No. 1 Auburn Rips Aggies 75-58 As Walker Kessler Goes All Shaq

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No. 1 Auburn bounced back from an overtime loss at Arkansas on Tuesday by destroying struggling Texas A&M, 75-58, Saturday afternoon behind a rare SEC triple-double by 7-foot-1 center Walker Kessler.

Kessler, a sophomore who transferred from North Carolina after last season, scored 12 points with 11 rebounds and 12 blocked shots to become just the fifth SEC player in history to record multiple triple-doubles.

Former LSU center Shaquille O’Neal holds the league record with six triple-doubles from 1989-92, followed by Alabama’s Roy Rogers with two, Florida’s Nick Calathes with two and Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado with two.

“It means a lot,” Kessler said in an SEC Network interview after the game. “A lot of great players in the SEC. Personally, I think it’s the best conference.”

Kessler blocked four of A&M’s first seven shots.

Auburn (23-2, 11-1 SEC) was never threatened by the Aggies (15-10, 4-8 SEC), who lost their eighth straight game. Third-year A&M coach Buzz Williams is looking like a rare bad hire by athletic director Scott Woodward, who attracted him from Virginia Tech after the 2018-19 season when Woodward was A&M’s athletic director before leaving to become LSU’s athletic director.

In football, Woodward has had more success, hiring Jimbo Fisher to A&M from Florida State after the 2017 season, and as Washington’s athletic director, he hired Steve Sarkisian and Chris Petersen.

Williams, who was 16-14 and 10-8 in the SEC in his first season in 2019-20, appears headed to his second straight losing season in conference play. The Aggies were 8-10 and 2-8 for 13th out of 14 teams in the SEC in 2020-21.

Allen Flanigan led Auburn with 16 points, K.D. Johnson had 11 and Devan Cambridge scored 10. Henry Coleman III scored 10 points with 13 rebounds for the Aggies, and Quenton Jackson scored 11.


Arkansas failed to follow its upset of No. 1 Auburn on Tuesday as it fell at Alabama, 68-67, and saw its nine-game winning streak end.

JD Davison scored 11 to lead the Crimson Tide (16-9, 6-6), and Jaden Shackelford scored 10. Seven Alabama players hit one 3-pointer.

Alabama’s defense held SEC leading scorer JD Notae to 12 points – seven below his average. Jaylin Williams scored 22 to lead the Razorbacks (19-6, 8-4).

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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