Aggies look to win 4th straight as No. 24 Kentucky comes to Reed

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Aggie Basketball Game #25:
No. 24 Kentucky (16-8; 6-5 SEC) at Texas A&M (16-8; 5-6 SEC)
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 • 7:15 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989) • College Station, Texas

TELEVISION: ESPN2 (For more info – 12thMan.com/TV)
Dave Flemming, Play-by-Play
Dan Dakich, Commentary
Kris Budden, Reporter

RADIO: WTAW 1620 AM (Bryan-College Station)
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Mike Caruso, Commentary

SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius Ch. 138 / XM Ch. 391
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thman.com/live
LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com

Texas A&M will be in search of a fourth-consecutive win Saturday when the Aggies host No. 24 Kentucky inside Reed Arena at 7:15 p.m. Fans are encouraged to Rock Reed by wearing white with a free t-shirt being given away to those in attendance, courtesy of Opportune.

The contest will be televised to a national audience on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming calling the play-by-play action, Dan Dakich providing commentary and Kris Budden reporting. Additionally, radio coverage will be available on the Aggie Sports Network, which can be heard locally in the Bryan/College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).

The Aggies' two-headed monster on the interior - Tyler Davis and Robert Williams - was honored this week as the players were selected to the slimmed down watch list (10 players) for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award (Davis) and Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award (Williams).

Davis has been Texas A&M's most consistent player this season, standing out as the only Aggie to start all 24 games while producing nine double-doubles, the second-most among all SEC players. Williams has stepped up his productively during SEC play and is averaging 14.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest in his last seven games, while shooting 77.0 percent from the floor.

On the perimeter Texas A&M has gotten a boost from freshman TJ Starks, who entered the starting lineup for the Kansas game on Jan. 27 and has produced 14.8 points per game while shooting 66.7 percent from 3-point range in four games as a starter. The Dallas native is coming off a career-best 23-point effort in Texas A&M's road upset of No. 8 Auburn on Wednesday night.

For the Aggies (16-8; 5-6 SEC), the victory over the Tigers was their second over a top-10 opponent this season and gave program its first campaign with multiple victories over top-10 foes on their home floor.

Kentucky, meanwhile, comes to College Station sporting a 17-7 overall mark with a 6-5 record in SEC. The Wildcats are looking to bounce back after suffering back-to-back losses to Missouri and Tennessee in their most recent outing.

The series between the Wildcats and Aggies has been a tightly-contest affair since Texas A&M joined the SEC for the 2012-13 campaign. In nine meetings as SEC opponents, have been four overtime contests, including three at Reed Arena, and six total contests decided by eight points or less.

UK defeated the Aggies 74-73 at Rupp Arena in Lexington earlier this season on Jan. 3.

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SETTING THE SCENE / NOTABLES
Texas A&M puts its three-game winning streak on the line Saturday when the Aggies host Kentucky.
The clash with the 24th-ranked Wildcats second straight ranked-opponent for the Aggies, who defeated No. 8 Auburn on the road Wednesday ... Texas A&M is 3-3 against ranked teams this season.
The win over the Tigers gave the Aggies their second victory over a top-10 opponent this season as A&M also carded a 75-59 win over then-No. 10 USC on Nov. 26 in Los Angeles ... the two road victories over top-10 opponents are the most during a single season in program history.

SERIES HISTORY VS. KENTUCKY (UK LEADS 9-3)
Saturday will be the 13th meeting between the Aggies & Wildcats on the hardwood and the ninth since A&M joined the SEC.
Earlier this season on Jan. 9, Texas A&M dropped a 74-73 decision to the Wildcats at UK's Rupp Arena ... the Aggies were lead in scoring by 21 points from Tyler Davis who went 8-of-10 from the field.
On Jan. 12, 2013, during its first visit to Rupp Arena as an SEC team, A&M became the first team to hand John Calipari a home conference loss at Kentucky ... UK saw its 24-game home SEC win streak snapped in the affair.
The two schools first met during the 1941-42 season when the 'Cats earned a 49-29 victory.
A&M's Billy Kennedy is 2-7 against Kentucky.
Kennedy's head coaching counterpart, UK's John Calipari, is 8-2 all-time against the Aggies ... Before his tenure at UK, his lone contest against Texas A&M came on March 22, 2007, while coaching at Memphis ... The Tigers defeated the Aggies 65-64 during the NCAA Tournament's South Regional semifinal at San Antonio's Alamodome.

TEXAS A&M VS. RANKED TEAMS
A&M is 3-3 vs. ranked teams this season, having carded wins over No. 11 West Virginia (Nov. 10 at Ramstein Air Base Germany), No. 10 USC (Nov. 26 in Los Angeles) and No. 8 Auburn (Feb. 7 in Auburn) against losses vs. No. 21 Kentucky (Jan. 9 in Lexington), No. 24 Tennessee (Jan. 13 in Knoxville) and No. 5 Kansas (Jan. 27 in Lawrence).

MOST TOP-10 ROAD WINS IN SCHOOL HISTORY
This season marks the first time in program history that Texas A&M has defeated multiple top-10 ranked opponents on the road. The Aggies defeated then 10th-ranked USC at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 26 before downing No. 8 Auburn at Auburn Arena on Feb. 7.

AGGIES RANK AMONG NATION'S BEST REBOUNDING TEAMS
Texas A&M enters the Kentucky game ranking third nationally in total rebounds per game (41.83), eighth in defensive rebounds per game (29.21), 27th in offensive rebounds per game (12.63) and ninth in rebound margin (+7.6). A&M has been out-rebounded in just four games this season.

A&M DEFENSE BY THE NUMBERS
Through games played on Feb. 5, Texas A&M stands out as one of the country's toughest defensive squads, checking in at seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense (38.9). Additionally, A&M is seventh in defensive rebounds per game (29.52) and fifth in blocked shots per game (6.2).

Kenpom.com ranks the Aggies at No. 5 nationally in its adjusted defensive efficiency (91.9).

DAVIS - A&M'S STEADY, RELENTLESS COMPETITOR
The Aggies have seen their share of ups & downs already this season, but one thing that has not changed throughout it all has been the steady play and competitiveness of Tyler Davis. Here's a look at Tyler's season by the numbers.

Only Aggie to start all 24 games this season
Nine double-doubles (Tied with Georiga's Yante Maten for 1st in the SEC)
15 career double-doubles (T-2nd in the SEC)
In all games, ranks 16th in the SEC in scoring (14.4 ppg) & 2nd in rebounding (8.9 rpg)
In all games, leads the SEC & ranks 37th nationally in field goal percentage (57.0 percent)
In SEC games only, ranks 14th in the SEC in scoring (14.5 ppg) & first in rebounding (9.4 rpg)
UP NEXT AFTER THE KENTUCKY GAME
The Aggies being a road-heavy stretch that will see Texas A&M play four of its next five contests away from College Station, beginning Tuesday at Missouri ... Tipoff between the Aggies and Tigers is slated for 6 p.m. from Mizzou Arena with television coverage on ESPNU.