Brandon Mahan and Christian Mekowulu scored 20 points each on a combined 15 of 19 shooting from the floor as Texas A&M built a big early lead and romped to a 71-49 win over visiting Valparaiso on Wednesday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
The Aggies scored 20 of the game’s first 25 points and were never threatened after the opening minutes, building as much as a 22-point lead late in the first half and never allowing Valparaiso to within single digits of the lead after the 13:35 mark of the first half.
Texas A&M has (5-4) won four straight.
Bakari Evelyn led Valparaiso with 10 points while Javon Freeman added nine for the Crusaders (6-6), who have lost two straight and three of their last four outings.
Texas A&M took a 4-3 lead on a jumper by Mekowulu at the 17:25 mark of the first half and rolled away on a 16-2 run that granted it a 20-5 advantage five minutes later. The Aggies stretched their lead to 20 points, at 29-9, on a three-point play by TJ Starks with 4:47 to play in the half before settling for a 34-18 cushion at intermission.
Mekowulu led all scorers with 14 points at halftime while Mileek McMillan paced Valparaiso with five points. The Aggies outshot the Crusaders 46 percent to 29 percent in the half and outrebounded the visitors 21-11 over the first 20 minutes of play.
Valparaiso clawed back to within 11 points, at 45-34, on a tip-in by Jaume Sorlla with 11:45 to play. But the Aggies quickly rebuilt the lead to 51-34 with a 6-0 run capped by a layup by Mahan at the 9:21 mark and cruised to the win.
The Aggies return to the floor on Saturday afternoon when they host Marshall. Valparaiso has nine days off for the Christmas holiday before a home game on Dec. 29 against Purdue Northwest.
—Field Level Media