Texas A&M (12-7) at South Carolina (7-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) -- Columbia, South Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: TXAM 11-2, South Carolina 5-4. Away Record: TXAM 1-2, South Carolina 0-7. Neutral Record: TXAM 0-3, South Carolina 2-1. Conference Record: TXAM 3-3, South Carolina 0-6. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the Texas A&M Aggies and the South Carolina Gamecocks will attempt to put an end to their respective losing streaks on Wednesday night when the squads meet up for an SEC clash at Colonial Life Arena.
Texas A&M was cruising just a few weeks ago, as it sat at 12-4 overall and 3-0 in the SEC, but it has floundered in recent weeks with three straight losses. The Aggies most recently dropped a home contest with Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon, 66-55, and their performance on the road this season has not been pretty (1-2).
Meanwhile, South Carolina is one of the few teams in the SEC colder than the Aggies, and it has dropped six in a row to start league play and is tied with Auburn for last place in the conference. The Gamecocks ventured to Missouri on Saturday and came away with a 82-74 setback to slip to 7-12 overall.
The Aggies took care of business against South Carolina on Jan. 15, 75-67, in what was their last win. Texas A&M now has a 2-0 lead in the all-time series.
Texas A&M had arguably its worst performance of the season in its 11-point home loss to Vanderbilt over the weekend, as it was outshot from the field, 41.7 percent to 33.3 percent, and made good on just 4-of-18 from 3-point range. Despite the struggles of most of his teammates, Kourtney Roberson tallied a double-double of 14 points (on 6-of-8 from the field) and 10 rebounds. Shawn Smith and Jordan Green scored nine points apiece, but the duo combined to shoot just 6-of-17 from the field.
The Aggies' offensive output has been poor all season long, as their 67.6 ppg ranks last in the SEC, but they have remained competitive thanks to their outstanding scoring defense (62.1 ppg), which falls behind only Florida's in the league rankings. Jamal Jones is the only player to score in double figures on a nightly basis with 11.8 ppg, and that average has shot up to 16.3 ppg in conference action. Roberson acts as a sturdy anchor in the frontcourt with 9.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg, while shooting just a shade under 60 percent from the field.
The Gamecocks trailed by as many as 19 in the second half in their tilt with Missouri over the weekend, and while they pieced together a valiant comeback effort to make it just a six-point game in the final two minutes, they would get no closer. They shot just 39 percent from the field on the afternoon while allowing Missouri to make greater than 54 percent of its shots overall. Brenton Williams was outstanding in spite of defeat, as he shot 7-of-14 from 3-point range and a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line for a season-high 32 points. Michael Carrera posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Sindarius Thornwell poured in 14 points.
On the season, South Carolina's offensive output has been solid, shooting 43 percent from the field for 70.8 ppg, but it hasn't been enough to support its lackluster defensive effort, as it yields 71.7 ppg. Thornwell is in the midst of an impressive freshman campaign with 12.8 ppg while adding a team-best 19 steals. Williams (11.5 ppg) and Tyrone Johnson (12.6 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers, with Williams leading the nation among qualified free- throw shooters at an incredible 98.3 percent (59-of-60).
Despite South Carolina's disappointing season, it has been able to hold its own at Colonial Life Arena (5-4). After losing their last two home bouts by a combined four points, expect the Gamecocks to find the win column in this one against the struggling Aggies.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Carolina 67, Texas A&M 65
01/29 10:37:10 ET