COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Kourtney Roberson led Texas A&M's domination of the boards, collecting 12 rebounds and scoring 13 points as the Aggies powered to a 69-51 victory over Arkansas on Wednesday night.
Roberson, a sophomore forward, registered the first double-double of his career as the Aggies (11-3, 1-0 SEC) won the rebounding battle 51-27. A&M grabbed 19 offensive boards and had a 21-8 advantage in second-chance points.
"We worked on rebounding all week," Roberson said. "We wanted to win the rebounding by plus-five, but we got a lot more than that. They weren't doing a good job of boxing out, and I had to get as many rebounds as I could."
Arkansas (9-5, 0-1) had a five-game winning streak snapped. The Razorbacks led 23-21 late in the first half before A&M scored 15 consecutive points in a run that extended into the second half.
The Razorbacks, who dropped to 0-4 away from home, got no closer than 10 points during the final 18 minutes.
It was the first SEC game for A&M and its first conference game against the Razorbacks since 1991, when both schools belonged to the now-defunct Southwest Conference.
"I thought A&M probably wanted it more than we did," said Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, now 0-7 all-time against the Aggies. "It was their first game in the SEC, and I thought it was reflected in the hustle plays. They won on the hustle plays. Coming in, I thought that's what we are, a team that hustles and gets after you, scraps and claws."
A&M coach Billy Kennedy had been critical of his team's post players after an upset loss against Southern in December. On Wednesday, the Aggies got plenty inside from Roberson and Ray Turner (nine points, eight rebounds).
"I'm really proud of our guys for competing and getting better in the two areas we needed to get better in, especially in this game," Kennedy said. "We took care of the ball. We only had 10 turnovers. We outrebounded them, and that was a big key."
Fabyon Harris led the Aggies with 17 points, hitting 10 of 10 free throws. Elston Turner added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Elston Turner hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points during A&M's 15-0 run. Harris made a pair of free throws and a fast-break basket at the end of the charge to give the Aggies a 36-24 lead that swelled to 18 points midway through the second half.
"I was surprised," Harris said. "I looked up at the scoreboard and told Kourtney we were going to blow these guys out. I thought we might win by 30."
BJ Young led the Razorbacks with 13 points and was the only Arkansas player to reach double figures. Marshawn Powell, who came into the game second on the team with 15.2 points per game, got into early foul trouble and played 12 minutes. He took two shots and failed to score for the first time this season.
"He's probably one of the more experienced guys we've got," Anderson said. "Not to have him be as effective as he's been all year long, that was a big problem."