Radford dominates DePaul, Aggies moves to 4-2

The Aggies used a new grid combination in this one, with Radford, Coleman, Dexter Dennis, Andre Gordon and Andersson Garcia getting the nods. A&M took the initial lead in their first possession of the game with a three-pointer from Boots Radford and never gave up the advantage for the rest of the contest. The Ags opened up a nine-point lead after just over 8 minutes of play after a steal from Wade Taylor led to a Radford breakaway dunk. A&M continued to maintain a healthy lead that grew to as much as 13 points and went into the break with a 38-27 lead.

The Aggies retreated further in the second half, extending the lead to as much as 20 points with just over 5 minutes to go and in complete control the rest of the way. The Ags increased their perimeter pressure, forcing DePaul into 16 turnovers. They also made a point of taking out shooters by keeping their hands in front of the shooter’s face to limit the demons to 33.9% off the ground in their own gym. The Aggies hit a respectable 25 of their 55 field goal attempts, good enough for 45.5%. A&M was only 7-for-21 from deep, but the Ags controlled play from the free throw line, hitting 25 of 31 attempts (80.6%). This was crucial as the two teams combined for 47 fouls and 58 free throw attempts.

The aforementioned Radford was the star of the show. Boots was electric with the ball in his hands, going 8 of 11 off the floor, 4 of 5 from beyond the arc and 11 of 13 off the line for a career-high 31 points. He also chipped 5 boards, a block, and a steal for good measure. Wade Taylor didn’t seem handicapped in his new role, walking away for 21 points, 5 assists and 6 steals. In addition to coming off the bench, Taylor has been deployed off the ball rather than in his typical point guard role. This allowed the offense to flow more openly and created new attack angles for Wade, who went 7-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line. Henry Coleman added 12 points of his own to go with 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Coleman’s 6 assists showed his athleticism and vision as he beat his defender, drawing rotations and finding the open man.

The Radford-Wade-Coleman trio scored a combined 64 of A&M’s 82 points. I wouldn’t expect such concentrated scoring to be the Aggies’ new recipe for success in the future, but it’s nice to see these three able to dictate the game when needed.

Up next for the Aggies is a Wednesday night home game against SMU at 7:00 p.m. at the Reed Arena. The Mustangs are still trying to gain a foothold in their freshman year under Rob Lanier, who took over after Tim Jankovich retired late last season. They currently sit 3-3 with wins over Texas A&M-Commerce, Evansville and Lamar and losses to Dayton, New Mexico and Louisiana-Lafayette.