COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Texas A&M used a dominating performance in the paint, outscoring the Demons 42-18 from the inside and defeating Northwestern State 78-65 on Monday night.
Four Aggies scored in double digits, with senior Elston Turner leading the way with 17 points, closely followed by J’Mychal Reese’s 15 points.
Texas A&M led 38-28 at halftime, as Fabyon Harris, Elston Turner and Ray Turner scored eight points each over the first 20 minutes.
The Aggies led the Demons 46-38 four minutes into the second half before putting away Northwestern State (3-2) with a 10-0 run over the next five minutes, a stretch keyed by three layups from Texas A&M freshman guard J’Mychal Reese. His steal and resulting layup lifted the Aggies to a 56-38 lead with 11:33 remaining.
Demons guard Brison White, who was averaging 8.3 points entering the contest, exited with nine minutes remaining in the second half with a right ankle injury.
Texas A&M Men's Basketball
Texas A&M 78, Northwestern State 65
Nov. 26, 2012 ● Reed Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 5-1 on the season, while Northwestern State dropped to 3-2.
● Additionally, A&M improved to 104-10 (.912) during non-conference games at Reed Arena.
● Texas A&M now leads the all-time series with Northwestern State 5-2 ... A&M also holds a five-game winning streak over the Demons dating back to 1971.
● The Aggie defense held the hot-shooting Demons to just 32.3% shooting on the night (20-of -62), their poorest shooting night of the year ... Conversely, A&M shot .561 (32-of-57) during the contest, its best shooting night of the season.
● The Aggies dominated the lane, outscoring the Demons 42-18 on points in the paint.
● Northwestern State was held to its lowest point total of the season (65), beating out a 71-point output against Campbell on Nov. 13.
● Texas A&M used a balance scoring attack on the night, having four players (Elston Turner-17, J'Mychal Reese-15, Fabyon Harris-11 and Ray Turner-10) reach double figures in points ... Elston Turner's 17 points led the Aggies in scoring, marking the 15th time he's finished as A&M's leading scoring in a game.
● RS sophomore Kourtney Roberson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds ... the Arcadia, La., native has collected 22 rebounds in his last two games to bring his team-leading rebound per game total up to 6.8.
● Freshman Alex Caruso distributed a career-best six assists in the win, while J'Mychal Reese and Elston Turner each contributed four.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 19-19 in his second season at Texas A&M and 230-198 in 15 years as a head coach.
FIRST HALF NOTES
● Texas A&M led 38-28 after 20 minutes of play.
● The Aggies used a 15-0 run to open a 17-6 lead with 11:27 remaining in the period ... the Demons were held without a field goal from the 17:31 mark to the 11:13 point in the game.
● The period's biggest lead was an 11-point advantage for the Aggies, which they held at two different times.
● Fabyon Harris, Elston Turner and Ray Turner each scored eight points in the opening 20 minutes to led A&M ... NSU's Shamir Davis was the first half's high-point man with nine.
● For the half, Texas A&M shot 14-for-26 (.538), while Northwestern State made 7-of-29 shots (.241) ... the Demons were 3-of-16 from beyond the 3-point arc.
SECOND HALF NOTES
● The Aggies outscored the Demons 40-37 during the second half.
● A&M shot 18-for-31 (.581) after the intermission compared to 13-of-33 (.394) shooting for NSU.
● Freshman J'Mychal Reese led all scorers with 12 points following halftime, making 6-of-9 second half field goal attempts.
● Texas A&M's biggest lead of the night came at the 6:07 mark of the second half when Elston Turner's 3-pointer swelled the Aggie lead to 22 at 67-45.
● The Aggies travel to Houston to face the University of Houston in a 5:30 p.m. contest at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday ... It will mark the first time the Aggies and Cougars have met since 2004.
● Northwestern State, meanwhile, will travel to Norman, Okla., to battle Oklahoma on Friday night.
Texas A&M Basketball
Texas A&M 78, NW State 65
Nov. 26, 2012 ● Reed Arena
Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy
"Coming off the holiday break we did a really good job defensively in both halves. We went through a little adversity with our lineups and had to play some different ones. In the first half, we had some foul trouble but our guys spotted well throughout the game. We have a lot of respect for Northwestern and the way they played tonight."
On Freshman Guard J'Mychal Reese:
"Though he got sped up a little in the first half, I thought in the second half he played with a lot more pace offensively. His jump shot is a good shot and one we wanted him to take. I talked to him the other day about needing to help out more offensively and to line himself up to do so during the game. He made some really good decisions in the second half. "
NW State Head Coach Mike McConathy
"Texas A&M played extremely well and did a great job shutting us down in the paint. They took us completely out of everything we were doing. Credit to Coach Kennedy and staff and the young men; great job, made their shots and were free-flowing. I thought Texas A&M did a nice job with ball screens, they ran and executed extremely well and were able to get some nice buckets. They walled up the middle of the court and didn't allow us anything on the inside."