A&M Heads To Norman Wednesday To Tangle With Big 12 Co-Leader Oklahoma

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COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas Aggie men's basketball team will put its 2 game winning streak on the line Wednesday when it travels to Norman to take on 2nd ranked Oklahoma. Tip off is set for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast live in the Brazos Valley on KBTX News 3, digital channel 3.1.

Oklahoma leads the series, 27-4, and has won two straight, but the Aggies have won three of the last five. The Sooners posted a 69-63 win on Jan. 17 in College Station.

Ø The Sooners have a 13-1 lead in games played in Norman, with all 14 previous games played at Lloyd Noble Center.

Ø Oklahoma beat the Aggies, 64-37, last year in Norman.

Ø Seven of the last eight games in the series were decided by 10 points or fewer.

Key Game Notes

Ø The Aggies play their fourth nationally-ranked team in their last seven games when they meet No. 2-ranked Oklahoma on Wednesday in Norman, Okla.

Ø The Aggies have won two straight and are coming off a 76-64 win against Oklahoma State at home on Saturday.

Ø Oklahoma has won nine straight and is coming off a 78-68 win at Iowa State on Saturday.

Ø The Aggies are 2-3 in true road games and are 4-4 in all games away from home.

Ø The Sooners are 12-0 at home and have won 16 straight in Norman, the fifth-longest home winning streak in the country.

Ø Mark Turgeon’s 42-16 record is the second-best coaching start in Big 12 history through 58 games. Kansas’ Bill Self was 45-13 in 2003-05.

Ø A&M is 0-10 all-time against teams ranked in the top two in the national polls, including an 0-7 mark against No. 2-ranked squads. The last time A&M played a team ranked in the top two was in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last March, when the Aggies fell to No. 2 UCLA, 51-49.

Ø The highest ranked team the Aggies have ever beaten was Texas, which was No. 5 when A&M posted a 71-69 overtime win in Austin in 1982. A&M has beaten a top-10 team in each of the last four seasons, including an 80-63 win against No. 10 Texas last year in College Station.

Sidebars

Ø A&M assistant coach Alvin “Pooh” Williamson is from Beggs, Okla., located just south of Tulsa. He led Beggs HS to two Class 2A state titles before going on to star at Tulsa from 1992-95. Williamson led Tulsa to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1994 and 1995. He was an assistant at Tulsa from 2001-05 and served as interim head coach in 2004-05.

Ø A&M sophomore guard Derrek Lewis is from Tulsa, where he led Union HS to a 26-1 record and the state semifinals in 2007. He led Cascia Hall HS to the state finals as a junior in 2006.

About Oklahoma

Ø The Sooners are in their third season under Head Coach Jeff Capel.

Ø Oklahoma finished 23-12 last season and tied for fourth in the Big 12 with a 9-7 mark. The Sooners advanced to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ø The Sooners’ only loss this season was at Arkansas (96-88) on Dec. 30. They posted impressive non-conference wins against Purdue (87-82 OT), USC (73-72) and Utah (70-52).

Ø Sophomore forward Blake Griffin (6-10) leads the Big 12 in scoring (22.4), rebounding (14.1) and field goal percentage (.636). He is the early favorite for NCAA player of the year honors.

Ø Freshman guard Willie Warren (6-4) adds 15.5 points while junior guard Tony Crocker (6-6) averages 10.2 points per contest.

Ø Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in both field goal percentage (.486) and field goal percentage defense (.384) .

