Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Aggies and Tigers square off in pivotal Big 12 bout

College Station, TX (Sports Network) – The seventh-ranked Texas A&M Aggies are
fresh off a heart-breaking defeat, and they will close out their regular
season against the Missouri Tigers.

While Missouri seems to be on the outside of the NCAA Tournament picture
as of now, a victory over A&M coupled with a solid run in the Big 12
Conference Tournament could sway the committee. The Tigers are 18-10 overall,
including 7-8 in league play, and they have won four of their last five games.
On Wednesday, they cruised to a 91-82 decision over Colorado.

Texas A&M carried a three-game winning streak into Wednesday’s showdown at
Texas, but despite an outstanding effort on the road, the Aggies fell by a
98-96 final in double overtime. Still, the team is 24-5 overall, including
12-3 in conference, tied with the Longhorns for second place in the Big 12
standings. A&M needs a win today and a loss by Kansas to claim a share of
the league’s regular season title.

Missouri owns an 11-4 lead in the all-time series, but it was A&M that claimed
victory in the most recent meeting, taking a 54-51 decision in Columbia last

Missouri is averaging 77.4 ppg this season, while surrendering 70.2 ppg to the
opposition. Stefhon Hannah is the leading scorer for the Tigers, as he is
posting 15.5 ppg on the strength of his 40 percent shooting from the floor. The
versatile guard has also racked up 131 assists and 69 steals. Matt Lawrence
provides 11.4 ppg for Mizzou, and Marshall Brown rounds out a trio of double-
digit scorers with 10.1 ppg. In the victory over Colorado on Wednesday, Matt
Lawrence tallied 17 points. Marcus Watkins came through with 15 points on
senior night, and Keon Lawrence finished with 13 points and six assists. Hannah
had 12 points for the Tigers, who held on for the win despite 38.7 percent
shooting from the field in the second half.

Texas A&M’s Acie Law has topped 30 points in each of the last two games,
bumping his average to 18.1 ppg this season. Law is shooting 51.2 percent from
the floor, including 45.3 percent from three-point range, and he has dished out
156 assists, more than double his turnover total. Make no mistake, his late-
game heroics and leadership make Law a major contender for Big 12 Player of the
Year honors. Joseph Jones quietly supplies 13.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg for the Aggies,
who are getting 12.3 ppg from Josh Carter and 12.1 ppg from Antanas
Kavaliauskas. Texas A&M has benefited tremendously from the fact that it has
featured the same starting lineup in every game this season. Law poured in 33
points against Texas on Wednesday, and he got plenty of help from the talented
supporting cast. Unfortunately, the Aggies were outscored 29-15 from the foul
line and only forced 10 turnovers in 50 minutes.