Texas A&M freshman guard Alex Caruso said he likes to remember a saying preached by his coaches every time he steps on the court.
"All in," he said. "That's what you have to do to play on this team."
Caruso contributed in all facets of the game Tuesday night, giving the team a much-needed lift in the hustle area. That, coupled with Elston Turner's career-high 26 points, helped to thwart a late Troy rally 83-65 and give the Aggies a second consecutive victory to start the season 2-0 in front of 4,330 at Reed Arena.
After a dominant first half, A&M stretched the second half lead to 19 points. But Troy's shooters got hot on the perimeter, cutting the lead to eight points. Turner said the second-half lull had a little to do with the home team feeling content with the lead, but also had to do with the Trojans' offense.
"We knew they could shoot the ball and knew they'd keep shooting," Turner said. "We knew coming into the game, whatever the margin was, they'd keep finding those threes. They got hot in the second half and made a little run."
But a four-point play from Turner -- on a drive and dish from Caruso -- killed the rally. Troy coach Don Maestri was very complimentary of the A&M senior.
"When we made the little run, the son of a gun put the team on his back and answered it," Maestri said.
A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said he was most pleased with the team's passing on the perimeter. The Aggies had 21 assists to only eight turnovers.
"We were sharing the ball," Kennedy said. "I thought everybody, our perimeter guys, did a good job of making the extra pass."
Caruso showed an innate ability to make the extra pass. He finished the night with four assists to go along with 13 points and four offensive rebounds. Turner said that's par for the course for a guy who has shown he can do it all.
"You can name about four or five ways he impacts the game," Turner said. "He can shoot the ball, he's smart. He rebounds and he hustles."
A&M used a decided size advantage to control the boards and the paint throughout the game. The Aggies outscored the Trojans 30-18 inside and out-rebounded Troy 35-22. Ray Turner had a solid outing, scoring 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with six rebounds. Fabyon Harris added 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Before the game, Kennedy announced that forward Daniel Alexander, who appeared in 28 games last season, had left the team "to pursue other opportunities."
The Aggies return to the court Thursday to take on Prairie View A&M at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.