AMES, Iowa (AP)—Bryan Davis and Josh Carter took charge of the usually balanced Texas A&M offense and led the Aggies to their most decisive road win of the season.
Davis scored 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting, Carter added 12 and No. 18 Texas A&M cruised past Iowa State 69-51 for its fourth straight win.
Donald Sloan had 11 points and three others players had at least eight for the Aggies, who went on a 31-9 run that stretched from the end of the first half until midway through the second.
Texas A&M (19-4, 5-3 Big 12) snapped Iowa State’s nine-game home winning streak and picked up just its second road win. The Aggies’ other road victory was at Oklahoma State, 59-56, on Jan. 26, which came on the heels of a five-overtime loss to Baylor.
Texas A&M hasn’t lost since.
“We’re getting there,” Aggies coach Mark Turgeon said. “We’re playing with much more toughness and much more poise, home and away.”
Texas A&M rallied to take a six-point edge at halftime, then put the game out of reach by hitting 11 of its first 14 shots in the second half. Davis started it with six straight points, and Carter buried a 3 to put the Aggies ahead 39-26.
Carter hit another 3-pointer and Davis added a pair of layups to make it 50-31 with 12:42 left.
“We don’t care who scores the most,” said Carter, who was 4-of-6 from 3-point range. “Whoever is getting it done that night is going to get the most touches. Davis played great.”
Texas A&M’s balance was also evident in the paint, as five different Aggies had five or more rebounds. Turgeon has been harping on his big guys to improve their rebounding—despite the fact that Texas A&M entered play fourth in the nation in rebounding margin—and he’s finally seeing the results he’s been looking for.
The Aggies kept Iowa State (13-10, 3-5) off the glass for the opening 7:35 of the second half and outrebounded their opponent for the 21st time in 23 games.
“For as big as we are, we’re not a great rebounding team. The numbers say that we are, but we’re not,” Turgeon said. “The last two games we’ve done a good job of boxing out.”
Jiri Hubalek scored 18 points to lead the Cyclones, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Wesley Johnson, playing with a sore left ankle, added 13.
“When they got open shots, they was pretty successful at knocking them down,” Hubalek said. “I think the game was lost on defense.”
Texas A&M jumped ahead 19-12 midway through the first half, but Iowa State responded with a 10-0 run. Johnson and Bryan Peterson hit back-to-back 3s, Hubalek buried a turnaround jumper and Craig Brackins nailed a dunk to give the Cyclones a 22-19 lead. It would prove to be their last one of the night.
The Aggies closed out the first half with a 11-2 run, capped by a dunk from freshman DeAndre Jordan, and led 30-24 at the break.
A major snowstorm that pounded Iowa on Tuesday night left the crowd at Hilton Coliseum lighter than usual. The fans who braved the bad weather saw Iowa State coach Greg McDermott fall to 0-7 against ranked teams.
“Give them credit. For 20 minutes, we showed that we belonged with a team that is as good as A&M, and in the second half they showed why they are a top 20 team,” McDermott said. “And we showed why we’re not like A&M.”
It was all or nothing from the field for both teams in opening half. Neither one grabbed an offensive rebound, and they combined to shoot just four free throws. But there was a milestone. With a 3 early in the game, Iowa State’s Rahshon Clark became the first player in Big 12 history with 1,000 points and 100 steals, blocks and 3-pointers.
Texas A&M has six players averaging at least eight points a game, which comes in handy when one of them has an off night. Forward Joseph Jones was held to just four points, but Davis picked up the slack in the paint.
“Nobody sees a problem with it,” Sloan said. “I guess sharing the ball is key. We’ve been doing it the last four games and we’ve come on top.”