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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 6, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: LSU 14-2, Texas A&M 12-5. Away Record: LSU 3-8, Texas A&M 4-5. Neutral Record: LSU 0-0, Texas A&M 1-2. Conference Record: LSU 8-8, Texas A&M 7-9. Series Record: LSU leads, 25-15.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M Aggies will close their home building for the season on Wednesday night, as they welcome the LSU Tigers for an SEC clash at Reed Arena.
LSU is in the midst of a solid 17-10 campaign, and it has been able to perform rather well in the SEC too with an 8-8 mark. The Tigers slipped up in their latest outing, dropping an 89-76 decision to Missouri last Saturday, and they have had a pretty big discrepancy between their home (14-2) and road (3-8) splits this season.
Texas A&M has not been one of the elite teams in the conference in its first year in the SEC, but at 17-12 overall and 7-9 in league play, it has done a decent job of staying afloat. The Aggies are fresh off a 74-56 win over visiting South Carolina, which improved the team's home ledger to 12-5.
LSU won the first meeting between the two teams this season, 58-54 in Baton Rouge, to extend its lead in the all-time series to 25-15.
The Tigers fell victim to a hot-shooting Missouri squad in their latest matchup, as they were outshot from the floor, .581 to .419, in the 13-point setback. Guard combo Anthony Hickey (22 points) and Charles Carmouche (21 points, five assists) were impressive, especially from 3-point range, combining to shoot 11-of-22 from beyond the arc. Johnny O'Bryant was stellar in the paint with 18 points and eight rebounds.
LSU has one of the better offenses in the SEC, scoring 71.6 ppg on 43 percent field goal shooting, but it is sometimes let down by a less-than-stellar defensive unit, which ranks 13th in the conference in allowing 68.8 ppg. O'Bryant III is a nightly threat for a double-double with 13.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg, while Hickey leads the team with 12.2 ppg and 3.9 apg while leading the nation in steals with 3.2 per contest. Rounding out the team's deep reserve of double-digit scorers are Shavon Coleman (10.6 ppg), Carmouche (10.5 ppg) and Andre Stringer (10.1 ppg).
The Aggies appeared in trouble early in the second quarter of their last game when they were down by four, but from that point forward they outscored South Carolina, 42-20, as they cruised to the 18-point victory. Pacing a 53.7 percent shooting effort for the team was Elston Turner, who netted 28 points and dished out five assists, and the senior guard has averaged 28 points over his last four bouts. Ray Turner contributed 16 points, six rebounds and four blocks, while Fabyon Harris came off the bench to net a dozen points.
Texas A&M has simply a modest scoring attack, pouring in just 64.2 ppg, but it has been able to stay competitive in most bouts thanks to a strong defensive effort, as the team ranks fifth in the league in yielding a lowly 61.5 ppg. Elston Turner's recent hot streak has put him square in the middle of All-SEC discussions, as he is tied for second in the league with 18.0 ppg. Harris brings 11.8 ppg to the table, while Ray Turner (9.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Kourtney Robinson (6.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg) are both strong performers in the frontcourt.
LSU has the type of balanced offensive attack that can crack the stingy Texas A&M defense, but the Tigers' shooting has definitely not been as strong on the road this season as it has been in Baton Rouge. With Elston Turner carrying a hot hand into this matchup, expect the Aggies to come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 68, LSU 63
03/06 10:35:39 ET
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