COLLEGE STATION (AP) — It didn’t matter Sunday, but the Texas A&M Aggies know they’ll have to develop more of a killer instinct to win once Big 12 play begins next month.
Josh Carter scored 16 points and No. 14 Texas A&M (9-1) used stifling defense for a 64-37 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Aggies held Arkansas-Pine Bluff scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to start the game, then the Golden Lions went without a basket for an 8 1/2-minute span in the second half.
Coach Mark Turgeon and his players were upset they allowed the Golden Lions to get back in it after they jumped to an 18-0 lead.
“We don’t have that killer instinct yet,” Turgeon said. “We’ve done it a lot. This time Arkansas-Pine Bluff wasn’t good enough to come back. It was disappointing. We’ve worked really hard to try and get better at that.”
The win improves the Aggies’ home record to 7-0 and breaks a three-game winning streak for Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Senior Joseph Jones thinks the Aggies’ youth is one reason they allow teams to rally.
“We’ve got a bunch of young guys who haven’t played a lot and we’ve got to get it in their heads that once you go up, you’ve got to go in for the kill,” Jones said.
The Aggies, up by 11 at halftime, opened the second half on a 22-2 run. Jones had a 3-pointer and a dunk as A&M built a 52-21 lead.
George Davis made Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s second basket of the half with just under 10 minutes remaining.
“I think we are making strides defensively,” senior guard Dominique Kirk said. “We had one stretch in the first half where we let down a little bit. Coach told us at halftime to fix it and we came out with a lot of energy to fix it.”
A&M freshman 7-footer DeAndre Jordan later provided some excitement for the crowd of 7,789 when he missed a one-handed dunk, grabbed the rebound and finished with a two-handed slam.