Law, Texas A&M hold off BaylorFeb 25, 2007 - 12:37 AM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- Acie Law IV helped re-establish Texas A&M's reign at home.
Law scored 18 of his season-high 31 points in the second half as the ninth-ranked Aggies held off pesky Baylor for a 97-87 Big 12 Conference victory.
With its third straight win and first here since a victory over Texas on February 5, Texas A&M (24-4, 12-2 Big 12) remained in contention for its first Big 12 regular-season title.
The Aggies entered the day tied with Kansas, which hosts Iowa State later Saturday.
Texas A&M continued the best start in school history while also tying for the second-most wins in school history with the 1978-79 squad. The school record is 26, established in 1979-80.
"It was a real good win for us," Aggies coach Billy Gillispie said. "It was an intense game. Both teams played hard. They have a nice team and they keep getting better."
Building a 37-31 edge at intermission, Texas A&M saw lowly Baylor (13-14, 3-11) close within 44-42 in the opening minutes of the second half. The Aggies then put together a 17-6 run, going ahead 61-48 on a three-point play by Antanas Kavaliauskas with 12:39 remaining.
Despite building that large cushion, Texas A&M felt some pressure again when Baylor chipped within 69-65 on a jumper by Kevin Rogers with 8:18 left.
A leading candidate for the Bob Cousy Award given to the nation's top point guard, Law hit a 3-pointer more than two minutes later to rebuild the lead to 77-68. The senior also added nine points over the final 4:12 to make sure the Bears got no closer that seven points thereafter.
"We're fortunate enough to come out with the victory," said Law, who shot 10-of-15 from the field. "That's a very talented team, but they're young. Every time we play them, its a tough game."
"Whenever we got close, they always had all the answers," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "Credit Acie and the A&M players for coming up big. That's what you expect from an experienced team that is well coached."
Joseph Jones had 22 points and Dominique Kirk 17 for the Aggies, who shot 56 percent (27-of-48) and converted 35-of-44 (80 percent) free throws.
Curtis Jerrells scored 27 points and Henry Dugat 22 for Baylor, which dropped its 24th consecutive league road game.
Despite the continued struggles, the Bears had many encouraging stats, topping the Aggies in points in the paint, 36-30, and falling just a rebound shy in the battle on the boards, 31-30.
"In the beginning, Coach talked about winning the game with paint points," Dugat said. "For us to do that we were going to have to stay away from the big boys and attack. We did a lot of drives."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
BAYLOR 31 56 87
TEXAS A&M (9) 37 60 97 FINAL
Feb 24 4:13 PM
- NCAA BB
TEXAS A&M (9) 37 HALFTIME
Feb 24 2:40 PM
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