A&M Faces Texas in Lone Star Showdown

The Aggies may be in a slump, but there is no better team to face to ensure a hard fought game than the rival Texas Longhorns. Texas has struggled as well as of late, and A&M gets to play in the comfort of Reed Arena tonight on Big Monday.

Texas A&M Aggies (17-8, 3-7 Big 12)
vs.
Texas Longhorns (17-7, 6-4 Big 12)

Monday, February 16, 2009
8:05 p.m. (CST)
College Station, Texas
Reed Arena (12,989 cap.)

TEXAS A&M AGGIES
www.aggieathletics.com
Record: 17-8 (3-7 Big 12)
Ranking/RPI (CBS): Unranked / 51
Last Game: Lost at Baylor (72-68) on Saturday
Current Streak: Lost three straight

Head Coach: Mark Turgeon (Kansas ‘87)
Record: 195-138 (11th year)
at Texas A&M: 42-19 (2nd year)
vs. Texas: 1-2
PROJECTED TEXAS A&M STARTERS
No. Player P Ht. Wt. Cl-Ex PPG RPG APG
15 Donald Sloan G 6-3 205 Jr-2L 11.4 3.7 3.1
3 Derrick Roland G 6-4 185 Jr-2L 5.7 2.7 --
23 Josh Carter F 6-7 200 Sr-3L 13.3 4.2 --
0 Bryan Davis F 6-9 240 Jr-2L 10.6 6.2 --
41 Chinemelu Elonu C 6-10 235 Jr-2L 9.8 7.4 --

TEXAS LONGHORNS
www.texassports.com
Record: 17-7 ( 6-4 Big 12)
Ranking/RPI (NCAA): Receiving votes (both polls) / 46
Last Game: Won at Colorado (85-76, OT) on Saturday
Current Streak: Won one

Head Coach: Rick Barnes (Lenoir-Rhyne ‘77)
Record: 466-234 (12th year)
at Texas: 264-100 (22nd year)
vs. Texas A&M: 19-5

PROJECTED TEXAS STARTERS
No. Player P Ht. Wt. Cl-Ex PPG RPG APG
4 Dogus Balbay G 6-0 176 So-Tr 2.3 2.5 2.5
3 A.J. Abrams G 5-11 161 Sr-3L 17.3 2.2 --
24 Justin Mason G 6-2 194 Jr-2L 6.9 4.1 4.8
5 Damion James G/F 6-7 222 Jr-2L 15.5 8.9 --
1 Gary Johnson F 6-6 233 So-1L 11.2 5.9 --

Series Notes
Ø Monday's game is the 215th meeting between A&M and Texas. The Longhorns are the Aggies' most common opponent.
Ø The Longhorns lead the series, 131-83, but A&M has a 53-50 edge in games played in College Station. Texas has a 6-4 mark at Reed Arena.
Ø Texas has a 6-4 series lead since the 2004-05 season.
Ø The teams have split the regular-season series in each of the last four seasons, with the home team winning each game.
Ø A&M posted an 80-63 win against the No. 10-ranked Longhorns last year at Reed Arena.

Lone Star Showdown
Ø At stake in Monday's is a half-point in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown, an annual all-sports competition between the schools.
Ø The Showdown is in its fifth season. Texas easily won the first two trophies in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The Aggies closed the gap to within two points in 2006-07 before capturing the trophy last season, 10.5-8.5.
Ø Texas has a 6-2 lead, but A&M is strong in several spring sports.

Key Game Notes
Ø The Aggies have lost three straight games and are coming off a 72-68 loss at Baylor on Saturday.
Ø Texas has lost three of its last four but is coming off an 85-76 overtime win at Colorado on Saturday.
Ø The Aggies are 13-2 at home, including a 3-2 mark in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are 4-3 in true road games, with a 3-2 record in conference play.
Ø A&M has won four straight against the Longhorns at Reed Arena. All four of those Longhorns teams were ranked, including three in the top 10.
Ø The last time neither team was ranked when A&M and Texas have played was in 2002, when the Longhorns posted a 66-52 victory in College Station.
Ø Texas beat the Aggies, 67-58, on Jan. 24 in Austin.

Sidebars
Ø A&M's top six scorers and Texas top five are products of Texas high schools. All five of the Aggies' projected starters are from Texas while four of the five tentative starters for the Longhorns are in-state products.

