Law scores 18 as Aggies beat Wildcats in Big 12 opener

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Acie Law just wanted another chance.

After missing two free throws with 19 seconds left that would have secured No. 11 Texas A&M's win, Law got his chance and made two from the line with 7 seconds to go to help the Aggies beat Kansas State 69-65 on Saturday night.

"As soon as we took it out, I made a point to go get the ball because I wanted to redeem myself and make the shots," Law said. "My team needed them and I was able to come through. I should have made those two I missed."

Texas A&M led 66-63 before Akeem Wright drove through the lane
for a layup that made it 66-65 with 7 seconds remaining. Law, who finished with 18 points, hit both foul shots to stretch the lead to three.

The game was the Big 12 opener for both teams and the win gives Texas A&M (13-2) its best start since 1978-79. It was also the Aggies' sixth straight win overall and their 17th in a row at home.

"It wasn't very pretty, but anytime you win in the Big 12 it's awfully nice," Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. "We're lucky to be 1-0. It wasn't our best performance, but it was a winning performance."

Wright cut A&M's lead to 64-63 with a jumper with 1:14 remaining. That time, Dominique Kirk hit two free throws for the Aggies to make it 66-63.

Texas A&M took the lead for good when Josh Carter hit a 3-pointer with 3:57 left. He grabbed a rebound and made a layup on A&M's next possession to extend the lead to 64-61.

"He made a couple of real big plays," Gillispie said. "For us to be very good Josh has to do well."

Carter had 11 points and five assists and Joseph Jones added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Wright led Kansas State (10-5) with 18 points and eight rebounds.

In his first season at Kansas State, Bob Huggins' streak of 11 wins in conference openers was broken with the loss. He didn't find any consolation in the game being close.

"You don't get style points," he said. "You don't get points for playing hard. We came here to win and we're very disappointed we weren't able to win. It's not about playing hard, it's about figuring out a way to win."

Texas A&M struggled offensively, but was able to survive by making a season-high 22 free throws.

"I don't know if we ever got it going," Gillispie said. "We scored 69 points, but I never felt comfortable offensively. We didn't attack the way we needed to and we were tentative all night."

Neither team was able to pull away before Kansas State went on a 7-0 run, fueled by a 3 and two free throws by Lance Harris, to take a 53-48 lead with 11:57 remaining in the second half. The Aggies didn't make a basket for more than 4 minutes midway through the second half, with their only point in that stretch coming on a free throw by Antanas Kavaliauskas.

Jones finally broke the drought on a layup with 8:15 remaining to make it 53-50. The Wildcats answered with a jump shot by Wright on the next possession.

Carter was fouled by Harris and crashed to the ground on a made 3-pointer. He converted the foul shot to cut the lead to one. Law's jump shot put Texas A&M back on top, 56-55.

"The four-point play was huge because we were sinking and stinking," Gillispie said. "That was a really big shot by Josh. You have to account for him at all times when he's on the court."

The Wildcats were without starter Bill Walker for most of the
game after he injured his knee early in the first half. Huggins said he is unsure of the extent of his injury.

"I don't know how bad it is," Huggins said. "I can't tell you what I don't know."

Texas A&M remained one of two teams -- along with Michigan State -- that have not allowed an opponent to score more than 65 points this season.

Texas A&M led 32-30 at halftime.