Texas A&M-CC loses to No. 25 Texas A&M 56-43

Willis Wilson was pleased with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s

performance in the second half of a 56-43 loss at No. 25 Texas

A&M on Saturday. The Islanders’ first-year coach had a much

different opinion about the first half.

”We were lethargic at the start and had a wait-and-see

attitude,” said Wilson, who coached Rice from 1992-2008. ”The

thing we have to improve on most is shooting the basketball.”

Myron Dempsey had 14 points for the Islanders (1-3), who

outrebounded the larger Aggies 39-37.

”To see us come out on the upside in rebounds is pretty

important,” Wilson said. ”That’s what we’re trying to hang our

hats on.”

Meanwhile, the Aggies played their first game in eight days and

the rust was evident, especially with 18 turnovers, including a

dozen in the first half.

”We didn’t come in here ready,” said Ray Turner, who finished

with 13 points and eight rebounds. ”Their team came in here and

kept fighting, and we let ourselves down by not being ready

mentally and physically.”

Elston Turner scored 14 points for Texas A&M (4-1), which

held the Islanders to 27.8 percent shooting. It was the lowest

shooting percentage for an Aggies opponent since the first round of

the 2008 Big 12 tournament, when Iowa State finished at 27.4

percent.

Hameed Ali, Johnathan Jordan and Jake Kocher made consecutive

3-pointers to help Texas A&M-Corpus Christi close to 45-39 with

7:45 left, but Ray Turner scored on an offensive rebound on Texas

A&M’s ensuing possession and the Aggies outscored the Islanders

11-4 the rest of the way.

”For whatever reason we’re having a hard time being consistent

with our effort and with our efficiency and decision making,”

Aggies first-year coach Billy Kennedy said.

Texas A&M went 5 for 8 from 3-point range in the first half

and led 30-16 at the break. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi missed all

10 of its 3-point attempts in the first half, and finished 3 of 17

from long range.

Elston Turner tied a career high with four 3-pointers, and

freshman Jordan Green had 10 points and six assists. The Aggies

also won their 63rd consecutive nonconference home game.

”He’s a hustle guy, and when you have someone like that the

whole team feeds off of it,” Elston Turner said of Green.

”Sometimes when we’re not into the game enough, we see him dive on

the floor for a loose ball and it fires everyone up.”

Texas A&M was once again without guard Khris Middleton, who

is recovering from a knee injury and is expected back in about two

weeks. Fill-in Green also had four rebounds.

The Aggies outscored the Islanders 10-0 on the fast break.

”We have to be able to slow down at times,” Kennedy said.

”Our guards get to going and pushing the ball and we’re struggling

to slow it down. That takes time, and we just have to make better

decisions.”