Texas A&M may have showed a lack of concentration in its last game, but it has plenty of time to fix things before beginning Big 12 play.
The 14th-ranked Aggies continue an eight-game homestand that stretches into the new year when they meet Detroit on Wednesday night.
Texas A&M (9-1) extended its non-conference home winning streak to 41 games with a 64-37 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday. The Aggies scored the game’s first 18 points and also came out strong after halftime with a 22-2 run.
It’s the part of the game in between that was the problem. Texas A&M allowed the overmatched Golden Lions to cut their deficit to 11 points at halftime before the second-half surge ended any hopes of a comeback.
“Getting ahead 18-0, we definitely lost our concentration,” Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. “We got it back at halftime, but I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. (The) kids haven’t done it much. Our kids have really played hard and concentrated and tried to get better each game.”
The Aggies improved to 7-0 at home this season, and 2-0 on this homestand, which won’t conclude until the Big 12 opener on Jan. 12 against Colorado. They also have upcoming games against UC Irvine, Florida A&M, Rice and LSU in this stretch.
“I think this will help motivate us for Wednesday night’s game,” Turgeon said. “We’re playing a much better team.”
One area where the coach feels his team must improve upon is its post play. Joseph Jones is the Aggies’ top inside threat, but he’s averaging career lows of 11.2 points and 7.2 shots per game.
“I do think he’s capable of being that guy, but I don’t want to put that pressure on him because I also think Bryan Davis can score, I think DeAndre (Jordan) can score and I also think Junior (Chinemelu Elonu) can score down there,” Turgeon said. “But there will be certain games where we’ll go to Joe late in the game.”
The Aggies’ average victory margin at Reed Arena this season is nearly 21 points, and only one game has been decided by fewer than 13 points.
Detroit (4-6) has lost four straight as it closes out a two-game trip to Texas. The Titans fell 70-54 to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday.
Senior guard Jon Goode, however, continued his strong play with 22 points - his average during the losing streak. Curiously, Goode is only averaging 12 points in Detroit’s four wins.
Detroit is playing its second ranked opponent of the season after a 53-46 loss to then-No. 13 Butler on Dec. 6 in its Horizon League opener.
“Detroit plays a lot of big games like this every year so they won’t be intimidated by us,” Turgeon said. “It’s a big game for them. We need a challenge and our guys will be looking forward to it.”
Texas A&M beat Detroit 81-72 in overtime on Dec. 30, 2000 in the Rainbow Classic in the only meeting between these teams.