LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The University of Arkansas men's basketball team relinquished a 13-point halftime lead in a 67-61 loss to Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament Friday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
It's the second-largest comeback in the last 15 seasons for the Aggies (24-8), who advance to face the winner of Kentucky and Vanderbilt in the conference semifinal at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (20-14) were led by freshman guard Nick Smith's 16 points, one rebound and four assists. Senior center Makhi Mitchell added 15 points and a team-high six rebounds, while freshman guard Jordan Walsh delivered seven points, three rebounds and one assist.
Arkansas finished 40.7% shooting from the field and was 5-of-20 from three. The Razorbacks were outrebounded by the Aggies 24 to 15.
Looking to advance to the conference tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season, Arkansas came out of the gate and built a 22-12 lead after Smith knocked down a jumper with 7:57 to play in the first half.
The Razorbacks closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 38-25 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, Texas A&M turned flipped the momentum with a 10-4 run to cut the deficit to six points with 15:44 remaining.
The Aggies shot 42.1% from the field and 1-of-10 from three. They made 18-of-24 free throws, while the Razorbacks shot 12-of-19 from the free throw line.
Three minutes later, Texas A&M sophomore guard Wade Taylor made a layup to bring Arkansas's lead to 44-42 with 12:06 left on the clock.
Taylor scored a game-high 18 points and finished with three rebounds and three assists for the Aggies, while junior forward Henry Coleman held it down inside with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Arkansas led for 26:55 before Texas A&M took its first lead since the first 30 seconds of the game thanks to a layup by graduate guard Dexter Dennis.
The bucket gave the Aggies a 46-45 lead with 10:26 to play. Arkansas freshman guard Anthony Black responded with a layup on the next possession to give the Razorbacks a 47-46 lead.
However, Texas A&M regained the lead eight seconds later and stayed in the driver's seat until the final buzzer.
The Aggies outscored Arkansas 21-14 over the last 9:51 to knock the Razorbacks out of the SEC Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Arkansas will learn its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday. The selection show begins at 5 p.m. Central on CBS.