Wade Taylor IV scores 31 to lead Texas A&M to OT victory…

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Wade Taylor IV scored a game-high 31 points, Tyrece Radford scored a season-high 28 points and Texas A&M defeated No. 6 Kentucky 97-92 in overtime on Saturday.

Radford hit the only field goal of the extra period, going 1 for 2 at the free throw line. Taylor made all four of his free throws in the extra frame.

Taylor hit 6 of 13 from three-point range after shooting 3 of 20 in his last two games.

In their last two games, both losses in the Southeastern Conference, the Aggies shot less than 30% from the field and less than 20% from 3-point range.

“I think it’s the exact opposite of what happened here last Saturday (against LSU),” coach Buzz Williams said. “A different opponent, but how we operated, how we worked, how we competed was more in line with who we need to be.”

With seven seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 87, Radford hit both of his free throws after going 0 for 5 at the free throw line. The Aggies (10-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) forced a long 3-pointer from Rob Dillingham as time expired, but Radford was called for a foul on the rebound attempt and sent Reed Sheppard to the line with less than a second left. Sheppard hit both for the Wildcats (12-3, 2-1), sending the game into overtime.

Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) reacts after making a 3-point basket against Kentucky late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in College Station, Texas.  (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) reacts after making a 3-point basket against Kentucky late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Over the final five minutes of the game, Dillingham and Taylor combined to hit seven three-pointers in the back-and-forth affair.

“I told our team, ‘They’re desperate. They’re a desperate team at home. They’ve got to have this game. Let’s make it hard to beat us,'” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “I thought so, but the end of regulation, when we had a chance and overtime, it was like, ‘I’m just going to do my own thing.’ And that’s up to me as a coach.”

Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves scored 22, including 5 of 10 from behind the line. DJ Wagner had 18 and Dillingham had 15 for the Wildcats.

A&M shot 38% from 3-point range in the game, the highest mark in the category since its Dec. 6 win over DePaul. Kentucky finished at 39% and made 15 of 39 from behind the arc.

The Aggies jumped out to a 15-8 lead in the first four minutes of the game and saw that lead expand to 11 with five minutes left in the first half. Taylor finished the first half 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

Kentucky’s transition play fueled its offense throughout the first half, with senior guard Reeves scoring 16 points in the first 20.

“We just wanted to continue to get stops because we know stops are going to lead us in our offense,” Taylor said. “They scored 90 points, which is a lot, but I feel like we were still together as a team. We said to each other, ‘Just keep shooting. Shots will fall and we’ll be fine. I think that’s the case. .’ what happened today.”

BIG PICTURE

Williams is coming off his first win over Kentucky in his fourth try during his time at A&M. All four matches were decided by an average of 4.6 points.

NEXT ONE

Kentucky opens a pair of home games against Mississippi State on Wednesday night.

Texas A&M begins a two-game road swing at Arkansas.

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Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) and Tyrece Radford (23) react after beating Kentucky in overtime in an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in College Station, Texas.  (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Texas A&M guard Wade Taylor IV (4) and Tyrece Radford (23) react after beating Kentucky in overtime in an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

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