COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After back-to-back road contests the Texas A&M men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Reed Arena on Saturday where it will host Tennessee at 3 p.m.
Saturday's game will be televised by the SEC Network, and a complete list of network affiliates for this weekend can be found HERE.
On the television call will be Clay Matvick and Joe Dean, Jr. Meanwhile, Aggie fans can all hear all the action on the Texas A&M Radio Network by tuning in locally on WTAW (1620 AM) or streaming online at AggieAthletics.com.
During halftime on Saturday, the Zuzu Acrobats, who were featured on America’s Got Talent, will perform.
The Aggies (16-10, 6-7 SEC) are coming off a road win at Auburn on Wednesday during which they used solid free throw shooting down the stretch to close out the Tigers. In the second half, A&M was 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, including a perfect 6-of-6 mark during the game’s final 27 seconds.
Leading the way offensively for the Aggies was senior Elston Turner, who made 6-of-12 shots from the floor with four 3-pointers and a perfect 5-of-5 mark from the free throw line to finish with a game-high 21 points. It marked the 12th time during Turner’s A&M career that the Sacramento, Calif., native eclipsed the 20-point mark.
Texas A&M owned an edge in the rebounding column on Wednesday night due primarily to the contributions of redshirt sophomore Kourtney Roberson, who pulled down a game-high 10. The Arcadia, La., native leads the Aggies with 181 boards this season and an average of 7 rebounds per contest.
Also making a big impression on the court was Alex Caruso, as the multi-talented freshman from College Station set career-highs in minutes played (37), points (14) and assists (8) against the Tigers.
Junior guard Fabyon Harris, who ranks second on the Aggies with an 11.5 point per game average, missed the Tennessee game with an ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day for the Tennessee game.
The Volunteers, who are one of the SEC’s hottest teams after four straight wins, come to Aggieland with a 15-10 overall record and a 7-6 mark in conference play.
Led by second-year head coach Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee features a talented roster that includes guards Jordan McRae, who ranks eighth in the SEC with a 14.6 point per game average, and Trae Golden, who averages 11.4 points per contest.
On the interior, sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes averages close to a double-double at 12.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
TEXAS A&M-TENNESSEE SERIES NOTES
• Saturday will be the fifth meeting between the Aggies and Volunteers on the hardwood ... Tennessee owns a 4-1 edge in the all-time series.
• The first meeting between the schools came on Dec. 15, 1951, in Knoxville ... The Vols earned a 60-52 win.
• The schools most recently played a home-and-home series in back-to-back seasons with A&M winning 83-66 in College Station on Dec. 4, 2002, before dropping a 108-84 decision at Tennessee on Dec. 2, 2003.
• During the lone meeting in College Station, A&M's Antoine Wright logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds leading the Aggies to a victory.
• As a team, the Aggies rank third in the SEC by limiting their opponents to 59.7 points per contest.
• On the offensive end, Texas A&M is undefeated (14-0) in games decided in regulation when scoring 60 or more points.
• A key for the Aggies during Wednesday's win at Auburn was strong free throw shooting, particularly during the second half ... After the intermission, A&M went 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, including a perfect 6-of-6 during the game's final 27 seconds ... Seniors Elston Turner (5-for-5) and Jarod Jahns (4-of-4, all coming in the final 27 seconds) led the way for the Aggies.
• For the season, Texas A&M ranks second in the SEC with a .703 team free throw shooting percentage ... Elston Turner ranks as the league's fourth-best individual with a .812 free throw shooting percentage, while Fabyon Harris (who does not have enough attempts to rank among the SEC leaders) leads the Aggies with a .846 percentage from the line.
UP NEXT AFTER THE TENNESSEE GAME
Following the Tennessee contest, the Aggies hit the road for Oxford, Miss., where they will face Ole Miss on Wednesday ... The Aggies earned a 69-67 victory over the Rebels in College Station during their last meeting on Feb. 13 ... Wednesday's game will be televised by CSS.
HARRIS MISSED AUBURN GAME
Junior guard Fabyon Harris sat out the Aggies' last outing at Auburn with a sprained ankle and is listed as day-to-day for Saturday's contest against Tennessee.
The Chicago native has been a big part of the Aggie offensive attack this season after transferring from the College of Southern Idaho. In 25 games this season, Harris ranks second on the Aggies by averaging 11.5 points per game while shooting .434 from beyond 3-point range and a team-leading 84.6 percent from the free throw line.
In SEC play, Harris ranks 13th in the league by averaging 13.4 points per game.
AGGIE DEFENSE HOLDING TOP SCORERS IN CHECK
Texas A&M has prided itself on strong defense this season and in recent games the Aggie defenders have been challenged while pitted against some of the SEC's top scorers.
In the last two weeks A&M faced Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (second in the SEC in scoring at 17.7 points per game), Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson (leading the SEC in scoring at 19.3 points per game) and Auburn's Frankie Sullivan (sixth in the SEC at 14.9 points per game) and held all three to below their scoring average.
During Feb. 9th's contest between the Bulldogs and Aggies in Athens, Caldwell-Pope was held without a field goal (0-for-3) for the first time during his collegiate career. The Georgia sophomore was limited to just 10 points, all from the free throw line.
During last Feb. 13th's win over Ole Miss, A&M was able to hold Henderson, the league's leading scorer, to just 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the floor.
On Wednesday at Auburn, the Aggies limited Sullivan to just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
AGGIE FRESHMAN DOU MAKING MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy has noted on numerous occasions the relative youth and inexperience of the Aggie roster as the team makes its way through its first season in the SEC. The poster children of this Aggie youth movement are highly-recruited freshmen Alex Caruso and J'Mychal Reese who, despite experiencing some growing pains in their rookie seasons, have become vital components to Texas A&M's success on the court.
Caruso has made an impact both in the starting line-up and as a dynamic reserve for the Aggies this seaosn. The well-rounded guard is a product of College Station's A&M Consolidated High School and brings a multitude of talents to the hardwood. Caruso, who effects the game at both ends of the court, leads the Aggies in assists (88) and steals (53) while ranking third in blocks (14).
Reese, who hails from nearby Bryan High School, has started at the point for A&M 20 games this season while averaging 27.7 minutes per game on the court. The 6-foot-1 guard, who missed much of his senior year of high school with an injury, is still learning how to direct the offensive attack at the college level but has proven that he can spark the A&M offense by reaching double-digits in points in seven contests. One of Reese's most notable performance came in the overtime win at Mississippi State on Jan. 30 when he scored six of the Aggies' eight points in the extra period.
REED ARENA SUCCESS
• A&M is 68-16 at Reed Arena since the start of the 2008-09 season with a 25-14 mark in conference games.
• The Aggies are 102-21 (.829) at home since the start of the 2006-07 season and are 135-26 (.839) since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
• A&M has won 49 of its last 57 home games against unranked opponents (17 of last 23 in conference play).
• A&M is 176-67 (.724) in 14 seasons at Reed Arena ... the Aggies were 41-41 the first six years at Reed and are 135-26 since.
• Texas A&M finished 8-1 in non-conference games at Reed Arena this season ... a loss to Southern on Dec. 22 snapped a seven-game winning streak against non-conference foes at Reed.
• The Aggies are 108-11 (.908) 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.