COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M freshman Davonte Fitzgerald led the way with 17 points as the Aggies toppled Arkansas 69-53 in Reed Arena in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener.
A&M (10-4) entered the contest shooting 29.9 percent from the 3-point line, but finished 7 of 17 (41.2 percent) against the Razorbacks (11-3) in an unusual display of collective hot hands from the outside. Meanwhile the Aggies' defense held Arkansas to 4 of 19 percent (21.1 percent) from the 3-point line.
Fabyon Harris and Jamal Jones chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Aggies, while Rashad Madden led the Razorbacks with a dozen points. The Razorbacks' leading scorer entering the game, Mike Qualls, was held to two points in making 1 of 12 shots from the field.
Texas A&M Basketball
Texas A&M 69, Arkansas 53
Jan. 8, 2014 ● Reed Arena
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 10-4 on the season and 1-0 in SEC play with the 69-53 win over Arkansas at Reed Arena Wednesday evening … The Aggies are 10-1 on their home court this season.
● The Aggies have opened SEC play with a win over the Razorbacks each of the last two years and are now 7-2 in their last nine conference-opening contests.
● The match-up between the old Southwest Conference rivals was the 150th in the long-time series between the schools which dates back to the 1923-24 season … Arkansas leads the all-time series 97-53.
● The Aggies started off hot from the floor in the contest making their first five shots, while UA misfired on its first five attempts … A&M shot 40.7 percent (24-of-59) for the game.
● Texas A&M’s defense held the Razorbacks to season lows in both points (53) and shooting percentage (36.2%) … It was the fourth time this season A&M has held an opponent to 55 points or less in a contest.
● The Aggies displayed great ball movement in the contest and were credited with 18 assists on 24 made field goals … A&M also notched 10 steals in the win.
● A&M collected seven blocked shots in the contest to record its seventh game of seven or more blocks this season and bring its total through 14 games up to 79 … A year ago, the Aggies had just 98 blocks the entire season.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Jordan Green, Fabyon Harris, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the second time this season.
● The Aggies took a 35-33 lead into the intermission before outscoring the Hogs 34-20 after halftime.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso tallied a career-high 11 assists against the Razorbacks to become the first Aggie to reach double-digits in assists since Acie Law accomplished the feat against Texas on Feb. 5, 2007 … Caruso also contributed seven rebounds, four points and four steals.
● Freshman Davonte Fitzgerald enjoyed a career night in his first action in the SEC, finishing with a personal-best and game-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and a 7-of-8 mark from the free throw line.
● Senior Fabyon Harris produced his second straight game in double-digit scoring, racking up 15 points in the win … In three career games vs Arkansas, Harris is averaging 16.0 points per contest.
● Junior Jamal Jones approached his first career double-double by finishing with 14 points and a personal-best eight boards.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 42-37 in his third season at Texas A&M and 253-216 in 16 years as a head coach.
● Texas A&M will embark on its first SEC roadtrip this weekend when it travels to Knoxville, Tenn., to face Tennessee … The game will tip-off at 5 p.m. (CT) and be televised by FSN.
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