COLLEGE STATION--Elston Turner scored a career-high 26 points to lead Texas A&M to an 83-65 win over Troy Monday night in the CBE Classic.
Ray Turner and Fabyon Harris each added 14 points and Alex Caruso chipped in 13 in the winning effort. Hunter Williams led Troy (1-1) with 15 points, and Ray Chambers followed with 10.
The Aggies (2-0), who leaped to a 45-29 halftime lead, shot 52.7 percent from the field compared to Troy's 43.6 percent. Elston Turner, the Aggies' leading scorer last season with 13.9 points per game, made 9 of 14 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers in seven attempts.
A&M was particularly effective from the free-throw line, making 18 of 20. The Aggies also had 21 assists to only eight turnovers in a crisp early-season effort. Freshman J'Mychal Reese tallied a game-high six assists.
Texas A&M Basketball
Texas A&M 83, Troy 65
Nov. 12, 2012 ● Reed Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 2-0 on the season while Troy fell to 1-1.
● Monday's game marked the first meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
● The game was the Aggies' second contest of the Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic ... A&M will travel to Kansas City's Sprint Center next week to participate in the CBE semifinals ... while in KC, the Aggies will face Saint Louis on Nov. 19 before taking on either Kansas or Washington State the next day.
● The Aggies displayed great ball movement in Monday's contest, racking up an impressive 21 assists on 29 made field goals.
● Texas A&M was also consistently good from the free throw line, making 18-of-20 shots ... Forwards Kourtney Roberson and Ray Turner each went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
● On the glass, the Aggies were on the positive side of a 35-22 rebounding margin.
● A&M remained hot from the floor for the duration of the game, shooting 52.7 percent (29-of-55) as a team.
● The Trojans attempted 32 3-pointers on the night, making 13 of the efforts.
● Elston Turner set his career-high with 26 points in the win ... the effort topped his previous best, a 24-point output at Kansas on Jan. 23 of last season.
● It was the ninth career 20-point game for Turner, who finished 9-of-14 shooting on the night with a 4-of-7 mark from beyond the 3-point arc.
● Three other Aggies joined Elston in double figure scoring as Fabyon Harris and Ray Turner scored 14 apiece and freshman Alex Caruso chipped in with 13.
● Freshman guard J'Mychal Reese dished out a game-high six assists on the night while Caruso and Elston Turner each added four.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 16-18 in his second season at Texas A&M and 227-197 in 15 years as a head coach.
FIRST HALF NOTES
● Texas A&M led 45-29 after 20 minutes of play ... it was the biggest lead of the period after swelling to 16 on a lay-up by Alex Caruso with five seconds remaining.
● A&M shot a blistering 57.1% (16-of-28) from the floor during the period, adding nine assists on the 16 made field goals.
● Elston Turner lead all scorers with13 points at intermission, going 5-for-7 from the floor during the opening period.
SECOND HALF NOTES
● The A&M advantage ballooned to as many as 19 points at 60-41 on a 3-pointer by Fabyon Harris with 12:39 remaining in the contest.
● Three of Elston Turner's four 3-point field goals came in the second half.
● The Aggies host Prairie View A&M on Thursday night at Reed Arena in a 7 p.m. contest.
● Troy, meanwhile, will head to Chattanooga, Tenn., to face Louisiana Tech as it continues play in the CBE Classic.
Texas A&M Basketball
Texas A&M 83, Troy 65
Nov. 12, 2012 ● Reed Arena
Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy
"I'm really proud of our team. To have 21 assists means we're sharing the ball. I think the guys did a good job of finding the extra pass. When you have 21 assists and eight turnovers, you're going to be in good shape most nights. We played a good Troy team. They're hard to play against. They went zone in the second half. We hadn't seen any zone before that. It slowed the pace of the game down. They made threes. It was another tough matchup for our post guys who go out and have to cover guys that shoot the ball so well."
