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Texas A&M will play its second game without suspended coach Buzz Williams on Friday night when the Aggies host Abilene Christian in College Station, Texas.
The Aggies (1-0) are coming off a 64-46 defeat of North Florida on Wednesday night, while the Wildcats (0-1) will try to regroup after a season-opening 70-56 loss at Utah on Tuesday night.
Williams is completing a two-game NCAA suspension for multiple rules violations that occurred in 2020 and 2021. Assistant coach Devin Johnson is leading the team in his absence.
Williams said his players are ready for the start of the regular season, even if he's not going to be with them.
"I think the guys are ready to play," Williams said before Wednesday's game. "Any time you get through October, I think players and coaches are ready to play. Coaches will always say, 'I wish we had more practice time.' We have done some good things since the Kingsville (exhibition) game. We have found things we know that we need to work on."
The Aggies struggled in the first half against North Florida, leading only 36-32 at the break. But the defense limited the Ospreys to just 14 second-half points and forced 29 turnovers. Henry Coleman III led the Aggies with 27 points and Marcus Williams added 11.
Abilene Christian cut a seven-point halftime deficit against Utah to 36-34 early in the second half before the Utes went on a 22-6 run to open a comfortable lead.
Immanuel Allen led ACU with 13 points and Airion Simmons pulled down seven rebounds.
"I am extremely proud of how hard our guys played," first-year head coach Brette Tanner said. "The ball didn't go in as much as we would have liked but our defense gave us a chance.
"This is a new team and a new journey but there is a culture that has been in place here at ACU. We are going to protect that with everything we have. Always expect for us to give maximum effort."
--Field Level Media