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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203) -- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Texas A&M 5-0, Oklahoma 2-0. Away Record: Texas A&M 1-0, Oklahoma 2-1. Neutral Record: Texas A&M 1-1, Oklahoma 2-1. Conference Record: Texas A&M 0-0, Oklahoma 0-0. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 29-10.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M Aggies look to pick up their fifth win in a row as they tangle with the Oklahoma Sooners at Chesapeake Energy Arena in the All- College Classic in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Texas A&M took down Stephen F. Austin, 62-54, on Dec. 5 to improve to 7-1 this season. The Aggies' only loss came in a neutral site game versus Saint Louis on Nov. 19. Coach Billy Kennedy's team has not had an easy road so far, as it owns the 11th highest strength of schedule in the country. A&M is sub par on the offensive end with an average of 68.6 ppg, but it is limiting opponents to only 60.5 ppg on 39.8 percent shooting from the field.
Lon Kruger's Sooners are coming off of an 81-78 loss at Arkansas which dropped their record to 6-2. Oklahoma picked up three straight wins over West Virginia, Oral Roberts, and Northwestern State before losing to the Razorbacks. The team's only other loss came versus the nationally ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Old Spice Classic. The Sooners are netting 68.8 ppg and allowing their opponents to score 65.1 ppg.
This will be the 40th meeting between these former conference rivals. Texas A&M won two of the three meetings last year, including a 62-53 decision in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. The Sooners still own a 29-10 edge in the all-time series.
The Aggies' stifling defensive play was on display last time out, as SFA managed to make only 32.4 percent of its attempts from the floor including 2-of-11 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes of their matchup. A&M made an even 50 percent of its field goal tries and outscored its opponent 21-3 at the free throw line to take home the win. Ray Turner and J'Mychal Reese tallied 15 points each, with the former also pulling down a team-best eight boards. Senior guard Elston Turner is pacing the team with 16.3 points and 32.6 minutes per game. Ray Turner is second on the squad with 12.8 ppg.
The Sooners had an excellent offensive performance their last time out as they converted 55.4 percent of their field goal attempts and 10-of-14 at the charity stripe in the three-point loss to the Razorbacks. Senior forward Romero Osby came off the bench to pour in a team-high 22 points, while Amath M'Baye (14) and Steven Pledger (12) also scored in double figures. Osby, who started the previous seven games, is leading the team with 12.5 ppg and is a force on the glass as well with 6.9 rpg. M'Baye (10.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Pledger (10.1 ppg) are both crucial elements also.
Oklahoma has not played up to its potential this season as Pledger is off to a somewhat slow start. The Sooners' guard showed he is capable of big-time performances last season, but has yet to get into a solid rhythm this season. In this even matchup, Oklahoma needs Pledger to make a difference. A&M's Turner duo provides an adequate inside-outside game for Kennedy, but the Aggies will have a tough time extending their winning streak if Pledger gets it going.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 70, Texas A&M 64
12/15 10:33:18 ET
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