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February 27, 2008COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Dominique Kirk scored 16 points, including five 3-pointers, and Texas A&M snapped out of its Big 12 nosedive with an easy 98-54 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday night.
The Aggies had lost three straight and dropped out of the Top 25 rankings this week for the first time in 36 weeks.
The 44-point margin is A&M's biggest win in Big 12 history and in its series against Tech.
Texas A&M (21-7, 7-6) was aggressive, scrappy and excited from the beginning of this one, looking nothing like the team that scored just 59 points in a loss to Nebraska on Saturday.
The Aggies scored the first five points of the game and never trailed, leading by double-digits through most of the game.
The win breaks a three-game losing streak to the Red Raiders and avenges a 68-53 Texas Tech win earlier this season that gave Bob Knight his 900th career victory.
Joseph Jones added 13 points for A&M and Donald Sloan had 12.
The Aggies scored the first eight points of the second half, thanks to 3-pointers by Kirk and Josh Carter to extend their lead to 64-29 with about 18 minutes left. Texas A&M led 67-34 before two quick baskets pushed its lead to 37 points with about 15 minutes to play.
Texas Tech (15-12, 6-7) trailed by 37 points before going on an 11-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Trevor Cook to get within 74-45 with about three minutes later. The Aggies answered with a 15-5 run to push the lead to 89-50 with about five minutes left and coach Mark Turgeon sat all his starters.
Texas Tech, which had won two straight, was doomed by its own poor shooting (33 percent) coupled with 57 percent shooting by the Aggies, who made 12 3-pointers.
Coach Pat Knight used seldom played forward Tyler Hoffmeister to start the second half, with Damir Suljagic on the bench with three fouls. Hoffmeister, who won the reality show "Knight School," had four points and a steal in 15 minutes.
The loss drops Knight's record to 3-4 since taking over after his father's resignation earlier this month.
Texas A&M led by three before scoring eight straight points, fueled by two 3-pointers by Kirk, to push its lead to 23-12 with about 12 minutes left in the first half.
A 9-0 run later in the half stretched A&M's lead to 38-19 about four minutes before halftime. The Aggies outscored Tech 18-10 in the final minutes of the half to lead 56-29 at halftime. A&M's 56 halftime points were more than the Aggies had scored in two of their last three losses and three shy of their total in Saturday's loss to Nebraska.
The Aggies harassed Tech into seven turnovers and numerous bad shots while committing just one turnover in the first half.
Tech was led by Alan Voskuil with 11 points.
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