An unexpected technical foul with 9.7 seconds left in overtime of Kentucky’s loss at Texas A&M on Saturday might have been the reason the Aggies beat UK at home on a last-second shot.
The Aggies won after Danuel House put up a tough jumper that fell short, but A&M freshman hoss Tyler Davis grabbed the rebound and put it back just before the buzzer. The 79-77 ending put a stop to 14th-ranked Kentucky’s win streak at four games.
The final score was the 30th lead change of the game. The dramatic affair also featured 11 ties. The final possessions got weird, though. Kentucky big man Isaac Humphries was assessed a technical foul after he celebrated a big UK play by slamming the ball onto the court. That technical foul was Humphries’ fifth, so while he was also fouled during the play, A&M was awarded two free throws.
House sank both those shots to give A&M a 77-76 lead. With Humphries no longer eligible to shoot the foul shots, Kentucky brought in freshman Skal Labissiere, who did not play much of the game. Skal missed the back end of his two shots. With the game tied at 77, A&M set up for the final play and got out with the dramatic win.
Here’s how Humphries earned the T.
The game was the third straight one in College Station between UK and A&M that required overtime. Kentucky won the previous two meetings, including last season’s tilt that went to double OT.
Kentucky nearly took the win despite the fact it didn’t have senior forward Alex Poythress, plus vital role palyer Derek Willis left the game in the second half with a turned right ankle. Sophomore All-American candidate Tyler Ulis led Kentucky with 22 points and 11 assists. Jamal Murray had 21 points for the Cats.
Texas A&M received 24 points and eight rebounds from Jalen Jones. Davis had 15 points and 12 boards. The Aggies can attribute their win to 20 rebounds — because they shot 39 percent.
This was a weird game, though. It had too many referee reviews, the technical might have been the right call by the book but in reality was completely ridiculous, and each team offered up a lot of chances for the other to take the game. Because of all of this, it was compelling. Kentucky lost its chance to take control on the SEC. Now the Wildcats have a one-game lead in the loss column on A&M, South Carolina (won on Saturday) and LSU (lost on Saturday, looked horrid while doing so).
It’s going to be hard for Kentucky (20-7) to land anything better than a 4 seed going forward, and doing that might require running the table until Selection Sunday. Wildcat fans have a right to feel irked with how this game played out, but all said, it was a road game and you were without some key pieces, and so a loss in the big picture isn’t a huge surprise.
The win is huge for the Aggies because they won’t play an NCAA Tournament-caliber team again until the SEC semifinals — at the soonest. It’s Mississippi State, Missouri, Auburn and Vanderbilt to close out the regular season. And if A&M doesn’t reach the SEC semis, the Aggies won’t play an NCAA Tournament team until, y’know, they’re in the NCAA Tournament. But this win ensures they’ll have a good seed, barring a collapse down the stretch that doesn’t seem practical.