GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)Julius Marble, Wade Taylor IV and Tyrese Radford scored 17 points apiece and Texas A&M blew an 11-point halftime lead Wednesday night before the Aggies beat Florida 66-63.
Colin Castleton made two free throws and added a layup 18 seconds later to make it 63-all with 1:06 to play but Taylor answered with a floater with 42 seconds left. Radford drew a charge against Florida’s Trey Bonham with 7 seconds to go and then hit 1-of-2 free throws to cap the scoring.
Texas A&M (9-5, 1-0 SEC) has won three in a row following consecutive losses to Memphis and Wofford – the Terriers’ only road win in six tries this season – before a week-long break around Christmas.
Will Richard hit a free throw to give Florida a 1-0 lead before the opening tip. The Aggies were assessed a technical foul for delay of game because they had left the jerseys at the hotel and someone with the team had to go get them.
Bonham hit four 3-pointers and led Florida (7-7, 0-2) with 21 points but committed seven of the Gators’ 20 turnovers. Castleton added 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting and four blocks.
Marble converted a three-point play to spark a 9-0 run capped by his dunk that made it 48-39 with 12:54 remaining but the Aggies missed seven consecutive field-goal attempts over the next five-plus minutes. Florida responded with a 15-5 spurt that gave the Gators their first lead since 4-2 when Richard hit a 3-pointer and Castleton followed 30 seconds later with a three-point play that made it 54-53 with 5:49 left.
The Gators have lost three consecutive games and four of their last five.
Castleton was hit with a technical after he threw down a dunk and, 32 seconds later Bonham hit a 3-pointer, for a comment directed at the Texas A&M bench. Taylor made the ensuing two free throws and his 3-pointer with nearly-five minutes left in the first half capped an 8-0 spurt that gave the Aggies an 11-point lead – their largest of the game.
Marble hit a jumper to give Texas A&M a 34-23 halftime lead.
Texas A&M plays at home Saturday against LSU.
Florida plays host to Georgia on Saturday.
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