About Texas
Ø The Longhorns are in their 11th season under Head Coach Rick Barnes, who has led them to 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Ø Texas finished 31-7 last season and tied for first in the Big 12 with a 13-3 mark. The Longhorns advanced to the "Elite Eight" in the NCAA Tournament.
Ø The Longhorns' three non-conference losses were to No. 8-ranked Notre Dame (81-80) and No. 19 Michigan State (67-63) at neutral sites and on the road at Arkansas (67-61).
Ø Texas has beaten two ranked teams this season, downing No. 9 UCLA (68-64) in Austin and No. 12 Villanova (67-58) in New York City.
Ø Senior guard A.J. Abrams (5-11) leads the Longhorns in scoring with a 17.3 average and has made 40 percent from three-point range. Junior forward Damion James (6-7) averages 15.5 points and a team-best 8.9 rebounds.
Ø Junior guard Dogus Balbay (6-0) leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio in league play (4.3).
Ø Texas leads the Big 12 in blocked shots (4.7) and ranks second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1) in conference play.

Last Time They Met
AUSTIN, Texas (AP, Jan. 24, 2009) -- Damion James scored 28 points, including 11 in a two-minute stretch of the second half, to lead No. 14 Texas to a 67-58 win over Texas A&M. Neither team had led by more than five before James started his run. His first basket put Texas up 44-37 and a couple of layups, short jumpers and a rim-rattling dunk pushed the Longhorns' lead to 52-40 by the time he was done. The Longhorns (14-4, 3-1 Big 12) also got 15 points from Gary Johnson in winning their 19th straight at home. Donald Sloan scored 17 points for the Aggies (15-5, 1-4). James scored 13 and A&M's Chinemelu Elonu had 11 points in the first half. Both got involved a series of big dunks that charged up the rivalry atmosphere. Elonu finished a fast break with an alley-oop dunk that James answered with a two-handed jam moments later. Texas' next bucket came when A.J. Abrams floated a soft pass that James finished with another slam for a 26-23 Texas lead. The Longhorns led 30-28 at halftime. James' run started with a layup and free throw with 11:22 to play. Less than 30 seconds later, A&M's Josh Carter made a 3-pointer to keep the Aggies' within four and kept the Longhorns within striking distance. But the Aggies couldn't rein in James. Two free throws and a slashing reverse layup after an A&M turnover kept the Aggies from creeping closer and brought the sellout crowd to its feet. Another alley-oop dunk, this time on a pass from Varez Ward, put Texas up 52-40. The Aggies, who shot 36 percent in the second half, couldn't muster an answer. The Longhorns pushed the lead to 13 twice, the first when Connor Atchley finished a three-point play and again at 60-47 with 1:44 left. Texas needed James and Johnson's ability to strike from just about anywhere on the floor. Abrams, Texas' best 3-pointer and career leader, was held to 0-for-2 shooting from long range under the defensive lockdown provided by the Aggies' Derrick Roland and Dash Harris.

Last Year in College Station COLLEGE STATION (AP, Jan. 30, 2008) -- Josh Carter scored 19 points with 10 rebounds and No. 23 Texas A&M cruised to an easy 80-63 win over No. 10 Texas. Carter helped A&M break a three-game winning streak for Texas (16-4, 3-2 Big 12). The Longhorns played the Aggies even in the second half but it wasn't enough to overcome a poor first half where Texas made just 9-of-30 shots and at times seemed off-balance and confused. A&M (17-4, 3-3) shot 64 percent in the first half to make the Longhorns' lackluster offensive start even more difficult to overcome. Texas never led in this one, trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half and shot 34 percent. The Aggies led 46-28 at halftime. D.J. Augustin's 3-pointer with about nine minutes left got Texas within 59-48. Texas cut the lead to 11 points two times after that, but would get no closer. Joseph Jones and Dominique Kirk scored 14 points each. Dexter Pittman and Augustin lead the Longhorns with 14 points apiece. The Longhorns opened the second half with an 8-2 run to get within 48-35 with about 16 minutes left. The Aggies had soon pushed the lead back to 17 points after a layup by Kirk with about 11 minutes left. Jordan had 10 points and Davis finished with nine. The Longhorns made just two of their first 13 shots and had five turnovers in the first 10 minutes to help the Aggies build a 29-7 lead. Carter made three 3-pointers in that span to lead Texas A&M. Baylor Recap
WACO, Texas (AP) -Curtis Jerrells and Tweety Carter scored 14 points apiece to lead Baylor past Texas A&M 72-68 in a physical game that ended with a brief skirmish Saturday night. Trailing by five, the Aggies pulled within 70-68 on a 3-pointer by Donald Sloan, but Jerrells answered with a drive and a short jumper with 12.6 seconds remaining. After Sloan missed another 3-point try and Texas A&M quickly fouled, Jerrells took an inbound pass and dribbled out the clock before the Aggies could foul him. Jerrells was shoved as the buzzer sounded, forcing officials and coaches to separate players and lead them off the court. Josh Carter scored 20 lead to Texas A&M (17-8, 3-7 Big 12). Bryan Davis, Derrick Roland and Sloan had 13 apiece. Kevin Rogers and Anthony Jones scored 12 each for Baylor (16-9, 4-7).

