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Texas A&M (12-5) at LSU (9-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maravich Center (13,472) -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Texas A&M 9-2, LSU 8-2. Away Record: Texas A&M 2-1, LSU 1-4. Neutral Record: Texas A&M 1-2, LSU 0-0. Conference Record: Texas A&M 2-2, LSU 0-4. Series Record: LSU leads, 24-15.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M Aggies and the LSU Tigers both try to halt losing skids on Wednesday night when they meet for an SEC bout at the Maravich Center.
Texas A&M's season got off to a hot start, as it won 12 of its first 15 games, including its first two SEC matchups against Arkansas and Kentucky. Since then however, the Aggies have suffered back-to-back losses, falling to nationally- ranked Florida on Jan. 17 (68-47), and at Alabama in heartbreaking fashion last Saturday, 50-49.
LSU has been even worse of late, and following its 67-58 loss at Georgia last Saturday, it is now 0-4 in SEC play. The losing streak for the Tigers has all but spoiled a solid 9-2 start, although they are still an impressive 8-2 on their home floor.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs as SEC rivals. LSU leads the all-time series, 24-15, but Texas A&M won the latest encounter in a 72-61 final in December of 2008.
In a back-and-forth contest against Alabama, Texas A&M took a 49-48 lead with 19 seconds to play on a Fabyon Harris jumper, but the Crimson Tide responded on their next possession with the game-winning basket to hand the Aggies the gut-wrenching defeat. They shot an impressive 47.6 percent from the field, but only 2-of-11 from 3-point range. Elston Turner scored 13 points, J'Mychal Reese added 10, and Kourtney Robinson finished with a line of nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks. A&M relies heavily on its fantastic scoring defense (59.4 ppg), particularly with its offensive output being rather modest (64.5 ppg). Elston Turner leads the way with 16.1 ppg, doing most of his damage from beyond the arc (43-of-104, .413). Ray Turner is rock solid in the low post, scoring 10.6 ppg and grabbing 6.3 rpg, while Harris is close to joining the double-digit scorers club with 9.9 ppg.
Not much went right for LSU in its nine-point loss to Georgia, as the team shot just 36 percent from the floor and actually had more turnovers (21) than field goals (18). Johnny O'Bryant tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds, and while Anthony Hickey shot just 4- of-15 from the field, he finished with 12 points and five steals. The Tigers are usually much more potent on offense, as they put up 73.0 ppg (albeit on less than 43 percent shooting), and they also sport positive rebounding (+2.7) and turnover (+0.3) margins. While Shavon Coleman is the leading scorer with a modest 12.1 ppg, LSU boasts a balanced attack with five players scoring at least 9.9 ppg. Hickey (11.8 ppg) is one of the best defensive guards in the country, as he ranks first in the nation with 3.5 steals per contest. Andre Stringer (11.1 ppg) and Charles Carmouche (9.9 ppg) are also effective in the backcourt, while O'Bryant III adds 10.8 ppg and 7.7 rpg to the mix.
Texas A&M has faced some tough competition recently, and even though LSU has played well on its home floor, expect the Aggies to get back on track with a hard-fought road win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 64, LSU 60
01/23 10:39:47 ET
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