COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Texas A&M is trying to show its critics that it belongs in the top 10.
Acie Law scored 17 points and Joseph Jones finished with 16 to help No. 9 Texas A&M rout Arkansas-Little Rock 75-35 Monday night.
“We are ranked in the top 10 and some people don’t think we should be ranked that high” Law said. “So we have to go out every game and dominate to prove that we belong there.”
The Aggies (6-0) have won their last three games by an average of 35 points and not allowed any of those opponents to shoot more than 30 percent in any half of those three games. Opponents are only making 28 percent from the field on the season, including 22 percent on 3-pointers.
Texas A&M had four players score in double figures. Joseph Jones finished with 16, Antanas Kavaliauskas added 13 points and Josh Carter had 11. Kavaliauskas pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Aggies coach Billy Gillispie has this team focused on getting better each and every game and even though they have moved up in the rankings, he will not let it get in the way of continued improvement.
“I know that it is early, but we should be a little bit further along than that,” he said. “It is a really good win against a much better team than the score would indicate.”
Rashad Jones-Jennings, averaging a double-double coming into the game, had 10 points and five rebounds for the Trojans (4-3). Arkansas-Little Rock was 0-of-20 from beyond the three-point line. No other player scored more than six points for the Trojans.
“We faced a hungry, hard playing and defensive-minded team,” Arkansas-Little Rock coach Steve Shield said. “They got great guard play from Law. Dominique Kirk and Josh Carter can hit big shots from outside, then you have Joe Jones inside. When you combine that with great coaching, they are just going to keep getting better.”
Arkansas-Little Rock had outrebounded every opponent this season, but Texas A&M broke that streak with a 33-28 rebounding edge.
The Aggies outscored the Trojans 14-4 over the final 3:58 to take a 43-17 lead at halftime.
Texas A&M won its 28th straight nonconference home game.
In less than 2 1/2 years since coaching his first game at Texas A&M, Gillispie and his Aggies have reached their highest ranking since 1959 when they moved into the top 10 this week.
“That was a good win for us, we had a lot of good possessions offensively and defensively,” Gillispie said. “We need to get all our guys playing better at the same time. They are trying really hard but not enough guys are playing their best (basketball).”