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Texas A&M uses stifling defense to get past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Elston Turner scored 14 points and Texas A&M (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) used its stifling defense to beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 56-43 on Saturday.

Turner scored 14 points and the Aggies clamped down on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi during an ugly 56-43 victory.

Ray Turner had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies (4-1), who played for the first time in eight days and held the Islanders to 27.8 percent shooting. It was the lowest shooting percentage for an Aggies opponent since the first round of the 2008 Big 12 tournament, when Iowa State finished at 27.4 percent.

"We didn't come in here ready," Ray Turner said. "Their team came in here and kept fighting, and we let ourselves down by not being ready mentally and physically."

Hameed Ali, Johnathan Jordan and Jake Kocher made consecutive 3-pointers to help Texas A&M-Corpus Christi close to 45-39 with 7:45 left, but Ray Turner scored on an offensive rebound on Texas A&M's ensuing possession and the Aggies outscored the Islanders 11-4 the rest of the way.

Myron Dempsey had 14 points for the Islanders (1-3).

"We were lethargic at the start and had a wait-and-see attitude," Islanders coach Willis Wilson said. "The thing we have to improve on most is shooting the basketball."

Texas A&M went 5 for 8 from 3-point range in the first half and led 30-16 at the break. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi missed all 10 of its 3-point attempts in the first half, and finished 3 of 17 from long range.

Elston Turner tied a career high with four 3-pointers, and freshman Jordan Green had 10 points and six assists. The Aggies also won their 63rd consecutive nonconference home game.

"For whatever reason we're having a hard time being consistent with our effort and with our efficiency and decision making," Aggies first-year coach Billy Kennedy said.

Texas A&M was once again without guard Khris Middleton, who is recovering from a knee injury and is expected back in about two weeks. Fill-in Green also had four rebounds.

"He's a hustle guy, and when you have someone like that the whole team feeds off of it," Elston Turner said of Green. "Sometimes when we're not into the game enough, we see him dive on the floor for a loose ball and it fires everyone up."

The Aggies had 12 turnovers in the first half and six in the second half, continuing a frenetic pace under Kennedy. They also outscored the Islanders 10-0 on the fast break.

"We have to be able to slow down at times," Kennedy said. "Our guards get to going and pushing the ball and we're struggling to slow it down. That takes time, and we just have to make better decisions."

The Islanders, who beat Utah State 58-55 on Tuesday in Corpus Christi, outrebounded the larger Aggies 39-37.

"To see us come out on the upside in rebounds is pretty important," Wilson said. "That's what we're trying to hang our hats on."