Koulechov helps Florida cruise past No. 11 Texas A&M 83-66





COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Egor Koulechov scored 19 points and Keith Stone added 18 as Florida built a big lead early and cruised to an 83-66 victory over No. 11 Texas A&M on Tuesday night.

The short-handed Aggies, who were playing without three starters, dropped their second straight game after starting the season 11-1 and rising to No. 5 in the poll. This was A&M's second straight lopsided loss after a 79-57 defeat at Alabama on Saturday.

The Gators (10-4, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) made 17 3-pointers, led by five from Koulechov and four from Stone to win their fourth straight game.

Texas A&M (11-3, 0-2) was led by Jay Jay Chandler's 17 points on a night the team was missing Admon Gilder, who missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury, and Duane Wilson who also sat out with a knee injury. Leading scorer D.J. Hogg, who is averaging 14.6 points a game, served the last game of a three-game suspension for an undisclosed team rules violation.

The Gators led by 16 at halftime thanks to a hot-shooting first half where they made 10 of 16 3-pointers and had extended the lead to 55-37 with about 15 minutes left.

The Aggies scored the next eight points with 3-pointers from Chris Collins and Tonny Trocha-Morelos to get within 10. But Florida used a 10-0 spurt, with the first eight points from Koulechov, to make it 65-45 with about 11 minutes left and the Aggies didn't threaten again.

The Aggies led by one early before Florida used a 22-6 run, powered by four 3-pointers, to take a 30-15 lead with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Texas A&M got going after that and outscored the Gators 12-6 over the next 4 minutes to get within 36-27.

Florida scored the next eight points, with 3s from Chris Chiozza and Koulechov, to push the lead to 44-27 and the Gators led 46-30 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Florida: The Gators, who entered the game averaging 9.2 3-pointers a game, took over this game with long-range shooting and could be difficult to deal with if they continue to shoot this well.

Texas A&M: The Aggies recent slide is a bit concerning, but they should get back on track when Hogg returns for the next game and will get another boost when Wilson and Gilder get healthy.

UP NEXT

Florida: Visits Missouri on Saturday.

Texas A&M: Will try to end its skid when the team hosts LSU on Saturday before playing the next two games on the road.

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More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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