Baylor's Tommy Swanson hangs on the rim after dunking the ball as Texas A&M's Acie Law watches during the first half. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jan. 28, 2006
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Joseph Jones scored 29 points and had 10 rebounds to help Texas A&M fight off a scrappy Baylor team for a 72-70 win on Saturday.
Texas A&M struggled to stay on top after leading by as many as 12 points in the second half. The Aggies barely outlasted the Bears after Aaron Bruce made three 3-pointers in the last 1:30, including one at the buzzer.
Texas A&M made four free throws in the last 40 seconds to secure the win.
The Aggies used an 11-0 run to open the second half that turned a 1-point halftime advantage into a commanding 43-31 lead. The Bears didn't score until Henry Dugat's 3-pointer more than four minutes into the half.
Dugat single-handedly kept the game from getting out of hand in the next few minutes, scoring the Bears' first 13 points of the half, including two more 3's.
The Bears were 16-of-30 from 3-point range for 53 percent, with Bruce shooting 6-of-11 and Curtis Jerrells and Dugat hitting four each.
The loss is Baylor's 20th straight, dating back to last season. But the outing was an improvement for the Bears, who lost their first five games by an average of 23 points after being banned from non-conference play by the NCAA this season for numerous violations under former coach Dave Bliss.
Baylor (0-6, 0-6) got 18 points apiece from Jerrells, Dugat and Bruce.
Acie Law scored 16 points and Josh Carter added nine for the Aggies.
In an ugly first half, both teams went through separate spans of almost seven minutes without scoring a field goal. Baylor's drought came midway through the half and Texas A&M's near the end. The Aggies had a 27-21 lead late in the first before Baylor scored seven straight points to take the lead.
It would be short-lived as Texas A&M (13-5, 3-4 Big 12) went back on top with Jones' monster two-handed dunk with 1:24 remaining. The crowd went wild as he hung on the rim while a defender collected himself from the court underneath. Jones had 15 first-half points after shooting 5-of-5 to start the game.
The Aggies lead 32-31 at halftime. It was the closest the Bears have been at halftime all season, after trailing by an average of 13 points in their first five games.