Texas A&M beats UNC Asheville 75-47
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Danuel House and Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 12 points each and Texas A&M beat UNC Asheville 75-47 on Saturday.
Tyler Davis added 11 points as 11 players scored for A&M (4-0), which shot 49 percent (31 of 63). A&M found most of its success in the paint, outscoring Asheville 38-14.
Bulldogs head coach Nick McDevitt attributed the Aggies' success down low partially to having ''so much size at every position'' while adding that ''in order to beat a Top 25 caliber team, you have to play better than we did.''
Dwayne Sutton had 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Asheville. Dylan Smith also scored 14 points.
A&M senior guard Alex Caruso attributed Sutton's success on the boards to ''not paying attention to the scouting report,'' adding ''obviously we aren't perfect, but (the win is) a stride in the right direction.''
The Aggies led by as many 29 and never trailed on Saturday. Outside of second-chance points (16-10), A&M held the advantage in every major statistical category.
Kennedy believed his team wore down the Bulldogs (1-3) in the second half, as A&M outscored Asheville 42-24 in the final 20 minutes. Asheville turned the ball over 19 times in front of a Reed Arena crowd of 5,557, allowing A&M to convert the mistakes into 22 points.
Both squads now turn their attention to tournament play. Asheville joins part of an eight-team field in the Great Alaska Shootout while Texas A&M travels to the Bahamas to participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Jalen Jones, a senior, will be eligible to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis for Texas A&M after completing his four-game suspension. Head coach Billy Kennedy was asked what, if anything, would be changing with Jones' return to the lineup.
''We will see who gives us the best chance to win on Wednesday,'' Kennedy said in regards to starting Jones or Trocha-Morelos next week against Texas. ''We have a number of guys who can start so it really doesn't matter who starts for us, it's about winning the game. We didn't have him the last four games and we missed him at times, but we have some other guys. He's just going to make us stronger.''
Long Island, Bahamas, native Tavario Miller, who scored four points and pulled down seven rebounds in Saturday's win, claimed his mother gave him a ''rough estimate'' of 50 friends and family members who will be on site to support Miller and the Aggies next week in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Texas A&M: After a freshman campaign that saw 1.5 points and 10.2 minutes per game, sophomore Trocha-Morelos has seen a boost in his stats during his second year. He has scored in double-digits every game this season, including a career-high 15 points last time out against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
UNC Asheville: Saturday's contest marks the first day of a 10-day road trip for the Bulldogs. They will play in five games and cross six different time zones before returning home Dec. 5 against Johnson & Wales.
Texas A&M plays Texas in Battle 4 Atlantis tournament
UNC Asheville plays Drexel in Great Alaska Shootout.