Texas A&M’s season ends with a thud in 76-59 loss to Penn State

Mar 16, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Andrew Funk (10) shoots the ball against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s season ends with a thud in 76-59 loss to Penn State

No. 10-seed Penn State 76, No. 7-seed Texas A&M 59

No. 7-seed Texas A&M fell 76-59 to No. 10-seed Penn State in Thursday night’s Round of 64 matchup in Des Moines, Iowa. The Nittany Lions used a 3-point barrage to pull away in the latter portion of the first half and never looked back en route to a comfortable win.  

Andrew Funk scored 27 points while making a ridiculous eight 3-pointers in just 10 attempts for Penn State, while Jalen Pickett added 19 points of his own. Dexter Dennis led the Aggies with 19 points. Texas A&M made just 33.9% of its field goals, while Penn State stayed hot all night en route to a 59.1% mark from beyond the arc.

At 25-9, 15-3 in the SEC, and with an SEC championship game appearance under its belt, Texas A&M was blatantly underseeded by the NCAA Tournament committee in the eyes of many. Unfortunately for the Aggies, the committee’s decision ran them into a scorching-hot No. 10 seed in the Nittany Lions. 

Penn State’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament was their first since 2011, earned with a late-season run that saw the Nittany Lions come up just two points short of a Big Ten championship. Second-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s team maintained its momentum against Texas A&M and now will take on the No. 2-seed Texas Longhorns on Saturday in the Round of 32. 

The Aggies and Nittany Lions exchanged buckets in the early portions of the game, with neither team holding a lead of more than four points before the under-12 media timeout. With 11:56 to go, Texas A&M led 12-11 behind six points from Julius Marble. 

Penn State grabbed control of the game with the run that followed, scoring 17 of the game’s next 20 points. Wade Taylor IV’s two early fouls kept him out of the game for significant portions of the first half, and Texas A&M made just one of its first nine 3-pointers. On the flip side, Andrew Funk drilled three of his first four 3-point attempts to help Penn State build a 24-15 advantage with 5:45 to go before halftime. After a timeout by the Aggies, Myles Dread drilled a 3-pointer of his own to put the Nittany Lions ahead by 12. 

Texas A&M’s first half turned disastrous in the final minutes, as Penn State extended its lead to as high as 38-20 behind red-hot 3-point shooting. The Nittany Lions entered halftime with a 16-point lead, leaving Buzz Williams’ squad with a ton of work to do to keep its season alive. 

Penn State made six of nine 3-pointers in the first half and shot 54.2% overall, paced by Andrew Funk’s 15 points. No Aggie reached double figures before heading to the locker room, and Texas A&M made just 8-of-25 field goals overall. 

Andrew Funk continued his incredible shooting night shortly after the second half began, drilling his fifth 3-pointer in six attempts to increase Penn State’s lead to 43-24. Meanwhile, Texas A&M missed four straight triples to start the second half. With 15 minutes to go in the game, Nittany Lion guards Andrew Funk and Jalen Pickett had combined for 29 points compared to Texas A&M’s 28. 

The Nittany Lions extended their lead to 59-36 with 12:06 left after making five of their first six 3-pointers after halftime. Overall, Penn State reached 11-for-15 from beyond the arc while pushing Texas A&M against the ropes. 

When Jalen Pickett drilled a 3-pointer to give him 19 points on the night, Penn State’s lead reached a game-high 26 with seven minutes to go.

The Nittany Lions cruised from there, maintaining a comfortable lead into the game’s final minutes and eventually winning by 17.

Texas A&M’s season ended in blowout fashion Thursday night, but the program’s progress has been notable under head coach Buzz Williams. Penn State will take on Texas on Saturday for a trip to Kansas City for the Sweet 16.

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  • surprising outcome for the Aggies. Great recap. what a first Thursday to the Madness

  • Aggy: We got underseeded!
    Also Aggy: *gets blown out in the first round by a 10-seed.*

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