Taliaferro scores 34, Fairfield holds off Texas A&M 67-62
Landon Taliaferro scored a career-high 34 points and Taj Benning made six free throws in the final 16 seconds Sunday to help Fairfield hold off Texas A&M 67-62 in the seventh-place game of the Orlando Invitational.
Taliaferro made 12 of 18 shots, including a school-record 10 3-pointers in 15 attempts for the Stags (2-6), who lost to Southern California and Davidson in their other two games in the eight-team tournament at Disney World.
Texas A&M (3-4) trimmed a 61-52 deficit to three with consecutive 3-pointers from Savion Flagg, but the Aggies guard missed a potential game-tying trey before Benning closed it out from the line for Fairfield.
Flagg finished with 17 points. Quenton Jackson had 15 and Wendell Mitchell added 14 for Texas A&M, which led 29-25 at halftime.
Vincent Eze had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Fairfield. Benning missed 5 of 6 shots from the field before going 6 for 6 from the foul line in the closing seconds to finish with eight points.
Texas A&M: Despite going 0-3 with losses to Harvard, Temple and Fairfield, coach Buzz Williams feels the Aggies are making progress in their first season under him. The Aggies shot 44 percent, including 9 of 27 on 3-point attempts, on Sunday. That was up considerably from well below 30 percent in losses to Harvard and Temple.
Fairfield: First win over a Power 5 Conference school under first-year coach Jay Young. As Stags prepare for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, they should benefit from the experience of facing USC, Davidson and Texas A&M.
Texas A&M: Plays Texas next Sunday in Lone Star Showdown in Fort Worth.
Fairfield: Return home to host William & Mary next Sunday.