COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)-- Antwan Space sank a 3-pointer in overtime to lift Texas A&M to a 68-65 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
With the game tied at 65 in OT, Space got the ball with 8 seconds remaining, dribbled a couple of times and calmly sank the winning shot. Then, following the inbound pass, Space stole the ball from Tennessee in preserving the win.
Tennessee (16-11, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) had erased an eight-point deficit with 3:20 remaining in regulation, but Jarnell Stokes missed a free throw as time expired that would have won the game for the Volunteers.
Texas A&M (16-11, 7-7) swept the regular-season series from the Volunteers, after winning 57-56 on Jan. 11, also on a last-second 3-pointer by Space.
Alex Caruso and Jamal Jones each scored 14 points for the Aggies.
Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 20, while Stokes added 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Texas A&M 68, Tennessee 65 (OT)
February 22, 2014 ● Reed Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 16-11 on the season with a 7-7 SEC record after a thrilling 68-65 overtime victory against Tennessee on Saturday afternoon in Reed Arena.
● The Aggies have matched their SEC win total from a year ago with four games left to play in the regular season.
● Additionally, Texas A&M improved to 15-2 on its home court this season.
● In overtime games, the Aggies are 1-2 this year and 34-49 all-time in the extra session.
● The series between the schools now stands at 5-3 in favor of Tennessee, but the Aggies have taken both of the two meetings with the Volunteers this season.
● Texas A&M held a 21-2 edge in bench points, with the Volunteer reserves not scoring until Antonio Barton converted two free throws with just 16 seconds remaining in the overtime session.
● A&M also benefited from 14 UT turnovers which led to 14 points for the Aggies.
● For the game, the Aggies shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the field while the Volunteers owned a 42.6 percent (23-of-54).
● A&M headed into the intermission down 27-24 but after the break, the Aggies outscored Tennessee 35-32 in the second half and 9-6 overtime … During the second half and overtime, A&M shot a blistering 16-for-27 (59.3%).
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Shawn Smith, Antwan Space Green, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the fifth time this season.
● Sophomore Antwan Space once again proved to be a Tennessee killer as he buried the game-winning 3-pointer with just 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime … The DeSoto, Texas, native added seven boards and two steals.
● Earlier this season on Jan. 11, it was Space who delivered a game-winning 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left on the clock during a 57-56 Aggie in Knoxville.
● Junior Jamal Jones enjoyed his sixth straight game in double-figure scoring, contributing 14 in the win.
● Senior Fabyon Harris provided a huge spark off the bench with 13 points, going 3-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso chipped in with 14 points for the second straight contest as he converted 6-of-9 (66.6%) shot attempts from the floor while also dishing out a game-high seven assists.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 48-44 in his third season at Texas A&M and 259-223 in 16 years as a head coach.
● The Aggies are back on the road next week when they pay a visit to the Maravich Center in Baton Rouge, La., to battle LSU on Wednesday ... The game is slated to tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by SEC TV.
Texas A&M 68, Tennessee 65 (OT)
February 22, 2014 ● Reed Arena
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
"Obviously, a great win for us. I think we played really great defense for the majority of the game. I have a lot of respect for Tennessee. Our guys continue to fight, continue to compete and that’s what I'm most proud of at this time of the year."
On Antwan Space's shot to win the game…
"With eight seconds on the clock, we wanted the last shot. We drew it up for Space to fake the handoff to Jamal (Jones) because we thought he'd attract a lot of attention. (Jarnell) Stokes did a really good job of playing defense on him, and if you know Antwan, if he thinks a big man is guarding him, he's gonna shoot a three. We were really blessed that the ball went in. That's his shot. I don't love it every time, but it seems like it works against Tennessee."
On the game plan on Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes…
"We wanted to keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible. Stokes has great hands and great feet. Obviously, he's very strong. It's hard to keep him from getting it or splitting double teams. He played 43 minutes and our post guys didn't have to play that much. I think that helped us in the end."
On Fabyon Harris…
"He was really down last game. I just told him 'You're going to help us win a game. You have to keep fighting.' I told him to keep his head in there and be about the team. If he did those two things, his time would come. I'm really proud of him for fighting through it."
On Alex Caruso…
"This was probably his best game in SEC play. He made great decisions, got to the rim and finished, and made all of his free throws until the last one, which I know he's disappointed about. Alex is all about winning, and he made some winning plays today."
TEXAS A&M SENIOR FAYBON HARRIS
On his effort off the bench…
“Coach Kennedy said, ‘Fab, I know this hasn’t been your year, just keep playing through things and good things will happen.’ That’s what happened tonight.”
On playing at home…
“The support we get from the fans, knowing we have people behind us. We’re more comfortable. We practice in here so more shots fall. Our comfort level is just higher.”
On his confidence growing after a solid performance…
“It can only go higher from here. Just keep working and doing what I’ve been doing.”
TEXAS A&M SOPHOMORE ANTWAN SPACE
On the game-winning 3-pointer…
“Coach drew up the play for me. He had confidence in me, so I had confidence in myself. I just shot it. When it left my hands, I just felt it going in. It was a good shot. I want to thank my coach for drawing that play up for me and having confidence in me. The option was for me to fake hand off and just isolate so I could get to the rim on (Jarnell) Stokes. [Coach Kennedy] pretty much drew the play out for me even though I was struggling throughout the game … The plan was for me to get all the way to the basket, but I saw them playing that, so I just shot it”
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH CUONZO MARTIN
“This was a hard fought game that went down to the wire. I thought our guys did a great job battling back, putting pressure on those guys, taking into overtime. It was a hard fought game, we just came up short.”
On reason for timeout at end of regulation…
“So we could get into a good set. We were scrambled offensively because [Texas A&M] switched some things. One thing I wanted to do was give our guys a good shot and a good look at the basket. Antonio made the 3-point shot [after the timeout was called], but I wanted to give our guys a good look. We got a good look out of Jarnell.”
On Jarnell’s play to tie the game at the end of regulation…
“It’s a play we run in practice. We go over our situations all the time. There’s different options out of that particular play. But for us needing two points, going inside to Jarnell with one-on-one isolation. I thought Josh did a tremendous job of putting that ball through there and I thought Jarnell did a great job at catching that ball.”