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Aggie men's hoops loses first round NCAA Tournament game to Penn State

In the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-2018 season, seven-seed Texas A&M lost to 10-seed Penn State in the opening round 76-59.
Credit: KAGS

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As Texas A&M head coach Buzz Williams addressed the media following Texas A&M's first round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Penn State, he summarized it with four perfect words, "We were not sharp."

Texas A&M's last lead over the Nittany Lions came with 12:46 left in the first half. When Penn State regained the lead with a Jalen Pickett jumper it never looked back. 

The Nittany Lions led 38-22 at halftime and ended up winning 76-59. Going back to Pickett, the guard did it all for Penn State racking up 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. 

Pickett got plenty of help from Andrew Funk who poured in 27 points thanks to knocking down eight three-pointers. As a team, Penn State hit 13 of their 22 three-point attempts. On that note, Williams said, "We could have been better offensively, but our main problem was defensively."

Aggie guard Dexter Dennis added, "They just took advantage of us in a lot of situations and had us rotating the whole game." 

As for A&M's offense, the Aggies only shot 33.9 percent from the field. Coming into the game, the Aggies led the nation in both free throws made and attempted per game. In the loss, A&M only went 9 of 12 from the free throw line which is well below their season average. 

In December it was hard to imagine the Aggies even making the NCAA Tournament considering they were 6-5 before Christmas. 

Once SEC play started the Aggies hit a different gear going onto win 15 league games which is the most in 100 years for the program.

On that note Williams said, "As yucky as this game was we will look back at the season with great memories." 

A senior, Dennis echoed that sentiment saying, "Just being an Aggie, this is my best year. This is the most I have ever had."

A&M ends the season at 25-10 overall. 

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