AP photo by Todd J. Van Emst|
Texas A&M's Marlon Pompey shoots around Auburn's Quan Prowell in the second half in Auburn. Auburn's Quantez Robertson is upper right. Texas A&M won 87-58.
Aggies whip Auburn
By John Zenor
Associated Press Writer
AUBURN — No. 13 Texas A&M doesn't need the homecourt advantage to dominate.
The Aggies just rely on good defense and hot shooting.
Acie Law scored 21 points and the Aggies led all the way in an 87-58 victory over Auburn on Friday night.
The Aggies (10-2) shot 57 percent from the field and never led by fewer than 20 points in the second half. It was Texas A&M's third straight blowout win since consecutive losses in the team's only previous road games.
The result was Auburn's worst home loss since 1952 and the worst-ever in the 39-year-old Beard-Eaves Coliseum.
Aggies coach Billy Gillespie wasn't all that impressed.
"There wasn't a whole lot of fancy stuff," Gillespie said. "It was just we made more shots than they did."
There was more to it than that.
The Aggies wouldn't let the Tigers (9-4) get the ball inside to leading scorer Korvotney Barber in good position, holding Auburn to 33 percent shooting, and had the game in hand by halftime.
"We didn't want to let them get back in," said Law, who was 8-of-13 from the field. "Once they got behind, it was like everything was going in our favor."
Josh Carter was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and added 12 points for the Aggies, while Marlon Pompeii had 11 points and Dominique Kirk and Donald Sloan each scored 10.
But Auburn coach Jeff Lebo was more dazzled by Law, whom he called "as good a guard as I've seen in a while." Law seemed able to drive at will against a quick Auburn team, and had four assists.
"They dominated us inside with their strength, and Acie Law was the difference in the game," Lebo said. "He's good. We didn't have any answers for him.
"Law beat us off the bounce whenever he wanted to."
Quan Prowell led Auburn with 20 points.
He was 4-of-8 from 3-point range while the rest of the team was 2-for-24.
Josh Dollard added 12 points for the Tigers.
Texas A&M used a 21-2 run and smothering defense to build a 43-23 halftime lead. Carter hit three consecutive 3-pointers early but the Aggies mostly pounded away inside the rest of the game against the undersized Tigers.
Auburn missed its first 13 3-point attempts. Unable to get the ball inside, the Tigers just kept firing away. Barber scored eight points, seven below his season average. But he only attempted two field goals, making half his 12 free throws.
"They packed it in and dared us to shoot the ball," Lebo said. "We just have to make shots. We had some wide-open looks but couldn't get them to go."
Texas A&M was efficient, scoring 21 points off turnovers and getting 30 points from its reserves.
"It's a big win for us coming into a (Southeastern Conference) team," Law said. "We haven't been playing that good on the road."
Gillespie said winning in an opponent's arena wasn't his biggest concern.
"We played a very difficult schedule not only at home but on the road," he said. "It's not so much winning on the road. Teams in the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 road are not the problem. The team that awaits you there is the problem. It's good to win anywhere."
Besides, the road losses were to No. 1 UCLA and No. 12 LSU.
This is the first time the Tigers have hosted two ranked nonconference teams in the same season. They lost to No. 7 Pittsburgh 74-66 on Dec. 3.
All four Auburn losses have come against ranked teams, none by more than 14 points until this one.
In other top 25 games
No. 2 North Carolina 69, St. Louis 48: Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and matched his career best with 13 rebounds to lead No. 2 North Carolina.
Danny Green added 14 points for the Tar Heels (10-1), who pulled away from a one-point halftime lead.
The result was a convincing win in the program's first game in St. Louis since coach Roy Williams led them to an NCAA title here in 2005.
The game drew a record sellout crowd of 22,539 to the Scottrade Center. Among the crowd were about 3,000 fans from Hansbrough's hometown of Poplar Bluff, Mo., a town of about 16,000 near the Missouri boot heel.
Ian Vouyoukas had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Saint Louis (9-3), which lost for the first time in six home games.
New Mexico 71, No. 8 Wichita St. 68: Tony Dandridge scored 17 points and New Mexico handed No. 8 Wichita State its first loss of the season in the third round of the Las Vegas Classic. J.R. Giddens, who did not play the final 15:39 after injuring his left foot, added 14 points for the Lobos (9-2), while Jamal Smith added 13 points and five assists.
Kyle Wilson had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Shockers (9-1), whose last loss was to George Mason in the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in March.
No. 16 Butler 76, Evansville 65: A.J. Graves scored 22 points and Mike Green added 16 to lead Butler to its 15th straight home win.
Jason Holsinger had 17 points for Evansville (8-4), which had a four-game winning streak end. Consecutive 3s by Graves and Brandon Crone sparked a 10-0 run that gave Butler an 18-11 lead with 8:48 left in the half and Evansville never led again.
No. 17 Washington 80, Weber St. 51: Freshman Spencer Hawes scored 23 points to tie his season high from two nights earlier and Jon Brockman had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Washington.
The Huskies (10-1) won their 27th consecutive nonconference home game dating to 2003.
Dezmon Harris and Dan Henry each scored 13 points for Weber State (7-6), which led by 11 points midway through the first half before a 14-0 Huskies' run put the Wildcats behind for good. Weber State started the game 7-of-13 from the field but made just two of its final 14 shots in the opening half to fall behind 38-30.
No. 19 Marquette 77, Morgan St. 57: Jerel McNeal scored 15 of his career-high 25 points in the decisive first half to lead Marquette.
The sophomore guard went 8-of-15 from the field and a personal best 7-of-8 from the free throw line. He matched his career high with seven assists for Marquette (12-2), which never trailed.
No. 23 Syracuse 85, Hofstra 60: Demetris Nichols had 20 points and Josh Wright and Paul Harris each had 12 as Syracuse snapped the Pride's six-game winning streak.
Eric Devendorf finished with 16 points, 11 from the free throw line, for Syracuse (10-3), while Darryl Watkins had four points, nine rebounds, and four of the Orange's six blocks.
Antoine Agudio had 22 points to lead Hofstra (6-4), while Loren Stokes finished with 19 points.
No. 25 Nevada 73, Akron 71: Nick Fazekas had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Nevada, which has won nine straight road games. Ramon Sessions added 22 points for the Wolf Pack (10-1), who tied the best start in history, set in 1978-79.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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