March 14, 2019 / 3:53 AM / in a month

Amid reports of Kennedy's ouster, Texas A&M tops Vandy

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.

Mar 13, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Jay Jay Chandler (left) is defended by Vanderbilt Commodores guard Saben Lee in the first half in the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Aggies, who never trailed, got a game-high and career-high 29 points from sophomore guard Savion Flagg. Jay Jay Chandler scored 13 points and Josh Nebo added 11 for Texas A&M, which shot 53.8 percent from the field.

Multiple media outlets reported Tuesday that Kennedy, 55, won’t return next season.

Fourteenth-seeded Vanderbilt (9-23) ended its season by extending its school-record losing streak to 20. It’s the most losses in a season in Vanderbilt history.

Saben Lee led the Commodores with 19 points. Yanni Wetzell scored 10 and pulled 10 rebounds.

Texas A&M (14-17), the 11th seed, will face sixth-seed Mississippi State on Thursday evening.

After the Commodores hit their first 3-pointer on their 12th attempt just 2:12 into the second half, Flagg answered with one on the other end.

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

The margin topped 20 for the first time on a Nebo dunk with 10:28 left. It never went below 10 after halftime.

The Aggies led 14-6 after Flagg hammered home a spectacular fastbreak dunk with 12:16 left in the first half, then extended the lead to double digits (19-9) for the first time with 10:13 left in the period on a Nebo jumper.

Another fastbreak dunk by Flagg, this one with 1:31 left, followed by his buzzer-beating 3-pointer, put Texas A&M up 34-19, its biggest lead of the half.

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. Neither scored a point.

—Field Level Media

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