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Turgeon era off to good start as Texas A&M breezes in opener

Nov 10, 2007 - 4:16 AM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- Billy Gillispie is out and Mark Turgeon is in, but one thing has not changed at Texas A&M: home dominance.

Josh Carter scored 14 points and freshman DeAndre Jordan added 12 as the No. 14 Aggies overcame a shaky start and rolled to a 73-50 victory over McNeese State in the season opener for both teams.

Texas A&M (1-0) opened the Turgeon era by extending its non-conference home winning streak to 35 games.

Turgeon arrived from Wichita State to succeed Gillispie, who led the Aggies to three consecutive 20-pus win seasons before moving to Kentucky.

"Billy (Gillispie) did an unbelievable job here the last three years and we are just trying to continue with that," Turgeon said.

The Cowboys scored the game's first six points and led by as many as seven before the Aggies' superior size and depth took over.

"I think we are a really deep team. Our rotation can go eight or nine guys depending on who produces," Carter said. "We came out slow and not thinking well but Coach is always intense and he let us know that we were playing unacceptably. We're just trying to get better every game."

Carter, the nation's leading shooter from 3-point range at 50 percent last season, finished 3-of-7 from the arc, including a pair that pushed the lead to 51-30 four minutes into the second half.

The 7-foot Jordan, one of nation's most heralded recruits, showed a good mix of muscle and finesse, slamming home a pair of back-to-back dunks as the Aggies ended the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 41-26 lead. He finished 6-of-8 from the floor.

Bryan Davis added seven points in the first half, all coming inside.

"Our big guys have come a long way. It is nice to have them to rely on," Turgeon said.

McNeese jumped on top early behind 6-of-7 shooting. John Ford buried a 3-pointer to give the Cowboys an 18-11 lead with just over 14 minutes left in the half.

"I was disappointed with our start," Turgeon said. "We need to figure something out so that we come out better. We may change our warm-up or even our starting lineup if we need to. We want for defense to be our identity."

A&M, which finished 18-1 at home last season, slowly crawled back behind its inside dominance and went ahead for good, 22-20, om Dominique Kirk's 3-pointer with 9:02 to go in the half.

Carter added another 3-pointer as part of an 18-2 run as the Aggies pushed the lead to 29-22. A&M outscored McNeese State, 30-8, over the final 14:18 to seize control.

Ford scored 14 points and Jarvis Bradley added 12 to lead the Cowboys (0-1).

    --- --- -----
    MCNEESE ST 26 24 50
    TEXAS A&M (14) 41 32 73 FINAL

    Nov 9 9:57 PM

    (14) TEXAS A&M 41 HALFTIME

    Nov 9 8:56 PM