Hefner has 19, Taylor adds 16 as No. 15 Texas A&M routs Texas A&M-Commerce 78-46 in opener
Tue, Nov 7, 2023
NCAAB News (AP)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Hayden Hefner scored 19 points, Wade Taylor IV had 16 and No. 15 Texas A&M opened the season with a 78-46 win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Monday night.
The Aggies were up by 13 early in the second half when they used a 13-2 run to extend the lead to 55-31 with 15 minutes to go. Taylor scored the first five points in that stretch, and he and Hefner made consecutive 3s to cap the key spurt.
Taylor, the preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, went to the bench for good a couple minutes later with Texas A&M in control of the game. He had six assists and four rebounds in 22 minutes.
Taylor made four 3-pointers and Hefner had three, helping the Aggies go 11 for 28 from deep.
Texas A&M-Commerce was led by Jerome Brewer Jr., who had 13 points. Kalen Williams finished with 10.
The Aggies entered this season ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 for the first time since coming in at No. 25 in 2018 in coach Billy Kennedy's second-to-last season. That season ended with a loss in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tourney.
They're hoping to take another step in the fifth season under coach Buzz Williams after reaching the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2018.
Texas A&M-Commerce used an 11-0 spurt to close to 20-18 with about nine minutes left in the first half. But the Aggies went on an 11-4 run, including six points from Hefner, to stretch the lead to 31-22 with five minutes until halftime.
The Aggies played well against a lesser opponent but will need to improve after Monday's slow start as they face tougher competition on the road starting Friday.
Texas A&M-Commerce: Visits Texas Tech on Wednesday before a trip to No. 16 Kentucky on Friday night.
Texas A&M: Visits Ohio State on Friday before a trip to SMU on Tuesday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll"