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Texas A&M cruises to another easy home win

Dec 31, 2007 - 10:33 PM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- Another easy home win has No. 11 Texas A&M off to one of its best starts ever.

The Aggies continued their eight-game home stand on Monday with a 68-41 victory over in-state rival Rice.

The Aggies have now won their first six games during the stretch of home games. Texas A&M won the five games in impressive fashion, averaging a 30.8 point margin of victory and Monday's meeting with Rice was nearly as easy.

The win tied Texas A&M's second-best start in school history, and makes the Aggies 13-1 for the first time since the 1959-60 campaign. The Aggies have also won 45 straight non-conference home games.

Junior swingman Josh Carter scored 16 points for Texas A&M. Big men DeAndre Jordan and Joseph Jones also scored in double figures with 16 and 14 points respectively.

Texas A&M led 33-18 at the half and made things hard on Rice on the defensive end. The Owls shot just 27 percent (15-of-55 from the field) and were 1-of-9 from the arc.

The Aggies pushed their lead to 47-27 on a layup by Jordan midway through the second half. They went on a 6-0 run to make it 59-33 with five minutes left.

"I was obviously happy with our defense. I thought we played from start to finish defensively," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "We tried to take them out of some of the things they do. I'm excited about the defense, because I don't think we've guarded well the last few games. I think the guys put a lot more energy into the defense."

Junior forward Patrick Britton entered the game leading the Owls in scoring at 11.3 points per game but was limited to eight on 3-of-8 shooting. Britton had scored in double figures in each of the last six games.

Lawrence Ghoran led Rice with 16 points.

The Aggies now lead the all-time series 105-81 after the victory, the first meeting with the Owls since a 56-53 win in 1999.

"We just kept playing hard with tough defense," Jones said. "LSU is coming in and conference is coming up, so we're trying to get better and better each and every day in practice. We've just got to keep doing the same things we're doing, and keep getting better individually as well as a team."

    --- --- -----
    RICE 18 23 41
    TEXAS A&M (10) 33 35 68 FINAL

    Dec 31 3:53 PM

    RICE 18
    (10) TEXAS A&M 33 HALFTIME

    Dec 31 2:52 PM