Wagner (4-6) at (25) Texas A&M (10-1)
Tuesday, December 21st, 8:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,500) -- College Station, Texas. Television: FSN-SW. Home Record: Wagner 1-2, Texas A&M 6-0. Away Record: Wagner 3-4, Texas A&M 1-0. Neutral Record: Wagner 0-0, Texas A&M 3-1. Conference Record: Wagner 1-0, Texas A&M 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 25th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies are set for what appears to be a lopsided matchup with the visiting Wagner Seahawks.
A member of the Northeast Conference, Wagner is just 4-6 overall and 3-4 in true road games. The Seahawks have lost each of their last three bouts, including a 69-57 setback to Princeton on Friday. They are 1-0 in NEC play thus far and jump into a full league slate in January.
As for Texas A&M, it carries a seven-game win streak into this evening's affair. After beating Washington by one point last week, the Aggies knocked off Arkansas in overtime on Saturday by a 71-62 final, proof that the club can get the job done in a close game. Texas A&M is 10-1, including 6-0 at home, and figures to be a contender in the loaded Big 12 Conference.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Wagner and Texas A&M on the hardwood.
Wagner is far from explosive at the offensive end of the court, as the team is only generating 63.0 ppg on 41.3 percent shooting from the floor. Fortunately, the team has played extremely well at the defensive end, limiting opponents to 65.9 ppg on 40.9 percent field goal efficiency. The Seahawks are being outrebounded by over six boards per contest, unfortunately, the most obvious reason for the sub-.500 record. Tyler Murray is the top offensive performer for Wagner, as he provides 17.1 ppg to go along with other team highs of 5.3 rpg and 32 assists. As for Latif Rivers, he checks in with 14.6 ppg. Naofall Folahan paced the Seahawks with 19 points in the loss to Princeton last time out, and the center blocked seven shots as well. Rivers scored 14 points and Murray added 11 points, but those two players combined to shoot a mere 7-of-23 from the floor. Wagner turned the ball over 16 times and was outrebounded by a 32-23 margin, and those factors combined with inefficient shooting led to the loss.
Khris Middleton has been the leading scorer for Texas A&M in three consecutive outings, and he leads the team with 16.0 ppg. David Loubeau checks in with 10.7 ppg, and Nathan Walkup checks in with 10.4 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Rounding out a foursome of double-digit scorers is B.J. Holmes with 10.4 ppg, and he has dished out 41 assists. The Aggies are generating 73.3 ppg while limiting foes to 57.2 ppg on 37.4 percent field goal efficiency. Strong rebounding has been a major key to Texas A&M's success, as the club is ripping down 12.1 rpg more than the opposition. In the nine-point overtime victory over Arkansas, Middleton scored 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field. Walkup pitched in 15 points and 12 rebounds, as he hit all nine of his foul shots in that affair. The Aggies won despite a 1-of-6 effort from the floor in the overtime period, as they scored nine points from the foul line in that stanza. Defensively, they limited the Razorbacks to two points in the five-minute extra session.
Obviously, Texas A&M is the better team in this matchup and will get past Wagner with little resistance. Don't be surprised if the Aggies approach 100 points.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 96, Wagner 61
12/21 13:22:15 ET