Quenton Jackson scored a career-high 28 points, and Texas AM's defense keyed a decisive first-half run as the Aggies waylaid visiting New Orleans 82-53 on Sunday afternoon in College Station, Texas.
The Aggies ran away from New Orleans over the final eight minutes of the first half and led by 17 points at halftime. Texas AM was up by as many as 29 points and never led the Privateers (0-2) get closer than 15 points through a workman-like final 20 minutes.
Jackson, a senior whose career-best scoring game was 20 last season, was 11 of 13 from the field. Andre Gordon added 15 points for Texas AM (1-0) with freshman Hassan Diarra hitting for 14 points in his first collegiate game.
Savion Flagg, the Aggies' top returning scorer, had just 9 points but took a game-high 11 rebounds.
Ladarius Marshall scored 14 points to lead the Privateers (0-2), with Troy Green hitting for 11 and Damion Rosser adding 10 points.
Both teams struggled in the early going, as the Privateers led 15-14 after a dunk by Rosser at the 8:09 mark of the first half. But falling behind seemed to get Texas AM's attention, and the Aggies reeled off a 12-0 run over the ensuing three and a half minutes to assume a 26-15 advantage.
The Aggies continued to expand on their lead, outscoring New Orleans 15-9 through the half's final four minutes to take a 41-24 lead to intermission.
Jackson racked up 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the half to lead all scorers, with Gordon adding 11 points for the Aggies. Texas AM outshot New Orleans 54 percent to 42 percent over the first 20 minutes, and hit eight 3-pointers to just two for the Privateers.
Marshall paced New Orleans with 10 points off the bench in the first half.
--Field Level Media