West region No. 1 seed UConn opened up an 18-point halftime lead and cruised to a 92-66 win over No. 9 seed Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
UConn used hot shooting and intimidating defense to race out to an 18-point lead, 27-9, at the 8:25 mark in the first half.
A.J. Price hit a three-point jumper at the 3:19 mark to give UConn its biggest lead of the first half , 24 points, 46-22.
The Aggies clawed some back to reduce the halftime margin to 18, 51-33.
In the first half, the Aggies shot just 34.2% (13 of 38) compared to UConn's 58.6 % (17 of 29) that included 4 of 7 (57.1%) from 3-point range.
The Aggies were called for 11 personal fouls in the first half and UConn hit 13 of 14 free throw attempts (93%).
The Aggies needed a rebounding edge to be competitive in this game, but UConn outrebounded the Aggies 17-16 in the first half.
Individually in the first half, Jeff Adrien connected on 7 of 8 field goals in scoring 15 points, while A.J. Price scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers.l
For the Aggies, Derrick Roland shot just 1 of 8 in the first half.
The Aggies did hold UConn center Hasheem Thabeet to just 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 blocked shot in the first half.
The Aggies cut the UConn lead to 14 points, 53-39, in the first two minutes of the second half, while tagging both Thatbeet and Adrien with their third personal fouls.
UConn continued to shoot almnost 60% and went on a 19-11 run to extend the lead back out to 22 points with 12:14 left in the game.
From this point UConn cruised to a 92-66 win over Texas A&M.
Texas A&M never quit fighting in this game, but with UConn shooting 58% for the game, sinking 21 free throws, and outrebounding A&M 36-24, the Aggies were bound to struggle to compete.
The Aggies accomplished one of their goals in this game, holding 7-3 center Hasheem Thabeet to 6 points, 4 rebounds and 1 blocked shots.
But the defense of Thabeet threw off the Aggie offense and was key to Texas A&M shooting just 40%. The Aggies got little help from 3-point range, hitting just 3 of 15 attempts.
A.J. Price and Jeff Adrien provided the scoring punch for UConn, with Price scoring 27 points and Adrien adding 23 to lead the Huskies.
A successful Aggie season ends after becoming one of just three teams to have won a postseason game in each of the last five years.
This Aggie team showed amazing fight in coming back from 3-7 in the Big 12, to win 6 in a row to earn its fourth straight NCAA tourney invite, and to handily beat BYU in the first round of the tourney.
Texas A&M only loses one starter, Josh Carter, and will be one of the teams to watch next season.
Thanks men for a great season !