Texas A&,M 74, Manhattan 45
Texas A&M rebounded from a tough loss, but remains a work in progress.
Khris Middleton scored 20 points and Texas A&M beat Manhattan 74-45 Friday in the second round of the Old Spice Classic.
B.J. Holmes and Kourtney Roberson both added 12 points for Texas A&M (4-1), which was coming off a disappointing 67-65 setback to Boston College on Thursday.
''I thought we played in spurts,'' Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. ''That's who we are. I told the guys at halftime, 'Guys, we can't have dips. We've got to keep going upward and then have small dips. We have major dips. We have them in practice, we have them in games.''
After Michael Alvarado's three-point play pulled Manhattan within 43-38 seven minutes into the second half, Middleton gave Texas A&M some breathing room with five straight points. He hit a 3 right after teammate Ray Turner misfired on a slam dunk attempt and then added a rebound basket that made it 48-38 with 11 minutes to play.
''That was really one of the backbreakers,'' Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen said. ''We were right there, knocking on the door.''
Texas A&M extended its advantage to 60-42 when Middleton connected on a 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
Manhattan (2-3) got 11 points and 10 rebounds from freshman Rhamel Brown. The Jaspers have lost three in a row.
''We were fighting and we were competing,'' Rohrssen said.
Manhattan's opening round game Thursday was an offensive struggle. Wisconsin led just 17-10 at halftime en route to a 50-35 victory over the Jaspers.
Holmes had 10 points to help Texas A&M take a 39-25 halftime lead. The Aggies, who have outscored their opponents 199-125 during the first half this season, led by as many as 17 in the opening 20 minutes.
''We were able to get ourselves in control of the ballgame and keep playing hard,'' Middleton said.