Texas A&M overcomes shooting woes, defeats Alcorn State

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M didn't enjoy its latest win.

Ray Turner scored 16 points and the Aggies (No. 25 AP) overcame a sleepy start and awful shooting to defeat Alcorn State 56-44 on Wednesday night.

"Everyone is disappointed because of this game," Turner said. "Even though we got the win, it wasn't good enough."

David Loubeau added 14 points and Naji Hibbert had eight rebounds for the Aggies (5-1), who won their 64th consecutive nonconference home game.

KeDorian Sullivan led the Braves (1-6) with 11 points and eight rebounds.

A&M, in its most off-kilter outing of the early season, missed all 17 of its 3-point attempts.

"The zone has given us problems this year," Loubeau said of A&M's terrible night of shooting. "We've got to find a half-court offense and go from there."

Alcorn State was only 3 of 11 from beyond the arc.

"We're obviously disappointed we didn't make a shot from the perimeter against their zone," Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said. "Bottom line is if you go 0 for 17 from the 3-point line against the zone, it's going to be difficult to look good offensively."

One place the Aggies looked good was on the run, outscoring Alcorn 20-2 on the fast break, and 42-26 in the paint in overwhelming the Braves with their size, if not shooting acumen.

"We didn't want to give them a good look at the basket," Braves coach Luther Riley said of A&M's awful long-range shooting. "We wanted to take some of their points away by contesting the kick-out pass. It was just a bad shooting night for them, and we were in zone for that reason."

Alcorn led 9-8 with 11:33 remaining in the first half before a layup by Jamal Branch gave the Aggies the lead for good. A&M shot only 40.3 percent (25 of 62), while Alcorn was even worse at 32.7 percent (18 of 55).

Texas A&M, which has won three straight, is still without its top player, guard Khris Middleton, who is expected back in less than two weeks after recovering from surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee.

"(Shooting) has been a concern, especially with Khris out," Kennedy said.

Alcorn State, which lost its sixth consecutive game, outscored A&M 30-16 off the bench, one of the Braves' few highlights on the night and yet another lowlight for A&M.

"We're not getting much help from our bench right now," Kennedy said. "We've got to get more help, or we're just going to have to shorten our rotation."

Texas A&M's five blocks were a season high, and the seven assists by Aggies point guard Dash Harris were also a season high.

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