Last Month in College Station

COLLEGE STATION (AP, Jan. 17, 2009) - Austin Johnson had 19 points and Blake Griffin added 16 and No. 6 Oklahoma held off a late rally by Texas A&M for a 69-63 victory. Oklahoma allowed A&M to cut a 13-point second-half lead to two on a 3-pointer by Donald Sloan with about 2 minutes remaining. Johnson pushed the lead to 62-57 with a 3-pointer about 30 seconds later and Johnson had four free throws and Griffin added two to secure the Sooners’ fifth straight win. Griffin entered the game leading the league in rebounding with almost 14 a game, but grabbed just six on Saturday. Taylor Griffin added 11 points and Willie Warren had nine for Oklahoma. Josh Carter had 17 points for the Aggies (15-3, 1-2), who had won 11 straight at home. A&M trailed 51-37 before going on a 15-5 run to cut the lead to four with about 5 minutes left. B.J. Holmes added 11 points for the Aggies and Bryan Davis, Derrick Roland and Sloan all had eight. The Sooners were effective against A&M’s Chinemelu Elonu, who entered the game with three straight double-doubles, but struggled with early fouls and finished with seven points and five rebounds. Oklahoma scored the game’s first nine points and stretched the lead to 19-6 with about 10 minutes left thanks to 2-of-10 shooting by the Aggies. A&M went on an 8-2 run to get within seven and trailed 30-25 at halftime.

Last Year in Norman

NORMAN, Okla. (AP, March 2, 2008) - Longar Longar had 14 points and eight rebounds and Oklahoma held Texas A&M scoreless for more than 16 straight minutes as the Sooners beat the Aggies 64-37. The Aggies, who entered the game second in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage, made just 13 of 51 shots (25.5 percent), including 2 of 16 from 3-point range. Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan led the Aggies with 10 points each. Oklahoma dominated the boards, posting a 42-28 rebounding advantage over a team that came in ranked fifth nationally in rebounding margin. A&M, unranked for the first time all season, led 10-9 after a dunk by Jordan with 12:51 left in the first half, but didn’t score again before halftime. The Aggies made just 5 of 27 shots in the half. Oklahoma had a 5-minute scoring drought of its own, but soon enough, the Sooners began pulling away, scoring the final 19 points of the half to take a 28-10 lead. The second half didn’t start much better for the Aggies, as a 3-pointer by Austin Johnson and a follow shot by Cade Davis pushed Oklahoma’s margin to 33-10 with 18:21 left, resulting in a time-out by A&M coach Mark Turgeon. Bryan Davis’ dunk with 16:39 left ended the Aggies’ scoreless stretch, but A&M never threatened in the second half. Oklahoma built its lead to as many as 29 points. Johnson and Blake Griffin each scored 13 points for Oklahoma. The Sooners shot 48 percent from the field, going 24 of 50.

Oklahoma State Recap

COLLEGE STATION (AP) -- Bryan Davis had 18 points to lead four Texas A&M players in double figures and the Aggies got a 76-64 win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Aggies led by 14 at halftime, but allowed the Cowboys to get within two points midway through the second half on a 3-point play by Terrel Harris. Donald Sloan then hit a jumper, got fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws to put A&M (17-5, 3-4 Big 12 Conference) comfortably ahead. A&M made 11 free throws in the last five minutes to secure the win. Oklahoma State (13-7, 2-4), which has lost four of its last five, was led by Harris with 17 points. The Aggies, who lost to the Cowboys 72-61 earlier this season, have won two straight and are 13-1 at home this season.

Inside Dish

Ø A&M is the only Big 12 team with five players averaging in double figures in scoring in league play. Amazingly, those players’ scoring averages are within 0.6 points of one another (between 10.4 and 11.0 points per game).

Ø A&M is averaging 19.7 bench points and in the last two games has out-scored its opponents 52-6 in bench points.

Ø A&M is averaging 16.3 turnovers in its four Big 12 losses, but only 10.7 in its three Big 12 wins. A&M is 14-1 when it has 15 or fewer turnovers this season, but is 3-4 when it has more than 15 miscues.

Ø The Aggies are 59-of-69 (.855) from the free throw line in the last two minutes of “close games,” which are defined as games within 10 points.

Ø A&M’s 80 home wins in the last four years are the second most in the nation in that period behind Memphis (85).

