Aggies face Vanderbilt in first round of SEC Tournament

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COLLEGE STATION -- Aggie Basketball Game #31:
#11 Texas A&M (13-17, 6-12 SEC) vs #14 Vanderbilt (9-22, 0-18 SEC)
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 • 8:30 p.m. (CT)
Bridgestone Arena (20,000) • Nashville, Tenn.

Tom Hart, Play-by-Play
Jon Sundvold, Commentary
Andy Kennedy, Commentary

RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network/1620 AM (Bryan-College Station)
Andrew Monaco, Play-by-Play
John Thornton, Commentary

SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius: 138/XM: 190

The Texas A&M men's basketball team will head to Nashville for the SEC Tournament to take on Vanderbilt in the opening round. This is the second time the two teams have met in the league's post season tournament. A&M knocked off Vanderbilt at home on the pair's only matchup this season. The Aggies closed out the regular season at Mississippi State over the weekend, falling 92-81. Vanderbilt dropped its regular season finale at No. 10 LSU to go winless in SEC play this season.

Texas A&M Quick Hits
• Savion Flagg recorded his eighth 20-point game of the season as he led the Aggies with 23 points at Mississippi State.
• Flagg has played all 40 minutes in two of the last three games ... He leads the SEC in minutes played this season, averaging just over 34 per game.
• Christian Mekowulu made it four double-doubles on the season as he added 11 points and 15 rebounds at MSU.
• Wendell Mitchell capped off regular season SEC play with 1 14-point performance, adding a season-high five steals.
• Mark French had a breakout game at Mississippi State, knocking down a pair of threes to finish with a career high 10 points.
• Flagg and Jay Jay Chandler are the only available scholarship players for A&M to have previously played in a SEC Tournament game.
• TJ Starks suffered a dislocated shoulder in the first half of the game at LSU and will miss the remainder of the season ... He averaged 12.3 points per game and led the team with 94 assists on the season.
• With the loss of Starks, the Aggies are down to just seven available scholarship student-athletes.

Series Info
• Wednesday's meeting will be the 13th between the Aggies and Commodores on the hardwood ... A&M has won each of the last two meetings, but Vanderbilt leads the all-time series, 8-4.
• In the only meeting this season A&M claimed a 64-57 win at Reed Arena, battling from down early on ... Savion Flagg and Christian Mekowulu each recorded a double-double to help lift the Aggies past Vanderbilt.
• The two teams have met once previously during SEC Tournament play, as Vanderbilt earned a 66-41 win over the Aggies in the second round of the 2017 tournament.
• The only meeting between the schools prior to Texas A&M joining the SEC for the 2012-13 season came on Dec. 3, 1955, in Nashville ... The Commodores prevailed with a 79-69 victory.
• During the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Kennedy's 13th-seeded Murray State squad defeated No. 4 seed Vanderbilt during the tournament's opening round in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Aggies In The SEC Tournament
• A&M is 3-6 all-time in SEC Tournament play and will play in its second first round game on Wednesday.
• The Aggies and Commodores have met once before in the SEC Tournament as Vanderbilt earned a 66-41 win at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville in the 2017 tournament.
• Sophomores Jay Jay Chandler and Savion Flagg are the only available scholarship players to have participated in a SEC Tournament. They played in a combined 27 minutes in last year's dramatic 71-70 loss to Alabama in the second round.

SEC Action
• The Aggies rapped up their seventh regular season as a member of the SEC. A&M is 72-64 all-time in league play.
• Five of the nine Aggies that saw the court in the team's league opener against Arkansas made their SEC debuts.
• On Jan. 12, 2019, A&M earned its first win in Tuscaloosa as a member of the SEC, following it up on Feb. 23, 2019 with the program's first win in Fayetteville since the 1986 season. Florida remains as the only place the Aggies have yet to earn a road win as a member of the SEC.
• Sophomore TJ Starks returns the most experience in SEC play, after he started the last ten games of conference play last season and was eventually named to the All-Freshman team. He was also named to the SEC Preseason Second Team by the league's coaches.

Double Up
• Sophomore Savion Flagg notched consecutive double-doubles for the first time in his career, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds against South Carolina after pacing the team against the Commodores.
• Flagg and graduate student Christian Mekowulu each recorded a double-double in the win over Vanderbilt, as Flagg led the way with 22 and 12, and Mekowulu added 19 and 12. This is the only time this season two Aggies have had a double-double in the same game.
• Earlier in the year, Mekowulu made it back-to-back double-doubles in the Georgia and Missouri games.
• Mekowulu put up 15 points and brought down 10 rebounds to help the Aggies knock off Missouri before grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds and adding 15 points in the win over Georgia.
• Flagg leads a trio of Aggies to have recorded a double-double this season with five on the year (Mekowulu 4; Nebo, 3).

Nebo Protecting the Rim
• Junior transfer Josh Nebo has been a force around the rim for the Aggies all season. He currently leads the SEC averaging 2.4 blocks per game, good for 11th in the nation.
• Nebo has gotten up for four-or-more blocks on seven occasions this season, most recently tallying five swats at No. 13 LSU.
• Earlier in the year he set an A&M career high with seven blocks against South Alabama after entering the game with nine on the year.