ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Derrick Roland provided unexpected offense to give Texas A&M its second victory over a ranked team in three games.
Roland scored 19 points to lead Texas A&M to a 66-65 victory over Minnesota (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) in the 76 Classic on Sunday."I don't look for D-Ro to score," A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "I know he does but I don't. It's just icing on the cake when he does."A wrist injury limited Roland to 12 total points in the previous two tournament games."I had been getting treatment and I felt better today," Roland said. "I played loose."Roland, who made the Big 12 Conference's All-Defense team last year, played a major role when he wasn't scoring."The reason we struggled defensively against West Virginia [in Friday night's 73-66 loss] was because he was sitting next to me," Turgeon said. "We're a much better team defensively when he's out there."Nathan Walkup added 11 points while B.J. Holmes and Donald Sloan scored 10 points apiece for the Aggies (5-1).Colton Iverson had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Golden Gophers (3-2). Paul Carter added 13 points and Damian Johnson scored 12 points.Minnesota's Al Nolen and Lawrence Westbrook did not start for disciplinary reasons, coach Tubby Smith said. Westbrook leads Minnesota in scoring, Nolan in assists.Texas A&M, which led by as many as 11 points, held a 66-59 lead with 1:11 to play. But Carter paced a late rally that the Golden Gophers used to narrow the margin to one point.Carter got fouled while making a lay-in and converted the free throw with 1:04 left. Nolen added another lay-in with 26.8 seconds to go, then Carter made a steal, drew a foul and made another free throw with 21.3 seconds to play."We were forcing turnovers and Texas A&M gave us a number of chances on missed free throws," Smith said. "We had the right scenario. Things were falling our way."After Walkup missed two free throws with 19.4 seconds remaining, Carter missed a 12-footer that Texas A&M's Bryan Davis blocked from behind. The ball deflected off Carter and out of bounds with 4.1 seconds left."Obviously, our offense wasn't great but our defense was just good enough," Turgeon said. "That was the difference."The Aggies' defense forced Minnesota to shoot 38.6 percent and generated 12 turnovers that resulted in 24 points.