COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)—Josh Carter snapped out of a two-game funk by being more aggressive, and help his teammates in the process.
Carter scored 24 points, Antanas Kavaliauskas added 19 and No. 13 Texas A&M beat Fordham 84-61 Tuesday night.
The Aggies (8-2) bounced back from losses last week to No. 12 LSU and top-ranked UCLA—their first nonconference losing streak since Billy Gillispie arrived as coach more than two years ago.
“I was focused on being more aggressive,” said Carter, who made eight of 10 shots. “I watched a little film the last two games and I wasn’t taking open shots when I had them. I was being pretty passive so I have been thinking about being aggressive and I carried that out today.”
Carter, who had a dunk to start the Aggies’ scoring, also connected on four of five 3-pointers.
His shooting opened up the floor for post players Kavaliauskas and Joseph Jones, who added 13 points. Texas A&M outscored Fordham 38-20 in the paint.
“I need to help him get more shots because we need him to shoot it,” Gillispie said of Carter. “We need him to make four or five 3s a game and he can do that if we have a plan and he executes it the way we need too.”
Texas A&M led 39-28 at halftime. Kavaliauskas shot 6-for-7 from the field in the first half and had 13 at the break.
Sebastian Green led Fordham (5-4) with 19 points and Marcus Stout finished with 14.
Texas A&M trailed 11-6 before going on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. Jones had six points during the early surge.
“Texas A&M came out and dominated us on defense,” Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg said. “I thought we made some shots early in the first half. We had a little lead and were playing with them. We got in foul trouble and couldn’t really run our offense, they turned up the pressure a bit and when we didn’t score for a while they took control of the game.”
Fordham scored first in the second half to cut the Aggies’ lead to nine, but Texas A&M responded with a 14-5 run, bolstered by two Carter 3-pointers, to push the lead to 18 points with 14 minutes remaining.
“Every time we missed an opportunity, they took advantage of it,” Whittenburg said. “That is what top 20 teams do. This team is very, very good. They could go a long way in the NCAA tournament.”
Texas A&M’s Acie Law took only one shot in the first half but finished the game with 11 points and a team-high seven assists.
“It was a good win for us,” Gillispie said. “We have to get all five guys playing as a unit. They are not playing selfish, but we have to have all five guys where they need to be. You have to execute defensively to be a good team.”
Texas A&M ended the game on a 13-4 run to break it open in the last 4 minutes.
Fordham’s Bryant Dunston was limited with two fouls in the first half and only attempted one shot in 8 minutes of play. He had 12 points and four rebounds in the second half.