COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Forwards Kourtney Roberson and Antwan Space enjoyed double-double performances as Texas A&M earned a 59-43 victory over Wyoming on Wednesday night during the opening-round the College Basketball Invitational at Reed Arena.
The Aggies (18-15) raced out to a 21-4 advantage in the contest’s opening 10 minutes and never trailed as they improved to 17-3 at Reed Arena this season. The stifling A&M defense limited the Cowboys to just 43 points and a 29.8 shooting percentage, both season lows by a Texas A&M opponent this season.
Roberson led all scorers with 14 points in the contest, finishing 7-of-10 from the field, while sophomore guard Alex Caruso dished out 10 assists to produce his third game of double-digit dimes this season.
Wyoming (18-15) was led in scoring by senior Jerron Granberry, who finished with 10 points.
Texas A&M, which enjoyed a 41-27 advantage in the rebounding column, advanced to the CBI quarterfinals where it will face Illinois State in Normal, Ill., on Monday night.
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 18-15 on the season following a 59-43 victory against Wyoming Wednesday evening at Reed Arena during the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
● The Aggies are 17-3 on their home court this season.
● Wednesday’s meeting was the fifth all-time between the Aggies and Cowboys and the second in postseason action as they previously faced off during the 1986 NIT … The all-time series between the schools stands in favor of A&M at 4-1.
● The Aggie defense held Wyoming to just 43 points on the night, marking the lowest point total for an A&M opponent all season … Additionally, the Cowboys shot just 29.8 percent from the field, also the lowest by an A&M opponent this year.
● For the first time this season A&M had two players, Kourtney Roberson and Antwan Space, record a double-double in a contest.
● The Aggies outrebounded the Cowboys 41-27 to produce their biggest positive rebounding margin in a game this season.
● A&M headed into the intermission leading Wyoming 32-16 ... Following the break, A&M and Wyoming both scored 27 points to finish out the contest.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Jordan Green, Antwan Space Green, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the fifth time this season.
● Sophomore Antwan Space recorded his first career double-double by contributing 11 points to go along with 11 boards.
● Junior Kourtney Roberson shot 7-for-10 (70%) from the floor to lead all scorers with 14 points to go along with 10 boards for his seventh career double-double.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso’s game-high 10 assists gave him 164 on the year, a figure that stands out as the eighth most in a season by an A&M player, and moved him into 13th on the program’s all-time career assist list with 276.
● Senior Fabyon Harris also contributed 11 points in the game by pouring in three long balls from beyond the arc.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 50-48 in his third season at Texas A&M and 261-227 in 16 years as a head coach. This is his first win in his career against Wyoming.
● The Aggies move on to the quarterfinals of CBI where they will face Illinois State in Normal, Ill., on Monday, March 24th.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
“It was a good win. We had good energy and good enthusiasm to start the game. I really like it when these guys share the ball. We used our size and physicality to give us the edge early on.”
On Alex Caruso…
“He was excited to play. He had a really good game the last time out. He brought the energy and enthusiasm for our team in practice. He was a big key both defensively and offensively. Jordan Green did a really good job on the Adams kid. Josh Adams is a very good player. He scored 24 against UNLV in the tournament last week. Wyoming may not have had their best game, but I was proud of our guys’ energy. They wanted to play. There are so many teams this time of year that don’t want to play if things don’t go their way. It was a good display of our character and our team for showing some enthusiasm.”
On the post presence…
“It seemed like we were able to force it in there and once we got it in there, they were posting up. I just want them to want the ball. That’s something we emphasize. Our guys like to play out on the perimeter. That’s not a bad thing all the time, but we have got to have a post presence on both ends of the court.”
On the positive response from the team…
“We were very positive all week. We made everything competitive and fun in practice so I think they came in enthusiastic about playing. I think it allowed us to play looser because of that. Playing at home definitely helps. I’m very thankful for the fans that came out. We had a good crowd considering the quick turnaround. I was thankful we’ve gotten this kind of support at this time of year in this situation.”
TEXAS A&M SOPHOMORE ANTWAN SPACE
On jumping out to the early lead…
“Having the lead like that gives us confidence going forward. We let some leads like that get away earlier this year. As a team, we’ve got to keep pushing until the game is over. We don’t want to let the lead slip away. We have to keep playing hard.”
On playing in the postseason…
“It’s a great experience. This is my first time playing in the postseason in college. We’re looking at building off this for next season so we can go to the big dance. I think it’s huge for all of us to be playing at this time.”
TEXAS A&M JUNIOR KOURTNEY ROBERSON
On the play in the paint tonight…
“Coach has been on us all week about dominating them inside. We took that and did that in the game today.”
On the guards play…
“During the timeout, Coach Kennedy kept telling the guards to keep shooting when they were open because sometimes they would hesitate on the shot. That gave them confidence.”
WYOMING HEAD COACH LARRY SHYATT
“I feel bad we weren’t able to give you guys a better ballgame. We play to a higher intellect usually. We’ve played against some pretty good teams on the road and sometimes finding ourselves down, but always, with no exceptions but tonight, fought back. Rather than defer to telling you guys that Texas A&M played a great game, I’ll tell you I feel bad that we didn’t put up more of a fight. That really wasn’t emblematic of how we’ve played every single game this year. I complement Texas A&M. I think Billy is doing a great job. We appreciate you having us out here.”
More on the game…
“Our team was ready to play, we played poorly, and I’d have to think that Billy didn’t think they played so well. It’s all on our shoulders, it’s one game, and that’s what you take when you have a tough ballgame.”
WYOMING SENIOR NATHAN SOBEY
On the game…
“We started off slow, not making the shots we usually make. We played the same way in the second half, only a couple more shots went in. That’s really about it.”