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Hampton scores season-high 21 in Texas A&M's victory

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Texas A&M senior transfer JC Hampton had quite an encore performance against Denver - a little more than a year apart.

Hampton scored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting as the Aggies defeated the Pioneers 80-58 on Wednesday night. Last year while starting for Lipscomb, Hampton scored 21 points against Denver.

Hampton, whose previous high this season was nine points, said he received a text message this week from teammate Tyler Davis encouraging him to be more aggressive on offense.

''That gave me that much more confidence,'' Hampton said. ''However, the team needs me to help, I'm fine with.''

The Aggies (6-2) led 34-23 at halftime and the Pioneers (3-5) never threatened their larger opponent from the Southeastern Conference in the second half. A&M forced nine turnovers while committing only four of their own in holding a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

''I like where this team is right now,'' A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ''Twenty assists with four turnovers - you're going to win a lot of games with that no matter who you play.''

Hampton made 5 of 7 3-pointers, while the rest of his teammates made 2 of 19 from the 3-point line. The Aggies dominated inside, holding a 30-12 edge in points in the paint.

''This was an opportunity to see what a really good team looks like,'' Denver coach Rodney Billups said. ''I thought our effort was subpar. But that's something we can fix.''

Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 15 points in making all six of his field-goal attempts, and he was the only Aggie beside Hampton to score in double figures, while Davis snagged a game-high eight rebounds.

Joe Rosga led Denver with a game-high 24 points, and no other Pioneer scored in double figures.

''Joe shot the ball really well, but with the exception of him, nobody else did at all,'' Billups said. ''He's got some work to do defensively, and I jokingly tell Joe he's got to score 24 points to even it out.''

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: The Aggies looked mostly ho-hum for a second consecutive game, which is no coincidence against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Denver. Ten Aggies played at least 11 minutes against Denver, as coach Billy Kennedy freely rotated his players in the lopsided contest. The Aggies have another alleged pushover at home on tap on Saturday against South Carolina State, before things get serious again on Dec. 17 against Arizona in Houston's Toyota Center.

Denver: The Pioneers hustled throughout under first-year coach Rodney Billups, but A&M's size was too much for Denver to make any serious runs throughout the 40 minutes. The Pioneers at least have earned plenty of valuable experience for Summit League play with two of their last three games against Wyoming and A&M (both losses).

UP NEXT

Texas A&M: The Aggies play host to South Carolina State on Saturday to wrap up a three-game homestand, and their cushiest portion of this season's schedule.

Denver: The Pioneers play at Air Force on Saturday, their sixth of seven consecutive games away from Denver.

TURNING POINT

The Aggies led 15-10 nearly midway through the first half when Admon Gilder found Tavario Miller wide open on a fast break for an alley-oop, prompting the night's loudest roar. The Pioneers never threatened again.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Kennedy has said he intends for this type of team to slow things down and set up the offense through the big men, but at least on this night the Aggies held a 10-0 fast-break advantage.

HE SAID IT

''They just found me in the open spots. And whenever I get the ball I need to make it, so they can get me the ball again.'' - Trocha-Morelos on making all six of his shots from the floor.

RISING STAR

A wondrous Billups asked the A&M coaches afterward, ''Where did you all get Robert Williams?'' Kennedy quipped, ''Vivian, Louisiana.'' The freshman Williams collected half of A&M's eight blocks, and leads the Aggies with 21 this season, more than double of any of his teammates.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Denver 233558
home team logo Texas A&M 344680
Team Stats
away team logo Denver 7-19 70.3 PPG 36.2 RPG 12.0 APG
home team logo Texas A&M 10-14 71.8 PPG 40.8 RPG 12.6 APG
Key Players
25
R. Harrell Jr. 14.0 PPG 5.7 RPG 2.1 APG 41.3 FG%
2
T. Starks 13.0 PPG 2.4 RPG 3.6 APG 36.3 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB