Tyler Herro had 21 points, Ashton Hagans scored a careerhigh 18 and No. 18 Kentucky overcame a 10-0 deficit before holding off Texas A&M for an 85-74 victory on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (11-3, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) started badly on both ends with four missed shots, turnovers and defensive breakdowns the Aggies seized upon for a pair of 10-point leads. Kentucky quickly regrouped with a 19-6 run over 5:21. Hagans had a pair of steals during the spurt.
The Wildcats led 46-34 at the break before having to withstand a second-half comeback by the Aggies (6-7, 0-2), who got within 66-64 with 7:55 left. Immanuel Quickley answered with a 3-pointer and PJ Washington eventually followed with a three-point play for an 11-point cushion that held up.
Herro was 7 of 14 from the field with three from long range for his second 20-point effort in three games. Hagans made 10 of 11 free throws along with shooting 4 of 6 as the Wildcats made 15 of 27 (56 percent) after halftime to finish 52 percent overall.
Jay Jay Chandler and TJ Starks each had 18 points for Texas A&M, which shot above 50 percent for much of the game. The Aggies cooled off late and finished 48 percent.
Kentucky should remain ranked as long as it follows up against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Texas A&M: The Aggies stayed close with good shooting and even edged Kentucky 29-28 on the glass. They just didn’t have enough answers down the stretch to overtake the Wildcats.
Kentucky: Shaky as the Wildcats initially looked, they settled down and soon led after 10 minutes. Though outshot much of the night by the Aggies, handling the paint helped them gain the edge and a strong bounce-back from Saturday’s loss at Alabama.
Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday in search of its fifth consecutive win against the Commodores.