Ags hold on against feisty Tarleton State

Tarleton State jumped out to an early lead, but once the Aggies found their groove, they never looked back. Aggie Websider has the full report from Reed Arena.

Down by seven points with more then 15 minutes remaining in the game, the raucous group of Tarleton State students who made the drive from Stephenville began chanting "overrated" from the second level of Reed Arena.

It didn't make since then, and it didn't make since 15 minutes later, as the Aggies cruised down the stretch to a 71-62 win over their sister school.

The Aggies entered the game looking to show improvement from last week's exhibition opener, and for the most part, they accomplished that goal.

"We were a lot better in this game than last," said A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. "We got a little tired late in the game, but that comes from our guys working our tails off the last two days. I was afraid that I worked them a little too hard, but we came out and responded very well."

Joseph Jones led the way for A&M with a game-high 17 points, and Bryan Davis was just as dominating in the paint, adding 12 points and tying DeAndre Jordan with a game-high six rebounds.

Josh Carter and Derrick Roland also reached the double digit mark in points. Carter shot 50 percent from the field and scored 13 points, while Roland added 10.

But according to Carter, the difference between game one against Emporia State on Thursday night and Monday's game against Tarleton State was on defense.

"Things went more smoothly, offensively, than they have been, and we are starting to get used to the new system and fitting into it very well," Carter said. "The difference between this game and last game is that we started playing defense. I think the second half was some of the best defense we have played as a team."

The Aggies used that defense to force a couple of key turnovers that led to easy transition baskets and increased their lead to 15 points in the second half.

But Tarleton wouldn't go quietly into the night, hitting several clutch three-pointers down the stretch to keep the game close.

But Davis sank two clutch free throws on an intentional foul with just over a minute to play which gave A&M a nine-point lead and iced the game for the Aggies.

Texas A&M will return to action on Friday night in the regular season opener against McNeese State at Reed Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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