Sooners attempt to continue mastery of Aggies
College Station, TX (Sports Network) – Sitting in a logjam atop the Big 12
standings, the sixth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies return home to the friendly
confines of Reed Arena, as they play host to the Oklahoma Sooners in
conference action this afternoon.
The Aggies had an extended nine-game win streak halted on Wednesday, as
they dropped a two-point decision at Texas Tech (70-68). The loss was the
first in-conference for A&M, which is tied with three other teams for first
place in the Big 12 at 4-1.
Sitting right in the middle of the league standings is Oklahoma, which fell
to 3-3 in Big 12 play with Monday’s 66-61 loss at rival Oklahoma State. The
Sooners have now dropped four of their last seven games and will need to
get hot down the stretch to get consideration for the postseason.
Oklahoma has owned this series, winning 25 of the previous 26 meetings,
including a 10-1 mark in College Station.
The Sooners certainly had their opportunities in Stillwater earlier in the
week, but could not get over the hump against the Cowboys. Senior forward Nate
Carter continued his torrid pace since the beginning of Big 12 play, erupting
for a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Michael Neal was
the only other Sooner to join Carter in double figures, posting 13 points in
the five-point setback. Carter is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.1 ppg,
but has more than doubled that average in league affairs (18.3 ppg). Longar
Longar currently leads the team in both scoring (11.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.1
rpg). Neal is a close second at 10.7 ppg, while both Tony Crocker (9.9 ppg)
and Carter are closing in on double digits. The team as a whole is netting
69.6 ppg and has done a much better job defensively, limiting the opposition
to a mere 57.4 ppg, while holding them under 40 percent shooting (.380).
The Aggies know a thing or two about defensive intensity as well. The team is
yielding a meager 54.2 ppg, holding foes to just .352 shooting, including .272
from behind the arc. Offensively, the team has gotten the job done as well,
shooting .512 from the floor, resulting in a healthy 76.2 ppg. Acie Law leads
four players with double-digit averages, netting 16.5 ppg, while doubling as
the team’s primary distributor (91). Joseph Jones (13.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and
Antanas Kavaliauskas (11.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg) complement with their inside games,
while Josh Carter (11.7 ppg) is the team’s top long range threat (.490 from
three-point range, 47-of-96). It was a nip-and-tuck game all the way in
Lubbock this week, but in the end, Texas A&M’s nine-game win streak came to a
close. Law did what he could to earn the victory, erupting for 26 points, on
9-of-15 shots from the floor. Dominique Kirk posted 12 points and Jones
chipped in with 11, but Carter was held scoreless in the game in 30 minutes of
action. Despite shooting .532 from the floor, A&M was outscored 22-13 at the
free-throw line and committed 15 costly turnovers in the narrow defeat.