COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Coach Shelby Metcalf patrolled the sidelines the last time the Aggies shut down an opponent the way No. 12 Texas A&M stopped Saint Louis on Sunday night.
This time it was Billy Gillispie's troops that dominated in A&M's 69-33 victory in the championship of the inaugural Shelby Metcalf Classic."That was a good win against a good team, and a great lesson for our guys," Gillispie said. "They have been practicing hard, but sometimes you have to see it in a game to understand why you have to pressure so hard."Acie Law scored 23 points for the Aggies.Law hit six of his first eight shots in helping A&M (4-0) jump out to an early lead. Joseph Jones added 11 points and six rebounds.Gillispie set up the tournament to emulate the Big 12 tournament and it worked out that A&M was matched up against a Saint Louis team that he believes will play in the NCAA tournament in March."Coach said he wanted to play this tournament like it was the Big 12 Tournament," Law said. "We knew coming in that we would have three games in three nights."The Aggies held Saint Louis (3-1) to 21 percent shooting. Tommie Liddell scored 12 points and Ian Vouyoukas had six points and 13 rebounds for the Billikens.Saint Louis started 7-foot Bryce Husak for the first time in the tournament to match the Aggies' front line, but it didn't help. Texas A&M scored 36 points in the paint and only allowed 14 while outrebounding the Billikens 41-33."Coach told us they wanted to establish the inside post players," Jones said. "They are very big on the inside. We just tried to do the best we could to battle the post."Dominque Kirk held Saint Louis' Kevin Lisch to eight points. Lisch averaged 19 in the Billikens' first three games."They play as hard as anybody that we will see this year, and we have some good opponents on our schedule." Saint Louis coach Brad Saoderberg said. "I actually commented to our guys on the bench, 'that's how you play defense with intensity."Jones gave A&M a 23-11 lead with 6:20 left in the first half on a twisting layup and a foul shot that came in the middle of an 18-2 run.The Aggies held Saint Louis scoreless on 15 straight possessions until Liddell hit a fast-break layup with 30 seconds left in the first half."We have been playing decent individual defense to this point," Gillispie said. "But today is the first time we have played really good team defense."Texas A&M led 34-13 at the half. Saint Louis' 13 first-half points tied the record for the fewest allowed by A&M. Texas Tech scored 13 first-half points against the Aggies in 1986.Saint Louis' 33 total points are the fewest Texas A&M has allowed since it beat Texas 73-29 on Jan. 16 1959.