No. 25 Texas A&M beats No. 11 West Virginia 88-65 in Germany

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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) - Tyler Davis had 23 points and 13 rebounds, Admon Gilder scored 23 points and No. 25 Texas A&M overcame a sluggish start to dominate No. 11 West Virginia 88-65 early Saturday in the Armed Forces Classic.

D.J. Hogg added 19 points for the Aggies, who played without suspended forward Robert Williams and point guard J.J. Caldwell. Gilder also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

James "Beetle" Bolden led West Virginia with 19 points. Jevon Carter added 13 and Wes Harris scored 12.

The game was played in a hangar on the sprawling Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany and it marked the only matchup among ranked men's teams on the opening day of the college basketball season.

West Virginia had its highest AP preseason ranking since 2009-10. But the Mountaineers struggled mightily after jumping to an early 13-point lead.

West Virginia got sloppy with the ball and committed several turnovers against the Aggies' zone defense late in the first half.

Texas A&M went on a 19-2 run spanning both halves, with Gilder's 3-pointer giving the Aggies a 57-40 lead with 15:29 left.

By then, the Mountaineers looked spent and Texas A&M kept pouring it on.


Texas A&M: The Aggies shot well from all areas of the court, including 10 of 19 from 3-point range, and will be a team to watch as the season progresses. Three newcomers got their first starts: freshmen Savion Flagg and JayJay Chandler and graduate transfer Duane Wilson.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers forced five turnovers in the first 5 minutes but their relentless pressure defense took a toll on themselves. West Virginia started the game 10 of 17 from the field and finished 24 of 70 (34 percent).


Texas A&M faces UC Santa Barbara at home next Friday.

West Virginia plays American at home next Wednesday.

Postgame Notes

? Texas A&M tipped off the 2017-18 season with an 88-65 win over No. 11 West Virginia at Ramstein Air Base during the Armed Forces Classic.
? The victory was A&M's fifth over a ranked opponent since the start of the 2015-16 season as well as the highest-ranked opponent defeated by the Aggies since a 62-61 win over Gonzaga on Nov. 26, 2015.
? The win was the first for the Aggies in the series with West Virginia, which now stands at 2-1 in favor of the Mountaineers.

? Texas A&M struggled shooting early in the contest, misfiring on 12 of its first 14 shots from the field, allowing the Mountaineers to build as much as a 13-point advantage.
? Shaking off their early shooting woes, the Aggies closed the opening stanza on a 10-2 run, taking a 45-38 lead into the intermission … after halftime A&M outscored WVU 43-27.
? For the game, Texas A&M shot 48.4 percent (31-for-64) from the field including a 29-for-50 mark (58 percent) after opening the game 2-for-14.
? On the boards, A&M owned a 47-35 rebounding advantage as well as a 34-20 edge for points in the pain.
? Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Jay Jay Chandler, Savion Flagg, Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Tyler Davis.

? Junior Tyler Davis christened the new season with an impressive showing, posting his seventh career double-double by claiming game highs in both points (23) and rebounds (13) … The SEC's leader in field goal percentage a year ago, Davis was 10-of-12 from the field and converted all three of his 'and-one' chances.
? Junior Admon Gilder also notched 23 points, hitting 8-of-12 field goals with a 4-of-5 mark from 3-point range … Gilder also dished out a game-high seven assists and pulled down a career-best nine rebounds.
? Returning to the court after an injury prematurely ended his sophomore campaign, DJ Hogg hit 4-of-6 3-point field goals attempts to contribute 19 points along with six assists.
? Head Coach Billy Kennedy is now 116-85 during his seven-year tenure as A&M's head coach.

? After returning to the United States, the Aggies will have a few days to recover from their trip across the Atlantic before hosting UCSB in their home opener at Reed Arena on Nov. 17. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. with coverage on SEC Network+.