Aggies Pull Away From Marshall

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Christian Mekowulu and TJ Starks each scored 17 points and Josh Nebo added 16 as Texas A&M defeated Marshall 92-68 on Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies dominated the Thundering Herd in rebounds (54-30), points in the paint (58-24) and bench points (44-14). Rondale Watson led the Thundering Herd with 19 points and C.J. Burks added 18, while A&M's Savion Flagg led all rebounders with a dozen.

Marshall led 27-24 with 6:47 remaining in the first half, before the Aggies heated up to close out the first 20 minutes. Starks, who came off the bench for the first time this season, sank a 3-pointer to tie the game at 27-27 with 6:23 to the break, and A&M guard Brandon Mahan and Nebo took over from there.

Mahan scored A&M's next four points, and Nebo then collected three field goals - including two tip-ins and a dunk - in the final four minutes to lift the Aggies to a 41-33 lead at the break. It was all downhill from there for the Thundering Herd, who saw a two-game win streak snapped.

Marshall backup forward Iran Bennett hurt his ankle in the first half in trying to defend an A&M drive to the basket, and Bennett sat out the second half with a walking boot on his right foot.

BIG PICTURE

Marshall: The Thundering Herd are closing out their nonconference schedule with a couple of "name" opponents in A&M and Virginia, and the experience of playing a couple of salty SEC and ACC foes will only help Marshall in Conference USA play - despite the double-digit thumping on Saturday.

A&M: The Aggies continue to play without senior guard and leader Admon Gilder, who's missed all 10 games with an undisclosed health issue, but they're playing their best ball of the season with SEC play right around the corner.

A&M has won five consecutive games for the first time since opening last season 8-0, a squad that made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT

Marshall also breaks for Christmas before playing at Virginia on New Year's Eve, in its last nonconference game before opening Conference USA play on Jan. 3 at Old Dominion.

A&M breaks for a few days for Christmas prior to playing host to Texas Southern on Dec. 29, in its final nonconference contest before beginning SEC play on Jan. 5 at home against Arkansas.