Texas A&M (15-10) at Auburn (9-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Auburn Arena (9,121) -- Auburn, Alabama. Television: SEC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Texas A&M 11-4, Auburn 7-7. Away Record: Texas A&M 3-4, Auburn 1-6. Neutral Record: Texas A&M 1-2, Auburn 1-3. Conference Record: Texas A&M 5-7, Auburn 3-9. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M Aggies and the Auburn Tigers get together for a SEC showdown at Auburn Arena on Wednesday night.
Texas A&M has had a solid season overall (15-10), but things have been shaky in the SEC as it sits with a 5-7 league ledger. The Aggies had started to turn things around with wins in three of five bouts heading into last Saturday's road test with Vanderbilt, but they came away with a 63-56 defeat to slip to 3-4 away from College Station.
Meanwhile, Auburn is in the midst of a prolonged slump, losing three in a row and nine of its last 10 games dating back to mid-January. The Tigers were blown out of their own building last Saturday by nationally-ranked Florida, 83-52, to tumble to 9-16 overall and 3-9 in conference.
These newly-formed league rivals haven't met since Texas A&M defeated Auburn in December of 2006, 87-58. The Aggies hold a 3-2 advantage over the Tigers all-time.
Despite shooting a solid 44.2 percent from the field in its latest game against Vanderbilt, Texas A&M put together lackluster showings from 3-point range (3-of-12) and the foul line (7-of-11), as it was saddled with a seven- point loss. Elston Turner launched 19 shots but made only seven (.368) on his way to a team-high 14 points, Ray Turner tacked on 10 points and Kourtney Roberson was solid in the frontcourt with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The Aggies' biggest strength this season has come at the defensive end where they allow fewer than 60 ppg on just 41.2 percent field goal shooting, but their major issue has been a lackluster offensive attack that accounts for only 62.6 ppg. Elston Turner is one of the SEC's top shooting guards, netting 16.4 ppg, while Fabyon Harris (11.5 ppg) is a solid running mate in the backcourt. Down low, it's Ray Turner (9.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Roberson (6.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, .600 FG percentage) who do most of the dirty work.
Even with the support of the hometown faithful, Auburn never had a shot against the mighty Gators over the weekend, as it fell behind 47-22 at the half and eventually lost by 31. The Tigers were outshot by a significant margin (.574 to .352), and only Chris Denson (13 points) and Jordan Price (12 points) scored in double figures. The Tigers boast a better scoring offense than do the Aggies this season, but not by much as they pour in 66.3 ppg on just 41.3 percent field goal efficiency. Their defense has also been suspect, allowing nearly 68 ppg, and the last three opponents have put up 79.3 ppg. Frankie Sullivan is the team's top scorer, netting 15.2 ppg, but he hasn't helped out much with his percentages from the field overall (.379) and from beyond the arc (.294). Denson is much more efficient with his shot (.496) on his way to 12.3 ppg, while Rob Chubb brings stability to the paint with 8.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 1.0 bpg.
Although these two teams fit into a similar mold, Texas A&M has been much better than Auburn, especially of late. Look for the Aggies defense to stifle the Tigers as they capture a quality road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 62, Auburn 57
02/20 11:03:36 ET