Texas A&M Visits Rice November 17 In Top-25 Matchup

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COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M and Rice have agreed to a November 17 game during the 2019-20 season at Rice’s Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. Both the Aggies and Owls finished last season ranked in the final AP Top 25 poll, with A&M checking in at No. 14 and Rice at No. 21.

“We’re excited about playing another quality program that has developed into a consistent NCAA contender,” said Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair. “We were prepared to play Rice in the NCAA Tournament last year—knowing that they were going to give Marquette a game in the First Round. Both programs are quite familiar with one another.”

“I think it’s going to be a battle down at Tudor Fieldhouse, and the best way to win that battle is to have as many Aggies in the building as Rice fans,” Blair added. “I’m happy to take my Houston-area players back home and play in front of the numerous Aggie fans from the area.”

The former Southwest Conference foes are meeting for the third consecutive season, with A&M coming away with victories at Reed Arena each time. The schools have not met on South Main since the 2010-11 season.

Texas A&M holds a 33-10 overall series lead, winning all six meetings since 2009. The Owls and Aggies met twice annually as members of the Southwest Conference in every year the conference sponsored the sport, from 1983-96.

Rice went 28-4 a season ago, winning 21 straight games to win the C-USA regular season and tournament crowns. The Owls reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005, but lost an overtime heartbreaker 58-54 to Marquette in the First Round—which happened to be hosted in College Station.

Coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, Texas A&M has been as high as No. 4 nationally in early preseason rankings. The Aggies are the only team to reach last season's Sweet 16 to return every starter, with 94 percent of the team's points, and four double-figure scorers, coming back to Aggieland.

This game joins two other previously announced games in the Aggies' 2019-20 campaign. Texas A&M hosts Duke on November 10 in a non-conference game and Oklahoma State December 7 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

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2019-20 Texas A&M Non-Conference Schedule (to date)

Sunday, November 10 – Duke (Reed Arena)

Sunday, November 17 – at Rice (Tudor Fieldhouse)

Saturday, December 7 – Oklahoma State (Reed Arena)

About The Series:

· The teams combined to go 54-12 last season, winning 82% of their games. From January 10 to the end of last season, the teams combined to go 32-5

· Both squads were ranked in the final AP Top 25 Poll of the 2018-19 season. Texas A&M was No. 14 and Rice was No. 21

· Texas A&M defeated Rice 65-54 in last season’s opener, the Aggies’ sixth straight win in the series

· The teams each return at least four starters from last season. Texas A&M returns all five players who started the NCAA Tournament—plus a sixth starter recovering from injury, and Rice returns four of their primary starters

· Rice nearly met Texas A&M in last season’s NCAA Tournament—but lost an overtime heartbreaker 58-54 to Marquette in College Station

· Both Texas A&M’s Jasmine Williams and Rice’s Olivia Ogwumike played for Cypress Woods’ 2015 Texas 6A State Championship team

· Texas A&M and Rice met twice per season in the Southwest Conference from 1983-96

Key moments of the series:

· March 6, 1996 – Texas A&M 91, Rice 63 (Southwest Conference Quarterfinals) – Texas A&M started the run to its only Southwest Conference Tournament Championship with a 91-63 quarterfinal win. Lana Tucker led with 20 points, and Lisa Branch added 19.

· January 2, 2006 – at Texas A&M 65, Rice 64 – A’Quonesia Franklin scored 21 points, including five of the last seven A&M points, holding off a late Rice surge. The win was A&M’s ninth consecutive—which at the time matched the program’s longest win streak since 1975.

· November 29, 2017 – at No. 18 Texas A&M 82, Rice 76 – Texas A&M went on an 11-2 run after Rice had closed the deficit to one point with 3:36 to play to escape with a victory. The Owls sank a Reed Arena-record 15 3-pointers.

· November 7, 2018 – at No. 20 Texas A&M 65, Rice 54 – In last season’s opener, the Aggies jumped out to a 13-1 lead and never trailed in a 65-54 win. Chennedy Carter led the game with 22 points.