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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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Aggies not slowed by suspensions in win over Tarleton

Texas+A%26M+vs+Tarleton+State
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
Texas A&M vs Tarleton State

Down four starters due to suspension, short-handed Texas A&M was not slowed in a 72-46 win over Tarleton State in an exhibition game Friday night at Reed Arena.
Admon Gilder, D.J. Hogg, Robert Williams all sat due to violation of team rules, while JJ Caldwell served the second leg of his five-game suspension.
“It’s disappointing obviously, but it’s something we’ve got to do fast because we’ve got West Virginia coming up,” Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said of the suspensions. “Some teams got to go through different things at different times of the year and I’d much rather go through it at this time of the year and get it addressed and hopefully learn from it.”
Freshman guard T.J. Starks provided a spark off the bench for the Aggies, scoring a game-high 21 points. Starks was near perfect shooting across the board for the night, missing just two field goals in 25 minutes of action.
“T.J. Starks is a guy that’s got a chance to be a really good player for us when he plays under control,” Kennedy said. “I thought he did a good job playing with pace today.”
Behind Starks, starters Duane Wilson and Tonny Trocha-Morelos were the only other Aggies to score in double-figures. Trocha-Morelos accounted for 11 points, while Wilson scored 10 with nine coming the first half.
Bench points boosted the Aggies though, as backups racked up nearly half of A&M’s points with 35.
“I got a great look at our bench, so it’s great experience for our young guys who were planning on playing,” Kennedy said.
Normal starters said they enjoyed different lineups with a rotation of youthful bench players seeing meaningful minutes
“I think that was the fun of the game, playing with those guys and just watching them just go out there and have fun,” center Tyler Davis, who led the Aggies with eight rebounds said.
Shooting struggles troubled the Texans, who made just 27 percent of their attempts from the field.
“We’re a very young team right now and you can tell we’re out of sync,” Tarleton State head coach Lon Reisman said. “We just didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight. We both took 56 shots … I think the bottom is they’re much ahead of us offensively in what they’re doing.”
A&M was able to dominate down low with TSU using a smaller lineup, outscoring the Texans 38-14 in the paint. Tempo torched TSU too, as the Aggies outscored the Texans in fast break points, 20-2.
“I thought the big difference in the game was transition defense,” Reisman said. “I bet they had maybe 20 points on transition that were easy buckets that really hurt us bad. We just didn’t get back transition-wise and that was a big factor in the game.”
TSU played tight and tough in the opening minutes and trailed by just two, 17-15, with 7:43 to go in the first half. A&M soon asserted its dominance though, going on a 17-0 run and holding the Texans scoreless for nearly seven minutes to build a comfortable 34-19 halftime lead.
With preseason play over, A&M sets its sights on a challenging regular-season opener next Friday when the Aggies travel to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany to take on No. 10 West Virginia in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic.

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