Texas A&M heads to No. 18 Kentucky

By  | 

COLLEGE STATION -- Aggie Basketball Game #13:
Texas A&M (6-6) at No. 18/18 Kentucky (10-3)
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 • 6 p.m. (CT)
Rupp Arena (23,000) • Lexington, Kentucky

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

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

SATELLITE RADIO: XM: 380/Internet: 971
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thman.com/live

The Aggies hit the road this week for a pair of SEC contests, first traveling to Kentucky in the midweek. A&M will look to bounce back after dropping its conference opener to Arkansas Saturday. It was a battle throughout with the Razorbacks as the game saw 11 ties and 16 lead changes. Sophomores Savion Flagg and TJ Starks led A&M with 20-plus points apiece in the game. Kentucky was also in action Saturday afternoon as it snapped a three-game win streak with a loss at Alabama.

Texas A&M Quick Hits
• Savion Flagg recorded the third double-double of his career, first in SEC play, as he finished with 20 points and 15 boards against Arkansas.
• TJ Starks returned to the starting lineup against Arkansas after two games coming off the bench, matching his career high with 23 points.
• Five of the nine Aggies that saw the court against Arkansas made their SEC debut.
• Christian Mekowulu closed out non-conference play strong averaging 16 and five over the last three games.
• Wendell Mitchell knocked down five threes to lead the Aggies against Texas Southern with 21 points.
• A&M finished the bulk of non-conference play forcing its opponent to shoot 35-percent or worse from the field in four of its last five games.
• A&M saw seven different Aggies lead the team in scoring through 11 non-conference games to start the season.
• The Aggies notched a pair of milestones with the victory over South Alabama, as Coach Kennedy earned the 350th win of his career and the program reached 250 wins in Reed Arena.

Series Info
• Tuesday will be the 14th meeting between the Aggies & Wildcats on the hardwood and the 10th since A&M joined the SEC.
• Kentucky leads the all-time series 9-4, but the Aggies took the most recent meeting in College Station last year.
• The last time these two teams met, the Aggies returned to the national rankings, capping off a big week with an 85-74 win over then-No. 24 Kentucky at Reed Arena last season.
• On Jan. 12, 2013, during its first visit to Rupp Arena as an SEC team, A&M became the first team to hand John Calipari a home conference loss at Kentucky ... UK saw its 24-game home SEC win streak snapped in the affair.
• The two schools first met during the 1941-42 season when the 'Cats earned a 49-29 victory.
• A&M's Billy Kennedy is 3-7 against Kentucky.
• Kennedy's head coaching counterpart, UK's John Calipari, is 8-3 all-time against the Aggies ... Before his tenure at UK, his lone contest against Texas A&M came on March 22, 2007, while coaching at Memphis ... The Tigers defeated the Aggies 65-64 during the NCAA Tournament's South Regional semifinal at San Antonio's Alamodome.

SEC Action
• The Aggies in their seventh season as a member of the SEC. A&M is 3-4 all-time in SEC openers and 66-53 in league play.
• Five of the nine Aggies that saw the court in the team's league opener against Arkansas made their SEC debuts.
• Sophomores Jay Jay Chandler, Savion Flagg and TJ Starks are in their second year in the SEC, while grad transfer Christian Mekowulu, junior JUCO transfer Wendell Mitchell, junior Division I transfer Josh Nebo, sophomore JUCO transfer Brandon Mahan and redshirt freshman John Walker III played their first SEC game against Arkansas.
• Starks 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.

Two For 20
• A&M started conference play seeing two Aggies score 20-plus points in the same game for the second time this season, as Savion Flagg and TJ Starks led the team in the opener.
• Flagg recorded his second double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points and 15 boards, while Starks matched his career high with 23 points, 17 coming in the second half.
• The first time two Aggies put up 20 points in the same game was when Brandon Mahan and Christian Mekowulu set season highs with 20 points apiece in the win over Valpo.
• Mahan knocked down four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc in the game, while Mekowulu went 8-for-9 from the field.