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Poor shooting marks Texas A&M win over Florida

Jan 18, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) and Florida Gators forward Alex Fudge (3) pursue a rebound during the first half at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Marble scored a career-high 19 points and Texas A&M won its seventh straight game with a 54-52 victory over Florida on Wednesday night in Southeastern Conference play at College Station, Texas.

Dexter Dennis added 11 points and a career-best 16 rebounds for the Aggies (13-5, 5-0 SEC), who held Florida to 7.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half.

Colin Castleton recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for Florida (10-8, 3-3), which had a three-game winning streak halted. Myreon Jones added 10 points and three steals for the Gators and missed a 3-point attempt as time expired.

The Aggies shot just 35.5 percent from the field, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range.

The Gators made a lowly 26.2 percent of their shots and were 6 of 26 from behind the arc. Florida was 2 of 26 during the miserable shooting first half.

Marble’s three-point play gave the Aggies a 44-37 lead with 6:52 remaining. Florida’s Riley Kugel hit a 3-pointer18 seconds later to start a 7-2 run that brought the Gators within two with 2:17 left.

Wade Taylor IV later hit two free throws with 1:01 left to give Texas A&M a 50-46 edge. However, Kugel knocked down another trey to make it a one-point game with 29.6 seconds remaining.

Taylor sank two free throws with 23.3 seconds left and Tyrece Radford converted a fast-break layup with 7.9 seconds remaining to give Texas A&M a 54-49 lead.

Jones drilled a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left for the Gators. The Aggies turned the ball over with 2.5 seconds left, but Jones’ final attempt was nowhere close to the rim.

At the outset, the Gators missed their first eight attempts before Jones connected from 3-point range with 16:27 left in the half.

Florida then went 12:44 before its first-half field goal. The Gators missed 12 shots in a row before Kyle Lofton scored on a putback with 3:43 left.

Marble scored the final two baskets to cap a 12-point half as the Aggies led 23-12 at the break.

Texas A&M led by 13 before Alex Fudge connected on a long two-pointer 85 seconds into the second half for the Gators’ third field-goal of the game. That started a 7-0 run in which Will Richard scored on a dunk and Jones buried a 3-pointer.

A three-point play by Castleton moved Florida within 37-35 with 8:35 left.

–Field Level Media