It was Elston Turner's game to win.
The problem for Texas A&M: The Tennessee Volunteers knew that better than anyone.
Tennessee paid more attention to A&M's senior shooting guard as time went on and finally slowed him down enough to escape Reed Arena with a 93-85 quadruple-overtime victory.
Turner still broke the Reed Arena scoring record for the second straight game with 38 points. He had 37 in A&M's 69-67 win over Ole Miss on Feb. 13.
But Turner had little support on the offensive end. After scoring 27 points in regulation, he took more than half of A&M's shots in the four overtime periods, going 5 of 14 from the field as the Aggies (15-11, 6-8) followed a win with a loss for the fourth straight time.
"We needed to have someone else make a play," A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said.
Turner took many of his shots with two or three Volunteers (16-10, 8-6) pressuring him. He hit 11 of 19 shots in regulation and didn't miss a two-point attempt in the first 30 minutes of the game. Of course, Turner, who played 58 minutes, didn't expect that to be the halfway mark of the contest.
"The last five minutes of the game and overtime, we played him better," Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin said. "I've seen few college guys shoot the pull-up and have it go down consistently as well as he does. We didn't defend with a level of passion and toughness the first 35 minutes, [but] then you've got to give a lot of credit to Skylar McBee being locked in and Josh Richardson accepting the job."
The Vols had three different players try and stop Turner, who spent the entire 20 minutes of overtime running off screens to get the ball then working one-on-one to get off his shot.
A&M had an opportunity to win at the end of regulation and the first three overtimes, but the Vols had the best opportunity to send fans home early.
With 5.9 seconds left in regulation, Jarnell Stokes pulled down a rebound and drew a foul by Alex Caruso -- his fifth. Stokes tied the game at 62-62 by making the first three throw, but after A&M called timeout, he missed the second.
Ray Turner rebounded the miss and passed to J-Mychal Reese, who hurried up court and got off a 3-point shot that hit the back of the rim just before the buzzer sounded.
"I thought it was good when it left my hands," said Reese, who finished with 15 points, six in overtime. "It was a good look."
A&M, which led for a majority of regulation, had its best opportunity to win in the first overtime, leading 68-64 after Fabyon Harris made two free throws with 25 seconds left.
Trae Golden then drove the ball all the way for a layup in less than six seconds, and after Reese made one of two free throws, Jordan McRae stroked a 3-pointer to tie the game at 69.
"You can't give them a layup like that, letting them score that quickly, but [Golden] is a junior and made a heck of play," Kennedy said. "Some of that was fatigue."
Elston Turner got the final look of the first overtime, but his baseline jumper hit the back of the iron and bounded away.
Turner then gave the Aggies a four-point lead in the second overtime, but Reese's baseline jumper was the only basket the Aggies made in the final 2:37. Meanwhile, Golden hit a 3 and later drove the lane for a basket to tie the game at 75 with 17 seconds left.
A&M got the ball to Elston Turner for a final shot. He tried to draw a foul on McBee, but the Volunteer who came off the bench to make 3 of 4 treys and score 12 points held his ground, and Turner missed the potential game-winning shot.
"They were not really as frustrating as what happened on the plays before," Turner said of the missed chances to win the game. "We gave up straight-line drives, offensive rebounds, so it wasn't really as much missing the game-winning shots as what led up to it."
A&M had to score the final points of the third overtime to extend the game. Jarod Jahns followed a Reese miss to square the game at 79 and force the fourth OT.
Only Jahns, Reese and Elston Turner made a basket for A&M in overtime.
Jahns had only three points, but finished with seven rebounds and took two of his three charges in the overtime periods to help A&M extend the game.
McRae put Tennessee ahead at the start of the fourth overtime, then Golden took over with two baskets before McBee drained a baseline 3 to give the Vols an 88-80 lead. That practically guaranteed there would be no repeat of the Baylor-A&M game on Jan. 23, 2008, when the Bears won in five overtimes.
"I know about that game, but it wasn't going through my mind," Elston Turner said. "It was a fun entertaining game. I've never been a part of game like that, so it was a fun game, but we definitely needed to make some extra plays."
It was the longest game in Tennessee history. Golden and McRae each played 56 minutes and Stokes 53. Golden finished with 32 points, McRae 23 and Stokes 20. Stokes also had 16 rebounds, eight on the offensive end.