Jones, Caruso, House lead No. 15 Texas A&M’s rout of Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Texas A&M hadn’t exactly been dominant in winning its last three games by a combined eight points.
Even so, Alex Caruso sensed that his team was close to putting everything together.
“I was waiting for it,” he said. “I knew it was coming.”
Jalen Jones, Danuel House and Caruso all scored 12 points and No. 15 Texas A&M won its eighth straight game with a 79-45 victory over Georgia on Saturday.
The Aggies (15-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) never trailed, and a school official said the road victory was Texas A&M’s most lopsided in league play since it joined the Southwest Conference in 1915.
“We played about as well as we have played all season,” coach Billy Kennedy said. “I didn’t think we played as well the last couple of games.”
Yante Maten finished with 11 points and was the only player to score in double figures for Georgia (9-6, 2-3). It was Bulldogs’ worst loss under seventh-year coach Mark Fox.
Georgia shot a season-worst 28.9 percent and had no answer offensively as Texas A&M stretched its defense to the perimeter and stepped in passing lanes all game.
“Texas A&M just gave us an old-fashioned whooping,” Fox said. “We could not get stops. They were on pace to break 100 (points) right out of the gate.”
The Aggies have their longest winning streak since 2010-11 when they won 13 straight. It’s their best start in league play since winning their first five 30 years ago.
Georgia closed the lead to seven points on William Jackson’s 3 with 6:22 left in the first half, but Caruso and D.J. Hogg each hit a 3 to make it 29-18.
The Bulldogs missed 19 of their first 26 shots from the field and ended the first half having gone 2 for 11 on 3-point attempts.
“We just got embarrassed,” Georgia guard J.J. Frazier said. “We had a good week of practice. We just couldn’t execute offensively. We couldn’t make plays defensively.”
Texas A&M was back ahead by 17 early in the second half on Anthony Collins’ two free throws, and House hit a straightaway 3 to give the Aggies their first 20-point lead with 13:42 remaining.
Any doubt of the outcome was erased when Hogg’s 3-pointer gave them a 25-point lead with 7:17 remaining.
“It feels very good,” Jones said. “We just have to continue to do what we’ve been doing and get even better.”
Texas A&M: Jones had a game-high 12 rebounds. ... SEC road teams began the day having won just six of 26 league games. The Aggies are 3-0. ... Collins went 2 for 2 and is 26 for 26 on free throws this season.
Georgia: It was the school’s most lopsided home loss since 2008-09 against Illinois in Dennis Felton’s last season as coach. ... The Bulldogs dropped to 4-1 against Texas A&M. ... In the last four meetings, they held the Aggies to an average of 50.3 points. ... Georgia began the day leading the SEC and ranking seventh nationally in opponents’ field goal percentage at 36.9. Texas A&M shot 52.7 from the field. ... The Bulldogs ended a six-game home winning streak.
Texas A&M hosts LSU on Tuesday.
Georgia visits Missouri on Wednesday