Freshman Starks leads Texas A&M past Arkansas 80-66
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Freshman guard T.J. Starks scored 16 points and Texas A&M used a strong second half to defeat Arkansas 80-66 on Tuesday night in Reed Arena.
The Aggies clutched a 33-32 halftime lead despite committing 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. A&M (14-8, 3-6 Southeastern Conference) came out hot in the second half, building a 44-34 lead a little more than two minutes in thanks to a dunk by Tyler Davis and 3-pointers from D.J. Hogg, Starks and Admon Gilder.
Hogg followed up that flurry with two more 3-pointers over the next couple of minutes, in showing some of the long-range form that made him so impactful early in the season for the Aggies.
Starks turned the most heads, however, in igniting a sputtering offense by making 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Davis was the only rebounder on either team in double digits with 13, including 11 on offense.
Daryl Macon led Arkansas (15-7, 4-5) with 20 points, and Jaylen Barford added 19. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Razorbacks.
Texas A&M: Following consecutive road losses, the Aggies were desperate for a victory and they got one against a sloppy Arkansas squad. A&M needs to take advantage of a couple of consecutive home games against imminently beatable opponents in the Razorbacks and South Carolina on Saturday, and they’re halfway to their goal after Tuesday night.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks finally slipped off the edge after their last five wins had come by a total of 12 points. They only trailed by a point at halftime, and it looked like it might come down to the wire again for the Razorbacks, but Arkansas will need to go back to the drawing board defensively following its soft coverage against A&M’s hot hands in the second half.
Texas A&M: The Aggies play their second consecutive home game when South Carolina visits Reed Arena on Saturday. The Aggies will try to snap a two-game losing streak against the Gamecocks.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks play a second consecutive road game when they visit LSU on Saturday. Arkansas aims to avenge a stunning 75-54 home loss to the Tigers on Jan. 10.