On the play of Alex Caruso
"Alex does so many things to help you win. If you look at his stat line, he gets steals, he rebounds, he gets defensive deflections. He's a really good passer. He has a really good knack for how to play. His dad has taught him well."
On freshman play:
"I thought our freshman did some good things. Defensively, we had some good minutes at the end of the first half. I thought that was a good key of breaking the game open because we knew they could shoot the ball and get back in the game."
On playing with four guards:
"It gives us more confidence than I thought we would have at this point. We've got to get our post guys more involved which I think will happen when we see more of a traditional team. The fact that we can play four guards and be successful is a positive early on."
On balanced scoring:
"We're going to have to win by committee. Elston and Rayhave to play well. That's what seniors are supposed to do. Elston is a coming effect for our young guys when things get rattled a bit. He does a good job of handling the ball and getting everybody in the right spots. It's good to have two seniors that can play well at times."
On J-Mychal Reese's play:
"He did a lot of good things. He had to guard their best perimeter player. He did a lot of good things defensively. Offensively, it'll come for him. He's missed a couple of floaters. That's a good shot for him and he'll make those. I thought he played well. He's a freshman and our freshmen are playing big minutes for us. At this level that's unusual."
On confidence at the free throw line:
"I'm ecstatic that we're making free throws and getting to the line. That was something we really struggled with last year. Hopefully, we can continue to get to the line because that's where you get some opportunities to win games. We're driving the ball and getting into the paint. That's how you get to the free throw line."
Texas A&M Guard Alex Carusso
On his approach to the game:
"Coming off the bench, I just try to do whatever the team needs me to do, whether it's grabbing a rebound; throwing a pass to Elston or Fabyon; make a defensive stop, whatever it takes for us to win. We have a saying on this team: 'All In.' That's what you've got to be to play on this team."
On the offensive boards:
"We matched up. We played small with them when they had four guard-like players out there. They put me running the baseline. I just tried to do whatever I could once the guards shot it. The ball just bounced my way a couple times."
Texas A&M Guard Elston Turner
On the benefits of the smaller lineup:
"We're going to be playing so many teams that do so many different things. In the past two games, we've played teams that play a four-guard lineup. We have to adjust. There's going to be some teams that we play that are going to have two or three big men and we're going to have to adjust. I love the versatility of this team and being able to guard from top to bottom."
On Troy's run late in the second half:
"We knew that they could shoot the ball and we knew that they were going to keep shooting. When they beat Mississippi State they made ten threes and shot 29 of them. We knew coming into the game that they were going to be firing up the threes. They got hot in the second half and made a little run."
On the opportunities in the second half:
"We were just moving the ball offensively. They went to a zone as well and there were a lot of gaps. We had 21 assists and eight turnovers. That's good team basketball."
Troy Head Coach Don Maestri
"When we made a little run, I think Elston put the team on his back and carried them. He's a good player. I thought they stepped it up defensively when they had too. I was proud of our guys to get back in the game. We've got a young group of kids. They're a really close knit group which really helps them. We're not as talented as we've been in the past. We've had a lot of talented teams come through Troy. This is not one of them, but their togetherness and their effort will keep them in games in our league. Hopefully that's their signature: how hard they play and how close knit they are."
On taking advantage in the second half:
"Hunter Williams is a creative little guard. Some of the plays that were being run boil down to the end of the play. Texas A&M plays solid defense so you're not going to get a quick shot against them. You're going to have to go deeper into your offense to try and get a better shot. Hunter Williams, for us, is our quarterback that makes it happen. He made some reads and got it to some guys, and he himself made a couple of threes to eek our way back in a little bit. He was a key for us tonight to get back into it because he's got a real good basketball savvy."
On the small lineup:
"Our identity hurts us sometime from that because other teams know we shoot a lot of threes. For us to win, we're going to have to hit a lot of threes. It's better sometimes to match up with us and make sure we don't get wide open shots. We don't score very often inside. We've got to be perimeter conscious. It was a good adjustment by them."