Texas A&M puts improving offense up against lowly Vanderbilt

Texas A&M, winners of three straight for the first time since November, will tangle with a cold-shooting Vanderbilt team on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn.A month ago, the Aggies scored 53 and 55 point

Texas A&M puts improving offense up against lowly Vanderbilt

Texas A&M, winners of three straight for the first time since November, will tangle with a cold-shooting Vanderbilt team on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn.

A month ago, the Aggies scored 53 and 55 points against LSU and Auburn, respectively, in a pair of losses to open SEC play.

But last week, Texas A&M (15-8, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) went to last-place Missouri and scored a 79-60 win. It returned home Saturday for an 85-69 blasting of then-No. 6 Tennessee, which is allowing just 68.0 points per game.

Wade Taylor (19.9 ppg) has been a consistent scorer for the Aggies, but has had little help.

Against Tennessee, Tyrece Radford (15.0) stepped up to score 27 points, marking his third consecutive game scoring at least 22 or more.

Aggies coach Buzz Williams said Radford’s resurgence is easy to explain.

“I would (attribute) most of it to his ability health-wise,” Williams said of Radford, who’s had difficulty breathing this season. “He’s back and comfortable because of the practices and the games.”

When Texas A&M misses, Andersson Garcia has been there to snag 17 offensive rebounds his past two games, chipping in 16 more on defense.

There have been rebounds aplenty when the Commodores play. Vanderbilt (6-17, 1-9) ranks 347th nationally in 3-point shooting (28.4 percent) and 303rd (46.9 percent) on 2-pointers this season, according to KenPom.com.

Consequently, Vanderbilt has lost 16 of its past 19. Its only consistent scorer in conference play has been Tyrin Lawrence (14.0), who’s tallied double-figure points in his past 13 contests.

Vanderbilt desperately needs to get point guard Ezra Manjon (14.3) back to form. He’s exceeded his season average just once in the past eight games and averaged just 10.4 points over that stretch.

The Commodores blew a halftime lead before falling 75-60 at then-No. 15 South Carolina on Saturday. Vanderbilt shot 3-of-10 from the foul line and was outrebounded 31-26.

“I didn’t think we were awful, (South Carolina) just got on the boards,” Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said.