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North Texas (7-5) at Texas A&M (8-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 31, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: FSN-SW. Home Record: UNT 6-1, Texas A&M 8-0. Away Record: UNT 1-2, Texas A&M 0-0. Neutral Record: UNT 0-2, Texas A&M 0-3. Conference Record: UNT 0-0, Texas A&M 0-0. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 10-8.
GAME NOTES: A couple of Lone Star State programs close out the calendar year at Reed Arena this afternoon, as the Texas A&M Aggies entertain the North Texas Mean Green in non-conference action.
The Aggies have spent the majority of the non-conference slate at home where they are a perfect 8-0. However, the very latest outing for the program was against Oklahoma in Houston 10 days ago, with the Sooners coming up with a 64-52 victory. The setback snapped a brief two-game win streak for A&M and was the third in the last five games after the team opened the campaign on a six- game win streak.
As for the Mean Green, they are aiming to register their second three-game win streak of the season. The team has had some questionable opponents in the opening two months and that certainly applies to the last two foes, as UNT topped Central Arkansas (64-55) on Dec. 17 and then took down Wayland Baptist (81-77) four days later.
The Aggies lead the all-time series by a count of 10-8, thanks in part to a 75-65 win in the most recent meeting four years ago.
Against Wayland Baptist, a school that competes at the NAIA level, the Mean Green played just well enough to get by. Considering North Texas missed all nine attempts behind the 3-point line and was 21-of-31 at the free-throw line, the Mean Green should feel lucky that they survived, frankly. Alzee Williams scored 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while reserve Chris Jones accounted for 13 points, six boards, five assists and a couple steals. Colin Voss produced a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards.
For Voss, the effort was somewhat surprising given that through 12 games now, he is averaging just 5.5 ppg and 5.9 rpg. Higher up on the scoring list are Alzee Williams and Jordan Williams with 14.8 and 11.6 ppg, respectively, and while the latter is tops on the glass with 6.6 rpg, his 25.6 percent accuracy beyond the arc and mere five assists, against 21 turnovers, are reason enough to question why he is now in the starting lineup.
For the second time in the last four outings the Aggies were held to just 52 points away from home, and that wasn't even the worst of it for the team as it dug a huge hole in the first half versus Oklahoma with a mere 5-of-34 (.147) shooting from the floor. The team improved in the second half (.394), then again it could not have gotten any worse really. Jordan Green scored 10 points as the leading offensive threat for the Aggies, missing all four of his 3- point tries as the team converted a woeful 2-of-23 out on the perimeter. Kourtney Roberson accounted for seven points and 13 rebounds, but shot just 2- of-9 from the floor.
In their eight wins this season, the Aggies have outscored the opposition by 17.7 ppg, shooting 51.5 percent from the field compared to 36.4 percent for foes. However, when it comes to all 11 contests, the difference in scoring dips to 10.9 ppg, although opponents are still being limited to just 37.2 percent from the floor. Roberson accounts for 12.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg to lead in both categories, while Jamal Jones checks in with 10.0 ppg.
The Aggies were dreadful in their last outing so you have to assume that after having had all this time to think about their performance they are more than ready to respond more favorable. Couple that with the fact that UNT struggled against a weak opponent recently and there's no reason to think the hosts won't come away with the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 71, North Texas 64
12/31 10:52:21 ET
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