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Law, Jones lead second-half push as Texas A&M tops Baylor

Jan 10, 2007 - 7:07 AM WACO, Texas (Ticker) -- It's the type of grinding play that Texas A&M displayed on Tuesday that has it off to its best start in 47 years.

Acie Law IV scored 20 points as the ninth-ranked Aggies overcame a tough challenge from Baylor to capture a 61-51 Big 12 Conference victory.

Posting its seventh straight win, Texas A&M (14-2, 2-0 Big 12) is off to its best start since winning 16 of its first 18 games in 1959-1960.

"This was a great win for us," Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie said. "This was a real hard-fought game by two teams who were really passionate about trying to win a game."

The winning streak, however, appeared in major jeopardy as the Aggies found themselves trailing, 39-34, after a 3-pointer by Curtis Jerrells with 13:05 remaining.

The Bears, who went 4-12 in the league last season, remained in the lead until two free throws by Joseph Jones tied the score at 41-41 with 11:28 to play.

Baylor was able to go back ahead after two free throws by Patrick Fields, but Jones sandwiched two more from the stripe and a jumper around a layup by David Sloan for a 47-43 edge with 8:36 left.

A jumper by Kevin Rogers closed the Bears within 49-47 with 6:01 left, but Law scored seven of the next nine points to give the Aggies an insurmountable seven-point lead with just over a minute left.

"We made a nice run, put us up five, they did some things that they did well," Rogers said. "They secured it, and their best players just took over the game."

Jones scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds for Texas A&M, which shot just 37 percent (16-of-43) from the floor but converted 26-of-33 free throws and finished with a 38-26 rebounding advantage.

"There were a lot of good players out there where they were having difficult times making easy shots," Gillispie said. "There weren't too many easy baskets out there and that goes to the effort of both teams."

Jones finished 10-of-11 on free throws, and the Aggies shot 78.8 percent (26-of-33) from the stripe.

"We did some things well enough to win, (but) didn't do enough," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Credit to Texas A&M for making a lot of free throws and making the big plays down the stretch."

Rogers had 19 points and Jerrells 11 for Baylor (10-5, 0-2), which shot 33 percent (16-of-48), including 4-of-20 on 3-pointers, in dropping its second straight game following a four-game winning streak.

"What's so good about (Texas A&M's) defense, you don't get a lot of good looks and when you do get some good looks, you haven't had some good looks so then your not in the rhythm," Drew said. "And normally with our guards we have enough guards so someone is hot, and we didn't have anybody hot tonight."