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Balanced scoring leads No. 24 Texas A&M past Loyola Chicago

Mar 31, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Buzz Williams claps for his players during the first half of the NIT college basketball finals against the Xavier Musketeers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Coleman III scored 13 points to lead a balanced offensive attack as No. 24 Texas A&M defeated Loyola Chicago 67-51 on Sunday afternoon in the seventh-place game in the Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, S.C.

The Aggies (3-2) bounced back from two losses earlier in the tournament via a stifling defense performance, especially in the second half. Texas A&M led by 11 points at the halftime and by 21 with 7:48 to play; it never let the Ramblers get closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

Julius Marble added 11 points for the Aggies while Wade Taylor IV hit for 10. Eleven players saw the court and nine of them scored.

Philip Alston led all scorers with 16 points but no other Loyola player had more than nine points. The Ramblers (2-3), who dropped all three games in this event, committed 27 turnovers in Sunday’s defeat.

The game went back and forth in the early minutes before Texas A&M forged a 7-0 run capped by a dunk by Julius Marble that produced an 18-10 lead. The Aggies built their advantage to as many as 11 points when Marble ripped down a rebound on the offensive end and laid it back up to finish off a 7-0 spurt over the final 3:41 of the half. That pushed A&M’s lead 33-22 at the break.

Coleman led Texas A&M with six points at the half as the nine Aggies scored. Texas A&M outshot Loyola 46.2 percent to 36.8 percent over the first 20 minutes of play.

Alston’s eight points paced the Ramblers and led all scorers; he was 3 of 5 from the floor but the rest of the team was just 4 of 14 from the floor. Loyola also committed 12 turnovers in the first half that led to 15 A&M points.

The Aggies used a half-court, trapping defense early in the second half to make sure Loyola would not get back in the game and expanded their advantage to 46-28 after a steal and dunk by Andersson Garcia with 13:42 to play.

–Field Level Media