COLLEGE STATION, Texas – After visiting hostile environments in four of its last five contests, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Reed Arena on Wednesday where it will play host to Mississippi State at 8 p.m.
The Aggies (12-9, 3-5 SEC) will be seeking to avenge an overtime loss to MSU in Starkville on Jan. 18 during which the Bulldogs were able to overcome career nights from Jamal Jones, who finished with a game-high 24 points, and Davonte Fitzgerald, who notched a personal-best 20 points.
Wednesday’s match-up will be televised on CSS/Cox Sports TV with Dave Baker (play-by-play) and Barry Booker (commentary) calling all the action. The game will also be streamed on ESPN3.com.
Additionally, the game can be heard on the Texas A&M Sports Network with local coverage in the Bryan-College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).
Texas A&M just completed the most road-intensive stretch of its 2013-14 schedule as four of the Aggies’ last five contests took place away from Reed Arena. Only three other SEC schools - Alabama, Florida and Kentucky - feature a similar stretch on their schedule. Additionally, A&M has not played back-to-back home games since defeating UTPA and Arkansas in early January and will not have the opportunity to host consecutive games at Reed Arena until it welcomes Alabama and Tennessee to Aggieland in late February.
Texas A&M is 11-2 on its home court this season with a 2-1 mark in league games.
The Bulldogs (13-8, 3-5 SEC) come to Aggieland after suffering losses in each of their previous three outings which have come against Ole Miss, Florida and Vanderbilt. Sophomores Craig Sword and Gavin Ware, who each enjoyed solid performances in the first meeting with the Aggies, pace MSU in scoring by averaging 13.4 and 10.7 points per game, respectively.
• After the most road-heavy portion of its schedule, Texas A&M returns home to Reed Arena to host Mississippi State on Wednesday night ... The Aggies have played four of their previous five contests on the road with the lone home game coming on Jan. 25 vs. Vanderbilt ... A&M will be back on the road this weekend at Georgia and has not enjoyed back-to-back home games since hosting UTPA on Jan. 4 and Arkansas on Jan. 8.
• Wednesday marks just the sixth meeting between the Aggies and the Bulldogs on the hardwood and will be Mississippi State's first-ever visit to College Station.
• The Aggies will be seeking a measure of revenge against MSU as the Bulldogs overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat A&M in overtime 81-72 on Jan. 18 in Starkville ... The loss snapped a four-game A&M winning streak and was the first of five straight setbacks for the Aggies.
• Freshman Shawn Smith has started each of the last four games for the Aggies, producing above season averages in points (7.3), rebounds (3.3) and steals (1.3).
• Sophomore Alex Caruso continues to be the SEC's leader in both assists (96) and assists per game (4.6) ... The College Station, Texas, native is also tied for first in total steals (44) and ranks sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8).
• During the first meeting with the Bulldogs both Jamal Jones and Davonte Fitzgerald set career-highs in points with 24 and 20, respectively.
SERIES HISTORY VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE (MSU LEADS 3-2)
• Wednesday will be the sixth all-time meeting between the Aggies & Bulldogs on the hardwood and the second this season ... It will also mark Mississippi State's first visit to College Station.
• During the most recent match-up between the two schools, MSU overcame a 10-point Aggie lead in the second half to earn an 81-72 overtime victory on Jan. 18 at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville ... Jamal Jones led the Aggies with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting while Davonte Fitzgerald contributed a career-best 20 points.
• Each of the last two meetings have gone into overtime with each team claiming a victory.
• A year ago, the Aggies and Bulldogs squared off on Jan. 30 in Starkville with Texas A&M earning a 55-49 overtime victory ... Fabyon Harris led the way for the Aggies with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
• Prior to last season, Texas A&M last faced Mississippi State at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 17, 2011, during the 2K Sports Classic ... MSU earned a 69-60 victory.
• Aggie floor general Billy Kennedy is 1-7 against the Bulldogs, while MSU's Rick Ray is 1-1 against the Aggies.
Following the Mississippi State contest, the Aggies are back on the road this weekend as they travel to Athens, Ga., to battle Georgia on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Stegeman Coliseum.
REED ARENA SUCCESS
• A&M is 80-20 at Reed Arena since the start of the 2008-09 season with a 28-17 mark in conference games.
• The Aggies are 114-25 (.820) at home since the start of the 2006-07 season and are 146-31 (.825) since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
• A&M has won 60 of its last 72 home games against unranked opponents (20 of last 29 in conference play).
• A&M is 187-72 (.722) in 15 seasons at Reed Arena ... the Aggies were 41-41 the first six years at Reed and are 146-31 since.
• Texas A&M was 9-1 in non-conference games at Reed Arena this season ... the Aggies are 117-12 (.907) all-time in non-conference games inside the facility, which hosted its first basketball game in the fall of 1998 ... a loss to Rice on Dec. 22, 2011, snapped A&M’s 67-game non-conference home win streak at Reed Arena (which dated back to the start of the 2005-06 season) and 80-game regular-season, non-conference home win streak (which dated back to 2003), both school records.
MOBILE LIVE STATS
Fans can access official live statistics on their mobile devices of all Texas A&M basketball home games and select road games by visiting tamustats.com
PROMOTIONS – FEB. 5 VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
“QUICK CHANGE” FROM “AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” TO PERFORM AT HALFTIME
Quick Change, a duo from season one of America’s Got Talent, will perform at halftime for the crowd at Reed Arena.
12TH MAN TOWELS AVAILABLE AT VIP STUDENT ENTRANCE
12th Man Towels will be available at the VIP student entrance which is located at the northeast entrance of Reed Arena or just right of the main entrance. There will also be a DJ present, spinning some great tunes to get students pumped up before the game.
BROOKS RALEY OF THE CHICAGO CUBS TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS BEFORE GAME
Brooks Raley was a multi-tool baseball player at Texas A&M for two years, racking up 14 wins on the mound while batting .295 for during his college career. After being drafted by the Chicago Cubs, Raley made his major league debut in 2012.
Raley will be on the concourse prior to the game signing autographs from 7:00–7:45 p.m.
A&M STUDENTS GET A RIDE TO THE GAME
On basketball game days, the Aggie Hoops bus will run on Route 01 beginning a few hours before tipoff and throughout the game. This route runs by the Quad, close to the dorms on the south side of campus and will drop students off at the corner of Kimbrough by the West Campus Garage, across the street from Reed Arena.