Vols will have their hands full with Mississippi State

Kennedy will not be retained as A&M men's basketball head coach

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy extended his job for at least a day as the Aggies handled Vanderbilt 69-52 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Nashville, Tenn. Heading into Thursday, Quinndary Weatherspoon led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18.5 points per game while Peters led Mississippi State in assists with 5.3 assists per game and Reggie Perry led the Bulldogs on the glass with 7.1 rebounds per game this season.

"I'm so pleased with our group as we finished the season strong winning five out of our last seven and gained momentum as we enter the SEC Tournament especially with how strong the bracket looks this year", said Bulldogs head coach Ben Howland.

The victory enabled the Bulldogs (23-9) to advance to the quarterfinals on Friday where the Bulldogs take on third-seeded and No. 8 Tennessee.

The Aggies won the only regular season meeting between the two teams by earning a seven-point victory a week and a half ago, and it was a game that saw Vanderbilt go 5 of 30 from 3-point range. Flagg led the Aggies in both scoring and rebounds this season as a sophomore. Williams had 25 points and nine rebounds, but the Volunteers had trouble dealing with a speedy Tigers team that stung them on the perimeter for 13 3-pointers - the second-most it allowed in a game this season.

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His mid-range jumper about a minute later forced a Vanderbilt timeout at 15:23, the lead up to 17.

The Aggies, needing to win the tournament to have any hope of postseason play, played a pair of walk-on guards, Mark French and Chris Collins, 15 and 31 minutes, respectively.

In a conference and conference tournament historically dominated by Kentucky, the Volunteers are eager to end the lengthy conference tournament title drought after claiming a share of the SEC regular-season title a year ago. "I'm really happy for our guys, excited about the win". You can't win at this level and in this league with the type of teams we're playing against if you're not at your best. They outrebounded the Aggies 38-24 and had more assists (17-9) and steals (8-7).

"We knew we couldn't let up on defense", Carter said. "We knew we just had to kind of step on their neck a little bit and just keep getting stops". The victor of Thursday's game advances to Friday's quarterfinal round and a meeting with No. 8 Tennessee (27-4). That's back-to-back games where we had 22, our previous game against Texas A&M, our last game of the year, then 17 today.

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