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December 29, 2007
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon thinks his team is getting bored after five straight wins by 20 points or more.
Josh Carter scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half and the 14th-ranked Aggies beat Florida A&M 83-54 Saturday in their latest blowout victory.
"I think our guys need competition," Turgeon said. "We've been a little bit bored out there and we're playing that way. We need a stiffer test."
The Aggies will get it soon with their schedule heating up in the next week. They face Rice on Monday before Saturday's matchup with LSU and the start of Big 12 play against Colorado on Jan. 12.
Carter, who led the nation in 3-point accuracy last season, went 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half against the Rattlers. He missed both of his attempts from behind the arc during limited action in the second half.
Turgeon moved into a tie with Billy Gillispie for the best start by a first-year coach in school history at 12-1. Gillispie, now the Kentucky coach, went 12-1 to start the 2004-05 season.
Texas A&M led by 17 at halftime and outscored Florida A&M 11-5 in the opening minutes of the second half to stretch its lead to 58-35 with about 15 minutes to play.
Jordan finished with 15 points and Bryan Davis had 13 for the Aggies. Dominique Kirk didn't score, but led the team with seven assists and six rebounds in his 109th consecutive start, which ties a Big 12 record.
The Rattlers (3-8) jumped out to a 5-0 lead despite having a 12-day break since their last game. The Aggies, who have three starters taller than 6-foot-6, had trouble keeping up with the quickness of the smallish Rattlers at the start but soon adjusted.
"It was hard to chase them around," Turgeon said. "I wasn't going to adjust and go small because that doesn't help us any. I wanted us to keep working on the things we need to work on."
Florida A&M led 12-10 with about 15 minutes left after a 3-pointer by Leslie Robinson but the Aggies responded with an 8-0 run.
"We were a little slow at first and made some mistakes early on," Carter said. "I think we're doing good, but we could obviously do better."
Florida A&M got within one with about 11 minutes remaining before halftime. The Aggies then scored 10 straight points, and led 47-30 at halftime.
As usual, Jordan provided a highlight when he took an alley-oop inbound pass from Kirk and finished with a two-handed dunk midway through the first half.
Turgeon doesn't think his team is quite ready for Big 12 competition, but believes they will be when they have to be.
"When it's time, they play," he said. "I'm ready to see that sense of urgency and there's no sense of urgency in us. These next two games will help. I think you'll see a team that's pretty focused. They need to be challenged, we just haven't been challenged in a while."
Akini Akini led Florida A&M with 10 points and six rebounds and Robinson had nine points.
The Rattlers have dropped five of their last six, including losses at Connecticut, Florida and Kansas State.
"Playing against very good players, it really helps us to try to build a team where maybe someday we can be ranked," first-year Florida A&M coach Eugene Harris said. "We were around a good basketball atmosphere. This will help us in the long run if we get to the conference tournament and have this same type of atmosphere."
For more coverage of Texas A&M, visit AggieYell.com.