Tennessee (15-10) at Texas A&M (16-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: SEC Network, MSG. Home Record: UT 11-3, Texas A&M 11-4. Away Record: UT 2-6, Texas A&M 4-4. Neutral Record: UT 2-1, Texas A&M 1-2. Conference Record: UT 7-6, Texas A&M 6-7. Series Record: Tennessee leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The Tennessee Volunteers will attempt to continue their recent hot streak on Saturday afternoon, as they face off against the Texas A&M Aggies in an SEC clash from Reed Arena.
Following an 82-72 win at home over LSU on Tuesday night, Tennessee has won four consecutive games for the second time this season to improve to 15-10 overall and to jump above .500 in SEC play (7-6) for the first time. Despite the Vols' solid play of late, they have still been vulnerable away from home, going just 2-6 in true road games.
Texas A&M is 16-10 on the campaign, and it has been able to tread water in its first season as a member of the SEC with a 6-7 league ledger. The Aggies have been playing well of late with wins in two of their last three tilts, including a 65-56 triumph at Auburn on Wednesday night, and they have enjoyed a strong home court advantage this season (11-4).
The Vols lead the all-time series with the Aggies, 4-1, and this is their first meeting since December of 2003.
Tennessee was on fire from the field in its 10-point victory over LSU, shooting 57.4 percent overall while tying a school record at 66.6 percent from 3-point range (10-of-15). Jordan McRae was 13-of-18 from the floor, which included a perfect showing from beyond the arc on six attempts for 34 points, which not only was a career-high but the most for a UT player in the past six years. Trae Golden was outstanding as well with 20 points and eight assists, while Jarnell Stokes tallied his seventh double-double in the past eight games with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The offensive explosion was far from the norm for Tennessee, as it nets just 65.4 ppg. The team typically relies on one of the SEC's best defenses to win, as it allows fewer than 62 ppg to its opponents. McRae pours in a team-high 14.6 ppg, while Stokes is arguably one of the league's most impressive forwards with 12.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 1.2 bpg. Golden adds 11.4 ppg to the mix and has more than twice as many assists (95) as turnovers (44).
The Aggies appeared in trouble early in their most recent outing, as they dug themselves a 12-0 hole less than six minutes in, but they were able to cut the deficit to two at the break and outshot Auburn from the field in the second half (55 percent to 26.7 percent) as they came back to post a nine-point win. Elston Turner connected on four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points, while Alex Caruso was also impressive in the backcourt with 14 points and eight assists. Kourtney Roberson netted just six points, but he hauled in 10 rebounds. Despite ranking sixth in the SEC in field goal percentage (.440), Texas A&M is just the 10th-highest scoring team in the league with 62.7 ppg. Luckily it can rely heavily on its third-ranked scoring defense, which yields less than 60 ppg to opponents. Elston Turner is one of the league's top scorers with 16.5 ppg, with Fabyon Harris (11.5 ppg) acting as a strong running mate on the perimeter. Ray Turner (9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Roberson (6.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) have performed well in close to the basket.
These teams appear to be cut from the same cloth, and while Tennessee may boast slightly more scoring talent, it hasn't been the same team away from Knoxville, meaning the Aggies will have the leg up if they can keep the score relatively low.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 64, Tennessee 61
02/23 10:43:23 ET