Building Champions
Aggies Beat Bulldogs, 68-49

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Donald Sloan scored a game-high 22 points.

Donald Sloan scored a game-high 22 points.

Nov. 20, 2009

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Guard Donald Sloan scored a game-high 22 points as Texas A&M pulled away from Samford in the second half to win 68-49 Friday night.

Guard Derrick Roland followed Sloan with 14 points.

The Aggies (3-0), who led by only a point at halftime 36-35, busted the game open midway through the second half on the strength of 3-pointers by B.J. Holmes, Sloan and Nathan Walkup in a span of 2 minutes 33 seconds. The last one lifted A&M to a 56-44 lead.

Mark Turgeon [mp3]

Donald Sloan &
Dash Harris [mp3]

Samford Head Coach Jimmy Tillette [mp3]

Sloan, a senior, finished 7 of 11 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. The Aggies shot 50 percent from the field in both halves (12 of 24 and 11 of 22).

Andy King led Samford (0-4) with 17 points.

The teams hadn't played since 1977, a 106-91 A&M victory in Birmingham, Ala.

TEXAS A&M 68, SAMFORD 49 POSTGAME QUOTES

SAMFORD COACH JIMMY TILLETTE

"I've got a long list of things which I try to avoid in life, some of which are diphthongs, the Gougenheim Museum and Mark Turgeon-coached teams. There are really four phases of the game, offensive transition, offensive half-court basketball, defensive transition and defensive half-court basketball. And his teams, as long as I've played him, are sold in all four phases of the game. There's not just one thing they do well."

On the difference in the halves: "The first half was good. We couldn't really compete the way we wanted to compete in the second half. They are a really good basketball team. We don't have anyone that can come close to matching up with (Donald) Sloan. They are unselfish and they take care of the basketball. We started the second half with some uncharacteristically silly walk calls. We also missed some easy shots under the basket and things went downhill from there. I thought we got the ball around the basket, we just missed shots. That would have backed them off if we'd made some shots."

TEXAS A&M COACH Mark Turgeon

"The game went kind of the way I expected it to go. I thought we'd have a hard time guarding them at the start of the game. I thought we'd do certain things better defensively than we did. We were soft on a few things. 32 (Andy King) made five threes on us, and we couldn't get to him in the first half. It took a while to adjust to that. We did a much better job in the second half. They are really good, well-coached, and have had injuries which kind of hurt their team. I'm really proud of our group though, especially in the second half. We made the adjustments and did what we had to do. We really shared the ball. We had to be patient and do that. These guys are just really buying in and being a good basketball team."

On Donald Sloan: "He's pretty dialed in. He's making a lot of jump shots, which is nice. I think his shooting is always a little underrated. He works at it. He's playing well. The thing I like that we did tonight was we ran one play for him tonight. The rest were out of motion and just being basketball players. We're getting so much better at that. I was very happy for him."

On his halftime message: "(It was to) guard the way we are capable of guarding. I told them all we do is work on defense, so let's act like it. They got the message and just locked in. There's a lot of competitiveness in that group. It starts with the seniors. They were disappointed in the way we were guarding. They stepped it up."

On Dash Harris: "I'm really proud of Dash. His decision making has been very good. He's not forcing shots. He started feeling it late. He's shooting the ball better and his confidence is growing. He's playing the way we thought he'd play all along when we got him. I'm sure he'll make a turnover at some point, but he's really running our team well and guarding well."

A&M SENIOR GUARD Donald Sloan

On the halftime message: "It was pretty obvious we weren't communicating enough and playing a little lackadaisical. Pretty much the halftime speech was that if we go out and play in California like this, we will get embarrassed on national TV. That soaked in our minds and we played with more intensity. We kept our composure at the same time. It pretty much woke us up."

On the different halves: "We played with more energy. That's about it. And we communicated more. In the first half, we thought our principals would take over and we would just fill in the spots. But we had to talk a lot more because they were doing things different than we had scouted. We knew 32 (Andy King) was a good shooter but we didn't know he'd shoot every time he got it. He made the first couple and went right back to shooting it again. That kind of shocked us. We were wondering if they were going to run the plays we were used to seeing on film."

On his game tonight: "I was feeling it, and I just think the shots were there. The coaches and my teammates have put a lot of work in over the past six months. Right now it's just paying off. I'm hoping that I'll be able to continue to shoot how I'm shooting it."

A&M SOPHOMORE GUARD DASH HARRIS

On the difference in the halves: "Primarily, our goal on offense after getting a rebound is to score on the primary break. We weren't doing that in the first half. We weren't rebounding. We were letting them get inside us. Once we started rebounding, we got out on the break and that made it a lot easier for us."

On his shooting: "I definitely put in a lot of work in the summer and preseason working and hitting open shots. It's pretty much paying off. The team is working hard, so I've got to step up and make shots for the team. TEXAS A&M NOTES: *A&M has won 58 straight regular-season non-conference homes games. *Donald Sloan scored 22 points, his second straight 20-point gameand his eighth straight game in double figures dating back to last season. A&M is 36-13 when Sloan scores in double figures in his career. *Sloan made a career-best 5-of-6 three-pointers. His previous best was three against seven opponents,including SMU on Monday. For the year, Sloan is 9-of-12 on three-pointers (.750). *Sloan also set a season high for rebounds (6) and tied his season high for assists (4). A&M is 42-8 when Sloan has 3 or more assists in his career. *Dash Harris scored a career-high 11 points with a career-best 7 assists (0 turnovers). His previous bests were 9 points in the opener against Angelo State and 5 assists last year against Texas and Tech. A&M is 11-1 when Harris has at least 3 assists in his career. *Harris also matched his career high in three-pointers, making 2-of-4. He is 3-of-6 on three-pointers this season after going 3-of-15 all of last season. *Derrick Roland scored 14 points, his third straight game in double figures to open the season. A&M is 13-3 when Roland scores in double figures in his career. *A&M had 8 fast break points. The Aggies are 21-1 under Mark Turgeon when they have 8 or more fast break points. *A&M is 49-9 under Mark Turgeon when it scores at least 60 points. *A&M made 50.0 percent from the field. The Aggies are 23-0 under Turgeon when they make at least 50 percent. *A&M had just 5 turnovers. The Aggies came into the game averaging 9.5, fewest in the Big 12. *Samford made 42.6 percent from the field. A&M is 46-12 under Turgeon when its opponent makes under 50 percent. *A&M is 43-9 under Turgeon when its opponent scores fewer than 60 points and has won seven straight.

 

 

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