HOUSTON (AP) - Texas A&M, led by Elston Turner's 16 first-half points and 26 overall, defeated Houston 70-59 on Saturday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Aggies (6-1) led 42-24 at halftime before Houston climbed back in the contest by slicing Texas A&M's lead to 62-54 with 2:09 remaining. But Turner, a senior guard and team leader, tallied 10 points, including two 3-pointers, in the final 4:52 to hold the Cougars at bay.
J.J. Thompson led the Cougars (5-2) with 16 points, and Jherrod Stiggers followed with 12.
Texas A&M post players Kourtney Roberson and Ray Turner chipped in 14 points each, and Alex Caruso notched a game-high seven assists.
The Aggies doubled up the Cougars on offensive rebounds, 14-7, and won the overall rebounding margin 40-26. The former Southwest Conference members collided at Hofheinz for the first time since 2003.
Texas A&M Basketball
Texas A&M 70, Houston 59
Dec. 1, 2012 ● Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston, Texas)
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 on the road this season.
● Houston, meanwhile, fell to 5-2 on the year and 3-1 at Hofheinz Pavilion.
● The all-time series between the former Southwest Conference partners now stands at 53-31 in favor of Houston.
● The Aggies owned a 40-26 advantage in the rebounding column, their biggest margin this season.
● A&M dominated the interior of the lane all night, holding a 40-14 edge in points in the paint.
● For the game, A&M shot 29-of-60 (.483) while Houston hit 20-of-49 shots from the field (.408).
● Senior Ray Turner collected his fifth career double-double, finishing with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
● Senior Elston Turner scored 16 first half points en route to a career-high tying 26 points … he led the team in scoring for the fifth time this year and the 16th time in the last two seasons.
● Elston also extended his streak of scoring double-digit points to seven … he has 30 games of 10 or more points during his two-year A&M career.
● Sophomore Kourtney Roberson also reached double-digits in scoring for the Aggies, finishing with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
● Freshman Alex Caruso set a new career-high by dishing out a game-best seven assists.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 20-19 in his second season at Texas A&M and 231-198 in 15 years as a head coach.
FIRST HALF NOTES
● The Aggies took a 42-24 lead into the intermission.
● Texas A&M set the tone early by beginning the game on a 6-0 run that was powered by a dunk from Kourtney Roberson and two early baskets from Ray Turner.
● A&M came out hot, shooting 19-for-31 (.613) from the floor in the game’s opening 20 minutes … Houston, meanwhile, shot 8-of-24 (.333) in the first half.
● The Aggies ended the half on a 12-0 spurt, taking their biggest lead of the afternoon to the intermission.
● Elston Turner led all players with 16 points at the half, shooting 7-of-12 in the opening period.
SECOND HALF NOTES
● The Cougars held a 35-28 lead in second half scoring, led by J.J. Thompson and Jherrod Stiggers, who each had nine points in the second half.
● Elston Turner led the Aggies with 10 points after the intermission.
● The Aggie shot 10-of-29 (.345) during the second half while the Cougars made 12-of-25 field goal attempts (.480).
● The Aggies return to the Reed Arena for their next contest, which will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5, when Texas A&M hosts Stephen F. Austin.
● Houston, meanwhile, will travel to Fort Worth to battle TCU on Tuesday, Dec. 4.