Florida Gulf Coast hung around for most of the evening, but Texas A&M ultimately prevailed 75-65 to win their fifth straight at home.
This one was a bit sloppy, but it was still nice to remove the taste of the squad's first loss of the season ahead of another rough patch in the non-conference schedule.
Too close for missiles, switching to guns
The Aggies have been able to rely on the long ball all season long, but they were ice cold tonight. Their long range shooting (3 of 17) started cold and finished worse, forcing the good guys to attack the rim and work the ball inside.
The results weren't pretty, but they were effective. Danuel House's stat line (3 of 16 shooting; 9 of 10 from the line) illustrates the workmanlike approach the team took to get the job done on a day where the bombs weren't falling.
Jalen Jones was immense
Jalen Jones is an alien from some planet where they exclusively play man-to-man, and he has been sent to Earth solely to destroy the zone defense.
There's no other way to explain his ruthlessness against the 2-3.
Jones stuck the midrange shot and maneuvered through the paint at will en route to a 22 point night on 8-14 shooting. It's his second great game in a row after poor showings against Texas and Gonzaga.
Caruso and Collins come through
At some point, we're going to have to tackle the lineup problems presented by playing two pass-first guards together. But we'll hold that discussion for a different day.
Collins shouldered the ball-handling load for the majority of the evening, dropping nine assists (to only two turnovers) and grabbing three steals. Caruso had a much quieter statistical night, but he was solely responsible for a 7-0 run (his only seven points of the game, incidentally) that blew the game open to 16 when FGCU was lurking. On a day where the shots just weren't falling (see above), our guards did enough to bring a victory home.
The Aggies now head to Tempe for their first true road game of the season against Arizona State this Saturday.
For the second time this year, let's BTHO ASU