Donald Sloan scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer in the game-changing 7-0 run, to lead No. 19 Texas A&M to a 74-62 win over Akron at A&M's Reed Arena on Friday night, snapping Akron's four-game win streak.
Texas A&M (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) came into the game seeking to win its third in a row and extend its home non-conference win streak to 47.
Unlike several previous cames this season, Texas A&M started quickly and raced to an eleven point lead, 13-2, in the first our and a half minutes of play.
The Aggies still held an eleven point lead at the 6:17 mark in the first half, 24-13, after a Nathan Walkup dunk.
But the Aggies went cold and Akron mounted a 10-2 run to pull back to within three at halftime, 26-23.
Akron scored first in the second half to cut the Aggie lead to one, 26-25.
The Aggies built a small lead but Akron kept it close much of the second half, training by just 6, 56-50, with 7:35 left in the game.
A couple of Bryan Davis free throws with 2:03 to play pushed the Aggie lead to sixteen, 69-53, and from there Texas A&M cruised to a 74-62 win.
In addition to Sloan's 17 points and 4 steals for Texas A&M, Derrick Roland scored 15 point, Bryan Davis had 11 points and 7 rebounds and Dash Harris had 7 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals.
Texas A&M shot under 40 percent but did make 75 percent from the free throw line.
"We were just missing a lot of shots," A&M guard Derrick Roland said when asked why Akron was able to still be hanging around late in the game. "We missed a lot of 3-pointers and a lot of layups, too. Not to take anything away from Akron, they were playing good defense, but we were also missing shots."
But the Aggies did play tough defense, holding Akron to 36.5 percent shooting, while forcing 17 turnovers that the Aggies turned into 19 points.
The Aggies limited the Zips' leading scorer, guard Anthony Hitchens, to two points on 1-of-10 shooting. Hitchens entered the game averaging 10.7 points per game.
"We knew he liked to look for his shot," said A&M guard Dash Harris, who tallied a career high in assists (8) and steals (4). "I wanted to keep a hand in his face and bother him -- I wanted him to make plays for other people."
Akron and Texas A&M had not played since 1949.
While perhaps not as convincing a win as some might have expected, A&M coach Mark Turgeon did not take Akron lightly and knew they'd be tough, saying "This was a game I was nervous about," 1 said. "Akron is picked to win its league."
A&M has now won 47 consecutive nonconference home games.
Texas A&M next hosts North Texas (4-2) on Monday night.