job than I did to get his team ready to play. We lost on a Wednesday in the ACC tournament, and it was a tough loss. We came home, we had some practices and time to talk and get ready for the disappointment of not getting into the tournament. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to play in the SEC Championship Game and go to that banquet room then not get into the tournament. For him to get his players ready to play on Tuesday against Alcorn State is a testament to the players and to the staff. He lost eight in a row and they kept believing, they kept getting better. That’s a testament to Buzz and his staff and his players. They deserve to go to New York City. They’re an elite defensive team.”

COURTESY TEXAS A&M ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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