Texas A&M beats Stephen F. Austin, 62-54

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 12:53 AM

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—J-Mychal Reese made a good early impression on Stephen F. Austin coach Danny Kaspar Wednesday night.

 

The freshman guard scored eight of Texas A&M’s last 10 points and matched his career high with 15 points as the Aggies defeated Stephen F. Austin 62-54.

 

Reese was at his best down the stretch when the Aggies took control after SFA pulled within 52-48 on a basket by Thomas Walkup.

 

Reese responded with an 8-foot floater on a fast break and then Ray Turner scored inside after an SFA turnover. The Lumberjacks got within 58-50 on a follow basket by Taylor Smith, but Reese made another short runner and hit four free throws in the final minute for the Aggies (7-1).

 

"J-Mychal Reese, I’m a big fan of his," Kaspar said. "When a guy like Reese gets into the paint off a screen-and-roll, as quick as he is, that poses a problem. He truly is an SEC player."

 

The Aggies’ scoring leader, Elston Turner, bruised his ankle and missed most of the first half. He returned to score eight points after intermission and matched his season-low with 10 points.

 

Stephen F. Austin (5-1), off to its best start in 32 years, made a strong run late in the first half, wiping out a 12-point deficit to take the lead and trailing only 31-28 at halftime. However, the Lumberjacks never led in the second half and fell to 0-14 all-time against A&M.

 

"I thought that was a really good win," Aggies coach Billy Kennedy said. "We overcame some adversity with Elston getting hurt. At halftime it felt a little bit better and our trainers did a good job getting him back. He knew that we needed him to play in the second half."

 

Reese, who was not in the starting lineup for the first time this season, helped the Aggies to a 31-6 advantage in bench points. The only Lumberjack reserve to score was Walkup, a redshirt freshman whose older brother Nathan is a former A&M player.

 

Smith and Antonio Bostic scored 14 points apiece to lead Stephen F. Austin. Bostic made four consecutive jumpers, including a pair of 3-pointers, during the Lumberjacks’ first-half surge, but he shot 6 of 17 overall.

 

"We’ve got to get more from our bench," Kaspar said. "That’s the biggest thing I see."

 

The Aggies got 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds from Ray Turner. The 6-foot-9 Turner demonstrated the Aggies’ advantage in height and strength, drawing fouls near the basket and making 7 of 10 free throws.

 

The Aggies finished 21 of 29 from the free-throw line while SFA was only 3 for 6.

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