COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Elston Turner scored 15 points and Fabyon Harris added 14 in his Texas A&M debut as the Aggies cruised to a 71-59 win over Louisiana Tech on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Texas A&M was up by five before using a 9-3 spurt to stretch its lead to 39-28 with about 15 1/2 minutes left. A 3-pointer by Turner sparked that run, and the Bulldogs missed eight shots in that span.That wasn't the end of Louisiana Tech's shooting woes. The Bulldogs made just one of their first 11 shots in the second half as A&M pushed the lead to 44-32 with about 11 minutes remaining.Harris joined the Aggies after two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. He averaged 17.1 points and 5.1 rebounds last season.Louisiana Tech was led by Raheem Appleby's 20 points and Brandon Gibson had 13.Freshman J'Mychal Reese, who was rated the No. 1 high school point guard in Texas as last season, started in his A&M debut and had six points, three rebounds and two assists.It's the first meeting between these two teams since a 75-59 win by A&M in 2006 in College Station.Texas A&M's Kourtney Roberson looked good in his first game since breaking his left ankle after playing just nine games last season, and had 12 points and six rebounds. He helped the Aggies dominate inside, and they outscored Louisiana Tech 32-14 in the paint.It is coach Billy Kennedy's second season with the Aggies, but this was his first season opener. He missed last year's first game after taking a medical leave when he was diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease.He returned in the time for the second game. But his illness was the beginning of a tough year for Texas A&M, which entered last season expected to contend with Kansas for the Big 12 title in its last season in the conference. Instead, a rash of injuries and inconsistent play doomed the Aggies and they finished 4-14 in conference play and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven seasons.He's learned to manage his disease now and is looking forward to A&M's first season in the Southeastern Conference.Texas A&M was up by one in the first half Friday before using an 11-2 run to extend the lead to 22-12 about 6 1/2 minutes before halftime. Harris made five points in that span.The Aggies led 30-25 at halftime.