Texas A&M handles Southeastern Louisiana 100-58
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M senior guard Danuel House was all smiles following the Aggies' 100-58 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on Monday night.
It was no wonder - House was one of five Aggies scoring in double digits in the rout. Last season, House often believed he had to shoulder the offensive load.
''We're all about having fun,'' said House, who scored 20 points. ''This makes the game a lot easier.''
Tyler Davis added 18 points for the Aggies, Admon Gilder, 14, Tonny Trocha-Morelos, 12, and D.J Hogg, 11. Davis grabbed 12 rebounds and the Aggies outrebounded the Lions 49-26.
''We had balanced scoring again, and that means you've got a lot of good players who can score,'' A&M fifth-year coach Billy Kennedy said. ''It's tough to guard when you have that kind of balance.''
A&M scored at least 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1990 against Arkansas and Rice in Southwest Conference play. The Aggies opened this season with a 104-64 victory over USC Upstate on Friday.
''As good as the Southland Conference is and is very competitive, we don't see that caliber of talent night in and night out,'' Lions coach Jay Ladner said. ''We were frankly overwhelmed - we were outmanned.''
The Aggies (2-0) were on fire from long distance throughout against the Lions (0-2), in making 14 of 25 3-pointers (56 percent). House, a preseason first-team All-SEC selection, made 6-of-11 3-pointers, while Hogg made 3 of 5 from beyond the line.
Marlain Veal led the Lions with 10 points.
Texas A&M led 10-9 four minutes into the game before outscoring the Lions 15-2 to put the game out of reach by midway through the first half.
The Aggies announced before the game that sophomore point guard Alex Robinson has left the program and is seeking a transfer. Robinson played in 32 games for the Aggies last season, averaging 5.2 points per game, and scored a career-high 21 in their loss in the second round of the NIT to Louisiana Tech to close out the season.
''You never want to see that happen, but to say it was a surprise, no,'' Kennedy said of Robinson requesting a transfer.
Senior point guard Anthony Collins, a transfer from South Florida, had earned the starting nod over Robinson in the preseason.
''He's one of the hardest workers I've ever coached,'' Kennedy said of Collins. ''He's in the gym all of the time.''
The Aggies are now a bit thin at point guard behind Collins, although two guard Alex Caruso has spent plenty of time at point guard, and freshman Gilder can also play the point, as he did for a handful of minutes on Monday.
The game's highlight occurred when Caruso notched a steal and slammed the ball on the fast break to lift the Aggies to a 58-36 lead with 15:47 remaining. A&M outscored the Lions 21-2 on the fast break, and 14-4 on second-chance points.
''We haven't really been tested on running a half-court offense,'' Kennedy said, also citing his disappointment in 20 turnovers. ''Our guys get a little home-run happy. They look for things real quick.''
Texas A&M's 42-point margin marked the largest of Kennedy's career. The Aggies beat USC Upstate by 40 points in their opener. . A&M also won by at least 40 points in consecutive games for the first time since 1997 under then-coach Tony Barone. . Kennedy, a Southeastern Louisiana graduate, is now 2-1 coaching against his alma mater.
The Aggies doubled up the Lions in the paint 36-18. . The Lions' Zay Jackson committed a game-high seven turnovers, and he was followed closely by Caruso's six in the oft-sloppy contest (Southeastern Louisiana had 22 turnovers, two more than the Aggies).
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''Rebounds. I don't even know how many I had, but rebounding is key for me.''
A&M freshman center Tyler Davis when asked what statistic was more important to him: 18 points or 12 rebounds.
Southeastern Louisiana hosts Mississippi College on Wednesday.
Texas A&M hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday.