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Jones, Kavaliauskas help Texas A&M remain unbeaten

Dec 2, 2006 - 10:02 PM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas were not about to let Pacific ruin another perfect start.

Jones scored 24 points and Kavaliauskas added a career-high 23 as eighth-ranked Texas A&M remained unbeaten with a 74-62 victory over Pacific.

Last season, Texas A&M won its first 10 games before enduring a 63-56 setback at Pacific.

"This was a really good win for us," Aggies coach Billy Gillispie said. "We made a lot of dumb plays. They really expose you, and we got exposed. We're really lucky to be able to win. We made a lot of nice plays and shot the ball well."

Jones and Kavaliauskas made sure there would no repeat as they combined for 30 points in the first half to help the Aggies (7-0) to a 39-29 advantage at the break.

Jones made 9-of-11 shots from the field and also grabbed six rebounds before fouling out. Kavaliauskas went 9-of-16 from the floor.

"Coach told me he wants me to be more aggressive," Kavaliauskas said. "I just try to work on that. I try to get open looks."

"Antanas played great, as good as he's ever played here," Gillispie said. "He did everything. He was dominant down low and he made threes. He made wide open shots and he made nice passes."

Anthony Brown scored 19 points to lead Pacific (3-4), which is already halfway to reaching its loss total from all of last season, when it went 24-8 and reached the NCAA Tournament.

Entering with an average margin of victory of 32.0 points, the Aggies trailed with under 13 minutes remaining in the first half before using an 18-5 surge to build a 32-20 lead. Jones made two 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the burst.

"Everybody's got their game. If they try to take away the guards, me and AK (Kavaliauskas) will play hard," Jones said. "If they try to take away the big men, the guards will come in."

The Aggies settled for a 39-29 halftime advantage despite shooting a blistering 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the field over the first 20 minutes. They shot 55 percent (29-of-53) overall.

A 3-pointer by C.J. Morgan, who scored 13 points, pulled the Tigers within 43-34 less than two minutes into the second half. But they were unable to get any closer.

Kavaliauskas' shot from the arc capped a 10-2 burst that gave the Aggies a 62-45 cushion with 9:11 remaining.

Anthony Esparza contributed 13 points for the Tigers, who shot 49 percent (22-of-45).

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