- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Texas A&M; Corpus-Christi coach Willis Wilson paid Texas A&M; center Tyler Davis the ultimate compliment on Monday night - that others should mirror Davis’s game.

Tyler Davis’s effort speaks for itself,” Wilson said. “A lot of big kids around the country can learn from the way he plays.”

Davis scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting as A&M; defeated TAUM-CC 86-69 on Monday night.

The Aggies (5-2) led 45-33 at halftime and kept the Islanders (5-2) at arms’ length the rest of the way, overwhelming their undersized opponent down low and outscoring TAMU-CC 40-24 on points in the paint.

“My teammates just found me in the right spots,” Davis said. “It was my job to post hard and create angles for the guards, and they got me the ball so I could score.”

As for that career high in points, and Wilson’s commendation?

“We’re supposed to play well inside against smaller teams,” Davis said with a shrug. “I felt like we attacked the inside.”

Admon Gilder tied his season high with 17 points for A&M; and Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 13. Cole Martinez had 13 points and Rashawn Thomas added 12 for the Islanders.

The Islanders outrebounded the Aggies 39-31, but committed 16 turnovers, including seven by Thomas, and A&M; outscored TAMU-CC 19-11 on points off turnovers.

“We didn’t even win the rebound war in this game,” Davis said. “We lost by eight. Tomorrow our focus is going to be putting bodies on people.”

Texas A&M; had 21 assists on 31 field goals and shot 54 percent overall.

“We didn’t defend like we wanted to, maybe because of not playing for seven or eight days,” A&M; coach Billy Kennedy said. “I just know we need to get better defensively.”

BIG PICTURE

The Aggies looked rusty after having not played for more than a week (a Nov. 27 loss to UCLA for a second-place finish in the Wooden Legacy), and failed to distance themselves from their outmanned opponent until very late in the contest. A&M; plays three home games in six days this week, however, so rust should not be an issue by this weekend.

The Islanders, whose only other loss was at Cal Poly on Saturday, kept their contest against a Southeastern Conference foe competitive throughout. They also considered it good experience for an upcoming “big-name” game, at Oklahoma State on Dec. 22.

UP NEXT

After playing three consecutive games away from Reed Arena, Texas A&M; will play its second straight home game on Wednesday night against Denver.

TAMU-CC returns to Corpus Christi, where they’re undefeated in four games, to host St. Mary’s (of Texas) on Friday.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

The teams combined for 11 blocks, including seven by A&M.; Aggies guard D.J. Hogg collected a season-high three rejections, after entering the game with five in six prior contests.

TURNING POINT

The Aggies led by three points (28-25) with a little more than six minutes remaining in the first half when Aggies guard JC Hampton capitalized on a turnover by Rashawn Thomas with a layup. In the following couple of minutes A&M; increased its lead to double digits, where it would stay the rest of the way.

HE SAID IT

“You’re going to have a hard time beating anybody, let alone on the road, if you can’t get to the free-throw line more than six times.” TAMU-CC coach Willis Wilson on the Islanders shooting 6 of 6 from the free-throw line compared to 16 of 24 for the Aggies.

HE SAID IT, TOO:

“These games are all preparation for SEC play. So they’re as important as any games we’re playing.”

A&M; center Tyler Davis on facing opponents from smaller conferences.


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