Woody Harrelson slams it home for Texas A&M in win over Auburn - Andy Lyons
The 11-seeded Aggies sent the 14-seeded Auburn Tigers packing tonight in their very first SEC Tournament Experience.
They always say you remember you first. Me? I remember it like it was yesterday. I snuck a case of beer from my dad's fridge in the garage, helped my girlfriend climb out of her window, and history was made in my '79 Chevy just around the corner from her house. Then I remember getting my ass kicked by my dad. Not because of sneaking out or keeping the proverbial pimp hand strong, but for stealing his beer. So yeah, there's that. Leave your story in the comments section, because why the hell not. Aaaand segue...
The Aggies popped their SEC Tournament cherry tonight with a 71-62 victory over Auburn in #SECVille (really, that's what we're going with for this, SEC?). The Ags started off really fast, but eventually lost their rhythm and had to slow down the pace. Okay, okay, I'm done with that reference. In a very common theme of the season, it wasn't a pretty win, but a win is a win. Both teams got off to a crazy hot shooting start to the game, but it was the Aggies that were able to withstand a few late attempts from the Tigers as the final seconds ticked off the clock. After starting the game 3-3 from behind the arc, Auburn finished the game 6-21 once the Aggies got more comfortable in their zone defense as the game went on. It was a great coaching decision from Coach Kennedy and staff to play almost exclusively a zone against a poor shooting Auburn team that was 40% from the field and 28% from 3 tonight. Leading scorers Frankie Sullivan, 19 points, and Chris Denson, 15 points, simply weren't enough for the Tigers to overcome a pretty sloppy performance from the team for the night.
The big question for the Aggies going in to tonight's game was how Elston Turner would be able to play with a broken left pinkie finger. It was clear from the start that a little tape on his left hand wasn't going to slow him down in this match-up. Elston finished the game 6-15 from the field, 2-7 from deep, and 8-8 from the line for 22 points (hooray math). Turner got some much needed support from Sophomore Kourtney Roberson and Freshman Alex Caruso. Roberson had a quiet yet very effective 11 points and 7 boards on 5-7 shooting. Roberson has been playing with more and more confidence as the season progressed, and the soft jumper from the top of the key showed it. Caruso tied his season high in points with 14 while shooting 50% from the field. The young wing player also chipped in with 6 assists on the night, which is half of the team total of 12 assists. Junior College transfer Fabyon Harris continued his level of tough and passionate play and finished the game with 11 points after suffering what looked like a nasty rolled ankle after nailing a three pointer. Harris, the shortest guy on the team, also finished the game with 6 rebounds, the second highest on the team.
Aside from Harris' ankle injury, the Aggies made it out of Round 1 of the SEC Tournament rather unscathed. There's no doubt about Harris' toughness and desire to play, but we'll see how much the ankle is bothering him when the team has shoot-around tomorrow. Turner definitely showed that the pinkie injury won't be a major setback to his game. The guard play from Turner, Caruso, and Harris was pretty solid tonight. The Aggies are going to need more of that, and Roberson is going to need some help down low when the Aggies face the 6-seed Missouri Tigers tomorrow night.