Aggies Roll in Opener
Ray Turner scored a career-high 20 points and No. 19 Texas A&M shot 65 percent from the field to defeat Liberty, 81-59, on Wednesday night in the 2K Sports Classic.
The Aggies played without first-year coach Billy Kennedy, on leave following his recent diagnosis of an early stage of Parkinson’s disease. Texas A&M associate head coach Glynn Cyprien has run the team in Kennedy’s absence.
Kennedy has visited the arena daily over the past week and Cyprien has said Kennedy is expected back full-time “soon.”
Texas A&M put away the Flames early with a 24-4 run midway through the first half. The Aggies shot 59.3 percent (16-27) from the field in the first half and jumped to a 37-14 lead at the break before a crowd of 6,118 at Reed Arena.
Elston Turner had 16 points and David Loubeau added 14 for the Aggies, who began their 100th season in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Next up, they host Southern on Sunday.
Texas A&M has won 61 straight non-conference games dating to 2005.
David Minaya led Liberty with 14 points.
With the game well in hand, the Aggies shot 72 percent (18-25) in the second half and finished at 65.4 percent from the floor (34-52), the fifth-highest mark in school history. Still, the Flames outscored the Aggies 45-44 in the second half.
Cyprien said guard Khris Middleton strained his hamstring and is day to day.
The Aggies outrebounded the Flames 39-29, with Elston Turner, Ray Turner and Keith Davis grabbing six boards apiece.
– Associated Press
Tickets for the Championship Rounds of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coach vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden can be purchased by calling 866-448-7849 or at ticketmaster.com.