COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Jalen Jones and Antwan Space scored 16 each as Texas A&M raced past Northwestern State 109-68 in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.
Jordan Green and forward Tavario Miller added 15 points each in the Aggies’ most impressive opener in years.
”That was a lot of fun, and we were all really playing unselfishly,” Green said. ”We have a long way to go still, and a lot of things to improve upon. Everybody got to contribute, and from start to finish we were high-intensity.”
The Aggies recorded triple digits in a contest for the first time since a five-overtime, 116-110 loss to Baylor in 2008.
”We played extremely well, that was the best we’ve played in a long time defensively and offensively,” A&M fourth-year coach Billy Kennedy said. ”I’m just proud of our guys buying into the intensity of how we want to play defensively.”
Texas A&M shot 56.8 percent from the field (42 of 74), including 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range. A&M, which struggled rebounding under Kennedy in seasons past, out-rebounded the Demons 52-32.
”They just did some really nice things, and they stayed within coach Kennedy’s game plan, in doing the things he likes to do,” Demons coach Mike McConathy said.
Texas A&M: The Aggies announced that freshman Tonny Trocha-Morelos wasn’t eligible to play against the Demons ”due to his final NCAA amateurism certification not being completed.” A&M added in a statement that it’s ”working cooperatively with the NCAA to finalize his certification in an expeditious manner.” Kennedy said afterward the matter was ”out of his hands” and he’d just take the matter by day. A&M also announced that the NCAA has suspended sophomore Dylan Johns for the season’s first three games because of a ”violation of NCAA rules that occurred prior to his enrollment at A&M.” Trocha-Morelos is a native of Colombia while Johns hails from England. Both were likely backups to start the season.
Texas A&M faces Dayton on Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip Off (San Juan, Puerto Rico).
Northwestern State plays host to Lyon College on Monday.