COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M forward Kourtney Roberson scored a career-high 24 points as the Aggies eased past Mississippi Valley State 91-67 on Monday night.
The Aggies led 33-16 with 5:43 left in the first half before the Delta Devils outscored A&M 19-9 heading into the locker room. The Delta Devils, who lost 117-62 on Friday at Oklahoma State, at one point narrowed the Aggies' lead to 58-57 with 11:31 remaining.
"We started the game with a lot of confidence and ball movement, and then I thought we got comfortable," A&M third-year coach Billy Kennedy said. "We got too loose defensively, and offensively things came too easy for us in the beginning."
While the Delta Devils kept the game close for most of the second half, A&M (2-0) led throughout. Forward Jamal Jones drained a 3-pointer with 5:34 remaining to shove the Aggies to a 75-63 lead, and A&M outscored MVSU 16-4 the rest of the way.
"I'm proud of my players for about 20 minutes that they played," MVSU coach Chico Potts said. "It's all about consistency. If they can give me that for 20 minutes, I believe they can give that to me for 40 minutes."
Jones and Alex Caruso followed Roberson in the scoring column with 14 points each.
Anthony McDonald led the Delta Devils (0-2) with 21 points, while Darryl Marshall followed with 13.
"We talked at halftime how we dropped our intensity," Caruso said of the Aggies allowing MVSU to climb back into the contest. "That's just a lack of focus on our part. We'll take care of that. We're better than that."
A&M overwhelmed MVSU inside, in outscoring the Delta Devils 56-20 in the paint. The 6-foot-9 Roberson, who missed part of preseason camp after he was diagnosed with a rapid heartbeat, made 9 of 12 field goals and collected a game-high 10 rebounds, posting his second consecutive double-double to start the season.
"He's a load to guard," Potts said.
Jones left the game late with what Kennedy dubbed a sprained ankle, and Kennedy said his status moving forward is to be determined.
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 2-0 on the season while Mississippi Valley State fell to 0-2.
● The Aggies now lead the all-time series with the Delta Devils by a count of 3-0 … A&M is 39-2 all-time against the current members of the SWAC.
● The Aggies shot a blistering 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the floor … it was the first time A&M has shot over 60% since a .654 shooting percentage against Liberty on Nov. 9, 2011.
● On the defensive end, Texas A&M piled up a school record 12 blocked shots on the night … The previous record for blocks was 11 which occurred twice, most recently against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 21, 1997.
● A&M owned a 41-31 advantage in the rebounding column and dominated in the paint where it outscored the Delta Devils 56-20.
● Texas A&M used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Jordan Green, Kourtney Roberson, Antwan Space and Shawn Smith for the second time this season.
● The Aggies held a 42-35 lead at halftime.
● After MVSU pulled to within one point at 58-57 with 11:31 remaining in the second half, the Aggies pulled away by outscoring the Delta Devils 33-10 to end the game.
● Junior forward Kourtney Roberson continued his strong start to the season, scoring 24 points to set his personal best in scoring for the second straight game … The Arcadia, La., native also added a game-high 10 rebounds to notch his fourth career double-double and second in as many games to start the 2013-14 season.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso and junior Jamal Jones joined Roberson in double-digit scoring, each contributing 14 points … 11 of Jones’ points came after halftime.
● Caruso also dished out five assists to go along with two steals and a personal-best three blocks.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 34-33 in his third season at Texas A&M and 245-212 in 16 years as a head coach.
● The Aggies continue their homestand to start the season by hosting Rice at Reed Arena on Friday night … the game will be televised by FSN and is slated to tip-off at 8 p.m.
● Mississippi Valley State, meanwhile, will face Champions Baptist on Friday.
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