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Texas A&M overwhelms Wake Forest in NIT quarters

Mar 13, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Buzz Williams reacts during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Quenton Jackson and Wade Taylor IV scored 12 points each and Texas A&M relied on its defense, especially in a dominating first half, to beat visiting Wake Forest 67-52 on Wednesday in a National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal game in College Station, Texas.

The Aggies (26-12) advance to play the winner of Wednesday night’s Washington State-BYU game in one of the semifinals next Tuesday in New York City.

The game was never in doubt after the midway portion of the first half. The Aggies never trailed and led by 17 points at halftime, and Wake Forest would get no closer than nine points in the second half.

Tyrece Radford added 10 points for Texas A&M, which has won 10 of its past 11 games, with the only loss in that stretch coming to Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference tournament final.

Isaiah Mucius led all scorers with 15 points while Dallas Walton added 10 for the Demon Deacons (25-10). Wake Forest shot just 34 percent from the floor and committed 21 turnovers in the loss.

Texas A&M jumped on the Demon Deacons from the start, building a 13-2 lead after a layup by Jackson five minutes into the contest. The Aggies extended their advantage to as many as 18 points in the half, going up 27-9 at with 4:39 to play in the half before settling for a 32-15 lead at the break.

Jackson led all players with nine points at the half while Mucius’ four points paced Wake Forest before halftime. Texas A&M shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the half, but the Demon Deacons made just 4 of 27 attempts (a season-low 14.8 percent) over the first 20 minutes.

The Aggies led 40-22 after Taylor’s 3-pointer with 16:31 left before Wake Forest finally began punching back, forging an 8-0 run via two 3-pointers by Mucius and a layup by Khadim Sy.

But Texas A&M pushed the margin to 19 points after Radford’s layup with 6:25 left and never looked back, going up by 21 in the final minutes and swamping the Demon Deacons.

–Field Level Media