COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Jalen Jones and Danuel House scored 17 points apiece, and No. 24 Texas A&M beat No. 16 Baylor 80-61 on Saturday night.
The Aggies scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points and led 51-30 at halftime. Jones scored 14 in the first half.
Lester Medford scored 16 points for Baylor, which beat Texas A&M 77-63 at home last season in their first meeting since the Aggies bolted the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference in 2012.
"Every game is a big game for us, but this one stood out," Jones said. "We had a bad taste in our mouths from last year, and we wanted payback."
The Aggies had trouble matching up inside with the Bears last year in Waco, but this time around held a 38-22 advantage in points in the paint.
"A&M has a nice blend of upperclassmen and new guys," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Both teams will be better after this game. Hopefully we’ll learn a lot from it."
The Aggies outscored the Bears 25-15 in points off turnovers. They also held Baylor to 36 percent shooting (21 of 59), while making 48 percent (30 of 63) of their shots.
"This was a resume builder," House said. "Two ranked teams playing as hard as possible tonight. This was a good win for our school."
The Aggies are 3-0 against former Big 12 opponents this season, with Iowa State visiting Reed Arena on Jan. 30. A&M defeated Texas 84-73 on Nov. 25 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and beat Kansas State 78-68 on Dec. 12.
"Our guys were ready to play, and that was the great thing," A&M coach Billy Kennedy said Saturday. "Our seniors did a good job of setting the tone."
Baylor: The Bears were outrebounded 44-41 by the Aggies. "That’s uncharacteristic of our team," Drew said. "You really have to credit A&M for competing and getting a lot of 50-50 balls." … Medford collected half of Baylor’s steals with five.
Texas A&M: The Aggies were 8 for 22 from 3-point range. They also finished with 23 assists, compared to 15 for Baylor.