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March 5, 2008WACO, Texas (AP) -- Texas A&M avoided overtime with Baylor this time and gave its NCAA tournament hopes a big boost.
Josh Carter and Donald Sloan scored 17 points apiece as the Aggies beat the Bears 71-57 on Wednesday night, avenging a five-overtime loss in College Station on Jan. 23.
DeAndre Jordan grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked six shots for the Aggies (22-8, 8-7 Big 12), who won for the second time in six games after losing their last two road games by 27 points.
Curtis Jerrells and Mamadou Diene scored nine points apiece for Baylor (20-9, 8-7), held under 60 points for the first time this season. The Bears, the Big 12's second-best 3-point shooting team, went 4-for-19 from long range and shot 21-for-63 (33 percent) from the field overall.
The Aggies jumped out to a 10-2 lead, scoring as many points in the first five minutes as they did in the first half of Saturday's 64-37 loss to Oklahoma.
The Bears cut the lead to two before Carter sank back-to-back 3-pointers to help A&M push the lead to 22-12. Baylor then mounted a 9-0 run, finished by Diene's three-point play with 3:34 left in the half.
But the Bears shot only 24 percent (7-for-29) and missed all nine 3-point attempts in the half as the Aggies led 26-21 at the break.
Tweety Carter sank Baylor's first 3-pointer with 17:33 left and Jerrells hit another one a minute later to give the Bears their first lead, at 31-30.
Sloan converted a three-point play and Beau Muhlbach swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the Aggies took back the lead for good.
Jordan grabbed an offensive rebound and emphatically dunked with 2:23 left to give A&M a 53-47 lead. After another Baylor miss, 5-foot-10 Carter ran into the 6-9 Jones near midcourt and crumpled to the floor. The screen left Sloan open for an easy basket that stretched the lead to 55-47.
The referees momentarily stopped the game as Carter stayed down. Players and coaches from both sides gathered around him and yelled at each other. Both teams got technical fouls.
The Aggies kept their poise and made 12 of 13 free throws in the closing minutes, something they failed to do when the teams met the first time.
Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn was called for a technical foul with 1:01 left, prompting loud boos.
Sloan finished off the game with a showboat dunk, drawing more angry jeers from the crowd. Fans threw plastic soda bottles onto the floor as the Aggies trotted off the floor, smiles on their faces.