Frank Tolbert shoots over Texas A&M's Acie Law IV in the first half Friday night in Auburn.
Dec. 22, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - No. 13 Texas A&M doesn't need the homecourt advantage.
The Aggies just rely on good defense and hot shooting.
Acie Law scored 21 points and the Aggies led all the way in an 87-58 victory over Auburn on Friday night.
The Aggies (10-2) shot 57 percent from the field and never led by fewer than 20 points in the second half. It was Texas A&M's third straight win since consecutive losses in the team's only previous road games.
Aggies coach Billy Gillespie wasn't all that impressed.
"There wasn't a whole lot of fancy stuff," Gillespie said. "It was just we made more shots than they did."
There was more to it than that.
The Aggies wouldn't let the Tigers (9-4) get the ball inside to leading scorer Korvotney Barber in good position, holding Auburn to 33 percent shooting and had the game in hand by halftime.
"We didn't want to let them get back in," said Law, who was 8-of-13 from the field. "Once they got behind, it was like everything was going in our favor."
Josh Carter was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and added 12 points for the Aggies, while Marlon Pompeii had 11 points and Dominique Kirk and Donald Sloan each scored 10.
But Auburn coach Jeff Lebo was more dazzled by Law, whom he called "as good a guard as I've seen in a while." Law seemed able to drive at will against a quick Auburn team, and had four assists.
"They dominated us inside with their strength and Acie Law was the difference in the game," Lebo said. "He's good. We didn't have any answers for him.
"Law beat us off the bounce whenever he wanted to."
Quan Prowell led Auburn with 20 points. He was 4-of-8 from 3-point range while the rest of the team was 2-for-24.
Josh Dollard added 12 points for the Tigers.
Texas A&M used a 21-2 run and smothering defense to build a 43-23 halftime lead. Carter hit three consecutive 3-pointers early but the Aggies mostly pounded away inside the rest of the game against the undersized Tigers.
Auburn missed its first 13 3-point attempts. Unable to get the ball inside, the Tigers just kept firing away. Barber scored eight points, seven below his season average. But he only attempted two field goals, making half his 12 free throws.
"They packed it in and dared us to shoot the ball," Lebo said. "We just have to make shots. We had some wide-open looks but couldn't get them to go."
Texas A&M was efficient, scoring 21 points off turnovers and getting 30 points from its reserves.
"It's a big win for us coming into a (Southeastern Conference) team," Law said. "We haven't been playing that good on the road."
Gillespie said winning in an opponent's arena wasn't his biggest concern.
"We played a very difficult schedule not only at home but on the road," he said. "It's not so much winning on the road. Teams in the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 road are not the problem. The team that awaits you there is the problem.
"It's good to win anywhere."
Besides, the road losses were to No. 1 UCLA and No. 12 LSU.
This is the first time the Tigers have hosted two ranked nonconference teams in the same season. They lost to No. 7 Pittsburgh 74-66 on Dec. 3.
All four Auburn losses have come against ranked teams, none by more than 14 points until this one.