Ø A&M is 69-23 (.750) in the last three seasons, ranking it among the winningest teams in the country in that span.

Ø A&M is 12-0 this year when its opponent scores fewer than 67 points.

Ø Under Mark Turgeon, the Aggies are 19-0 when they make better than 50 percent from the field and are 32-4 when they make at least 45 percent.

Ø Sophomore B.J. Holmes scored a career-high 24 points in the win against Tech and made 6-of-7 three-pointers (.857), tying for the fourth-best percentage in school history. He made six straight treys against Tech, tying the Big 12 record. Holmes ranks third in scoring among Big 12 bench player with a 10.7 average in league play. He hit a rainbow three-pointer with two seconds left to send the Alabama game into overtime. A&M is 11-3 in his career when he scores at least 8 points and is 23-6 when he makes at least one three-pointer. He’s made a three-pointer in 20 straight games, the third-longest streak in school history (record is 27 by Bernard King in 1999-00).

Ø Senior Josh Carter owns the school record for career three-point field goals with 264, which ranks seventh in Big 12 history. The old A&M mark was 232 by Bernard King (1999-03). Carter is the most accurate three-point shooter in school history, making 41.6 percent. He led the nation in 2006-07 by making 50.0 percent.

Ø Carter ranks second in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.867, 72-83), 29th nationally. The school record for a season is .865 by Mike Floyd in 1974-75. A&M is 61-12 when Carter scores in double figures but just 30-20 when he doesn’t hit at least 10. A two-time honorable mention All-Big 12 pick, Carter was a second-team preseason selection.

Ø Carter has started in 92 straight games -- every game since the start of his sophomore season. He has played in all 123 career games and is on track to break the school record of 132 by Dominique Kirk (2004-08).

Ø Junior Bryan Davis has averaged 16.0 points in A&M’s three Big 12 wins but has averaged just 6.3 points in the four losses. He ranks second on the team in rebounds (6.0) and blocks (29) and was named to the all-tournament team at the South Padre Island Invitational. A&M is 23-3 when Davis scores in double figures in his career.

Ø Junior Donald Sloan has started in 58 straight games since the start of his sophomore year (2007-08). He scored 17 points and made 3-of-4 three-pointers at Texas and added 15 in the win against Oklahoma State. Sloan leads the team in assists (3.2). A&M is 35-5 when Sloan hands out at least 3 assists.

Ø Junior Chinemelu Elonu leads the Big 12 in blocked shots (2.0) and ranks second in offensive rebounds (4.0) in league play. He has had a team-high six double-doubles and has averaged 11.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over the last 14 games. Elonu’s season field goal percentage of .639 ranks 16th nationally (min. 100 FGA). A&M is 22-3 when Elonu scores at least 6 points and is 24-2 when he has at least 5 rebounds.

Ø Junior Derrick Roland, one of the nation’s premier defensive players, generally guards the opposing team’s top offensive guard and in Big 12 play had limited those players to 12.1 points per game on just 35 percent shooting, including 29 percent from three-point range. He scored 10 points in the win against Baylor, making both his three-point tries, and added a season-high 4 assists. Roland held Arizona’s Chase Budinger to just 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting in the second half of A&M’s come-from-behind victory. He helped limit Texas’ A.J. Abrams to just 9 points on 3-of-10 shooting (0-2 on three-pointers).

Ø Sophomore Nate Walkup has become the Aggies’ new “Mr. Clutch” for making big shots in tight games. His trey against Arizona with 20 seconds left proved to be the game-winner. He hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left at Alabama, which set up B.J. Holmes trey at the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime. Walkup also hit key baskets late in close games against Stephen F. Austin, SMU and Rice.

Ø Freshman Dash Harris has had 26 assists with just 12 turnovers in the last 10 games.

Ø Freshman David Loubeau has averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last two games. He ranks second among Big 12 freshman in offensive rebounds (2.4) in conference play.




 
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