Elston Turner, Texas A&M top Troy 83-65
Elston Turner scores 26, Texas A&M cruises past Troy 83-65 for 2nd win
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Four players scored at least 13 points for Texas A&M on Monday night in an 83-65 thumping of Troy — exactly what Aggies coach Billy Kennedy envisions for this squad.
"We're going to have to win by committee," Kennedy said.
Senior guard Elston Turner led the way with a game-high 26 points. Ray Turner and Fabyon Harris each added 14 points and Alex Caruso chipped in 13 in the winning effort. Hunter Williams led Troy (1-1) with 15 points, and Ray Chambers followed with 10.
Kennedy also announced before the game that sophomore forward Daniel Alexander has left the program "to pursue other opportunities." No further details were given. Alexander played in 28 games last season, scoring a career-high 12 points in a loss to Baylor on Feb. 1.
The Aggies (2-0), who leaped to a 45-29 halftime lead, shot 52.7 percent from the field compared to Troy's 43.6 percent. Elston Turner, the Aggies' leading scorer last season with 14 points per game, made 9 of 14 shots from the field, including 4-7 3-pointers.
"You're going to play against so many different teams that play so many different ways," Elston Turner said. "We played a four-guard lineup (against Troy) so we had to adjust. I love the versatility of this team, and how we're able to guard."
Elston Turner added that he was proud of Caruso, who also tallied five rebounds and four assists.
"You can name about four or five ways he impacts a game," Elston Turner said. "He can shoot the ball and he's smart, and that's rare for a freshman."
A&M was particularly solid from the free-throw line, in making 18 of 20.
"I'm ecstatic we're making free throws and getting to the line," Kennedy said.
The coach added of Turner's performance, "Elston has a calming effect on our younger guys, when they get rattled a bit."
The Aggies also had 21 assists to only eight turnovers in a crisp effort early in the season. Freshman J'Mychal Reese notched a game-high six assists.
"He's very poised for a freshman, and doesn't make many mistakes," Elston Turner said of Reese, son of A&M assistant John Reese. "That's going to help when we get to SEC play and start facing teams like Kentucky and Florida."
Reese missed all five of his field-goal attempts in a shaky second college outing on the shooting front.
"He had to guard their best perimeter player (Emil Jones, eight points), and offensively it will come for him," Kennedy said.
The Aggies shot 16 of 28 from the field in the first half (57.1 percent) but 13 of 27 (48.1 percent) in the second half as Troy tightened a 16-point halftime deficit to 64-57 with 8:52 remaining. A&M then led 71-63 with 5:27 remaining before the Aggies used a 12-2 run to put away the Trojans.
"When we had that little run, Elston just put his team on his back and they answered," Troy coach Don Maestri said. "I was proud of our guys for getting back in the game."
A&M and Troy had never played before Tuesday.
"That's the last time I'm wearing this jacket," Maestri said of an apparently bad-luck sport coat. "Now I can go throw this baby away."
The contest was part of the Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Aggies will next play host to Prairie View A&M on Thursday night, which is not part of the CBE Classic, before facing Saint Louis on Nov. 19 and either No. 7 Kansas or Washington State the following day.
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