Inside Dish
Ø A&M posted a perfect 1,000 APR (Academic Progress Rate) score for 2007-08.
Ø A&M is averaging 14.9 turnovers in its Big 12 losses, but only 10.0 in its league wins. A&M is 15-1 when its opponent scores 13 points or fewer points off turnovers. A&M is 14-3 when it commits 13 or fewer turnovers.
Ø A&M has out-rebounded each of its last five opponents, posting an average margin of +9.4 in that span.
Ø A&M is 14-1 this season when it score at least 27 points in the paint. The Aggies are 3-7 when they score fewer than 27 points in the paint.
Ø The narrow loss at No. 2 Oklahoma marked the first time A&M has lost when its "Big Three" -- Josh Carter, Donald Sloan and Bryan Davis -- have each scored in double figures. A&M is 12-1 when the trio all scores in double figures, including an 8-1 mark this season.
Ø A&M is 10-0 this year when its opponent scores 64 points or fewer. A&M is 11-0 when its scores 72 points or more.
Ø A&M made 71.7 percent from the free throw line in non-conference play, but is tied for last in the Big 12 in league play at 66.1 percent. A&M leads the league in free throw attempts with 25.1 per game, but in its conference losses have made just 64.4 percent (its opponents have made 72.1 percent). A&M has made 69.3 percent in its Big 12 wins.
Ø Junior Chinemelu Elonu may be the Big 12's most improved player this season. He ranks second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds (3.8) and in blocks (2.1) in league play. He has had a team-high seven double-doubles including three in conference play, the third most in the league. Elonu's season field goal percentage of .639 ranks eighth nationally (min. 140 FGA).
Ø Senior Josh Carter owns the school record for career three-point field goals with 273, which ranks fifth in Big 12 history. Carter is one of just two players in A&M history to score 1,400 points with 400 rebounds and 200 assists.
Ø Carter leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.878, 78-89), ranking 21st nationally. The school record for a season is .865 by Mike Floyd in 1974-75. A&M is 61-15 when Carter scores in double figures but just 30-20 when he doesn't hit at least 10. A two-time honorable mention All-Big 12 pick, Carter was a second-team preseason selection.
Ø Carter has started in 95 straight games -- every game since the start of his sophomore season. He has played in all 126 career games and is on track to break the school record of 132 by Dominique Kirk (2004-08). With a 91-35 (.722) career record, Carter needs five more victories to become the winningest player in school history.
Ø Junior Bryan Davis ranks second on the team in rebounds (6.2) and blocks (31) and was named to the all-tournament team at the South Padre Island Invitational. A&M is 23-5 when Davis scores in double figures.
Ø Junior Donald Sloan has started in 61 straight games since the start of his sophomore year (2007-08). He scored 17 points and made 3-of-4 three-pointers at Texas and added 15 in the win against Oklahoma State. Sloan leads the team in assists (3.1). A&M is 35-6 when Sloan hands out at least 3 assists.
Ø Sophomore B.J. Holmes scored a career-high 24 points in the win against Tech and made 6-of-7 three-pointers (.857), tying for the fourth-best percentage in school history. He made six straight treys against Tech, tying the Big 12 record. Holmes ranks among the top scoring bench players in the Big 12, averaging 8.5 points in league play. He hit a rainbow three-pointer with two seconds left to send the Alabama game into overtime. A&M is 11-3 in his career when he scores at least 8 points and is 23-8 when he makes at least one three-pointer.
Ø Junior Derrick Roland, one of the nation's premier defensive players, generally guards the opposing team's top offensive guard and in Big 12 play had limited those players to 12.5 points per game on just 35 percent shooting, including 29 percent from three-point range. He scored 10 points in the win against Baylor, making both his three-point tries, and added a season-high 4 assists. Roland held Arizona's Chase Budinger to just 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting in the second half of A&M's come-from-behind victory. He helped limit Texas' A.J. Abrams to just 9 points on 3-of-10 shooting (0-2 on three-pointers).
Ø Sophomore Nate Walkup has become the Aggies' new "Mr. Clutch" for making big shots in tight games. His trey against Arizona with 20 seconds left proved to be the game-winner. He hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left at Alabama, which set up B.J. Holmes trey at the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime. Walkup also hit key baskets late in close games against Stephen F. Austin, SMU and Rice.
Ø Freshman Dash Harris has had 28 assists with just 17 turnovers in the last 13 games.
Ø Freshman David Loubeau has averaged 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in the last five games. He leads all Big 12 freshman in offensive rebounds (2.5) in conference play.




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