Aggies Handle Rattlers

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Josh Carter scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half and Texas A&M (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) beat Florida A&M 83-54 on Saturday for its fifth straight win.

Carter, who led the nation in 3-point accuracy last season, went 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half against the Rattlers. He missed both of his attempts from behind the arc during limited action in the second half.

Aggies coach Mark Turgeon moved into a tie with Billy Gillispie for the best start by a first-year coach in school history at 12-1. Gillispie, now the Kentucky coach, went 12-1 to start the 2004-05 season.

Texas A&M led by 17 at halftime and outscored Florida A&M 11-5 in the opening minutes of the second half to stretch its lead to 58-35 with about 15 minutes to play.

Joseph Jones sunk a 3-pointer and he and freshman DeAndre Jordan each made a layup to help increase the lead to 65-40 a couple minutes later. Turgeon started featuring his reserves soon after that.

Jordan finished with 15 points and Bryan Davis had 13 for the Aggies. Dominique Kirk didn't score, but led the team with seven assists and six rebounds.

The Rattlers (3-8) jumped out to a 5-0 lead despite having a 12-day break since their last game. The Aggies, who have three starters taller than 6-foot-6, had trouble keeping up with the quickness of the smallish Rattlers at the start but soon adjusted.

Florida A&M led 12-10 with about 15 minutes left after a 3-pointer by Leslie Robinson but the Aggies responded with an 8-0 run.

Florida A&M got within one with about 11 minutes remaining before halftime. The Aggies then scored 10 straight points, and led 47-30 at halftime.

As usual, Jordan provided a highlight when he took an alley-oop inbound pass from Kirk and finished with a two-handed dunk midway through the first half.

Akini Akini led Florida A&M with 10 points and six rebounds and Robinson had nine points.

The Rattlers have lost four of their last five.

The Aggies' schedule heats up in the next week as they face Rice on Monday before Saturday's matchup with LSU and the start of Big 12 play against Colorado on Jan. 12.