Published Thursday, February 21, 2013
BY JUSTIN LEE
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Texas A&M had to battle from behind after a slow start Wednesday night against Auburn, but the Aggies eventually earned a comeback win on the road, 65-56, on the legs of a 21-point performance from Elston Turner.
Turner scored seven straight points during a 1:06 stretch in the second half to overtake the Tigers and give the Aggies a 48-42 lead with 10:05 to play.
Texas A&M never trailed from there.
"When Elston Turner gets 20 points, we win," Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. "It's hard to get 20 when teams do a good job defending him. He shared the ball tonight and he had good support from everybody else."
Auburn opened the game with a 12-0 run through the first 6 minutes of play, but Texas A&M (16-10, 6-7 Southeastern Conference) fought back to cut the Tigers' lead to 31-29 by halftime.
The Aggies closed the game on a 12-5 run over the final 5 minutes to pull away.
"I thought we had great shots in the beginning, we just missed a lot of layups," Kennedy said of his team's slow start. "We had great shots inside. If we weren't getting shots we would've called a timeout, but I wanted to play through it. I knew there would be some times like that during this game, and fortunately that was the only segment that we struggled in."
Texas A&M answered Auburn's 12-0, game-opening run with a 24-11 run over the next 11 minutes to take its first lead at 24-23. Auburn went on a 7-3 run from there, but a Turner 3-pointer with 2 seconds showing before halftime made to a two-point game.
The Aggies outshot Auburn from the field, finishing 22 of 50, while the Tigers made 21 of 56 shots.
Texas A&M shot 11 of 30 from the field in the first half before turning things around and shooting 11 of 20 in the second half. Auburn's shooting dropped off from 13 of 26 in the first half to 8 of 30 in the second.
"We couldn't make a shot," Auburn head coach Tony Barbee said on his team's struggles down the stretch. "It is hard to win the game shooting 26 percent (in the second half). At the same time, we guarded fairly well and they shot 55 percent in the second half.
"We are not a very good team right now. I am not being a very good coach with this team. It is just disappointing."
Allen Payne led Auburn (9-17, 3-10) with 11 points, while Rob Chubb, Chris Denson and Jordan Price each added 9 points.
Texas A&M's Alex Caruso finished with season highs of 14 points and eight assists, after entering Wednesday night's game averaging 4.6 points and 3.2 assists per game.
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