COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Sophomore forward Savion Flagg scored 24 points and six Texas A&M players scored at least nine points as the Aggies defeated Savannah State 98-83 on Wednesday night.
A&M overwhelmed SSU in points in the paint (58-18), rebounds (68-43), second-chance points (31-7) and blocks (8-1).
The Aggies (1-0) played without starting guards Admon Gilder (hamstring, knee) and Wendell Mitchell (tendinitis), but the injuries are not expected to be serious. Sophomore guard T.J. Starks added 16 points for the Aggies, and freshman guard Collins Joseph led the way for the Tigers (0-1) with 20 points.
Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy has pledged the Aggies will get up and down the floor this season more than they have in years past, with big men Robert Williams and Tyler Davis having turned pro, and the young squad did exactly that in blasting to a 53-37 halftime lead.
Both teams were sloppy throughout, with A&M finishing with 24 turnovers and SSU 20. Starks finished with nine turnovers, more than twice as many as any of his teammates.
A&M: If the Aggies intend to get out and run like Kennedy has pledged, depth will be vital. With Gilder and Mitchell out for the opener, players like Chris Collins and Brandon Mahan earned valuable minutes and experience.
SSU: The Tigers led the nation last year in 3-pointers with 12.2 per game en route to a 15-17 finish, and they continued launching the ball without conscious in their opener. It will be a long season if they're not more successful than they were on Wednesday (17 of 54).
SSU continues its oh-so early SEC swing with a Friday night game at Georgia.
A&M plays host to California-Irvine on Friday night, in angling to stay unbeaten on the young season.