With Tyler Davis dominating inside and Admon Gilder and D.J. Hogg burying shots from the perimeter, No. 25 Texas A&M whipped No. 11 West Virginia 88-65 in Friday’s season opener at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
Davis produced 23 points and 13 rebounds, leaving with 1:45 left to applause from a group of Air Force servicemen who waved a “12th Man” towel.
Gilder poured in 23 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and Hogg sank 4-of-6 from deep to finish with 19 points. The Aggies finished 10-of-19 from beyond the arc.
Beetle Bolden’s career-high 19 points off the bench led West Virginia, which ran out to a 13-point first-half lead before unraveling.
Preseason All-Big 12 point guard Jevon Carter had 13 points, seven assists and two steals, but the Mountaineers suffered their worst defeat in 72 games, dating back to a 78-39 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky in 2015.
Each team played without a suspended starter. Texas A&M was missing potential lottery pick Robert Williams for a violation of team rules. While he can return to action next week, West Virginia will be without forward Esa Ahmad for an NCAA-imposed half-season suspension.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins criticized his team for taking too many 3s in the preseason only to watch them launch 40 — the third-most in school history — while making just 12.
Bolden made 5-of-11 from 3 and Wesley Harris was 4-of-9. The rest of the team went 3-of-20.
Texas A&M won the rebounding battle 47-35 and even produced a 10-7 edge in steals, an unheard-of stat during the era of “Press Virginia” full-court defense.
The pressure temporarily created havoc as West Virginia led 26-13. Then came a 6-of-26 shooting slump and the Mountaineers went nearly six minutes without a field goal. Texas A&M recovered to lead 45-38 at halftime and continued on a 27-7 run in the second half that built a 57-40 lead.
The Mountaineers later suffered through a 1-of-16 shooting stretch when the Aggies’ lead ballooned to 28 points.
Gilder, playing off the bench, added nine rebounds and seven assists in a strong all-around game for the Aggies senior. The shooting from Gilder and Hogg bouyed Texas A&M to a 49-25 led in bench scoring.
The junior college signee Harris scored 12 points in his first start for the Mountaineers.
Texas A&M committed 18 turnovers but West Virginia finished with 16, four each by Carter and Bolden.
The Mountaineers lost for only the second time in 11 season openers under Huggins. The previous one, 84-50 at Gonzaga in November 2012, had a similar feel.