Quick Look Back at LSU and SHSU / Look ahead to Rice
I hope you all had a great Christmas and everyone enjoyed spending time with friends and family.
While you were asleep the Aggies played a couple of games that we have yet to take a look at.
On the Saturday before Christmas the Aggies traveled to Houston to take on the previously undefeated LSU Tigers at the Toyota Center as part of a doubleheader with Michigan State and Texas (MSU won 67-63 in an instant-classic). The two-game set was well received and the posted attendance for the event was 17,704. I would be all for this becoming an annual tradition with UT and A&M playing a doubleheader at the Toyota Center every season.
The Aggies came out against LSU and put forward their best 40 minutes of basketball so far this season and thumped LSU 72-61. The Aggies controlled the tempo from the opening tip and a strong 8 point lead (26-18) with only 5:55 left to play in the opening frame. LSU went on a 9-to-4 run over the next couple of minutes to cut the Aggie lead to 30-27 as the two teams headed to the half. Neither team scored in the final 2+ minutes of the first frame.
Coming out of the break, the Aggies got red-hot and pushed their lead all the way to 12 points (49-37) behind a monster dunk by Junior Elonu and a short jumper by Donald Sloan.
Not wanting to spare anyone from the dramatics, the Aggies let LSU creep back into the game by giving up a 20-to-10 run to the Tigers to make the score 59-57 in favor of the good guys at the 3:07 mark.
[queue: Bryan Davis]
Over the final 3 minutes of the game, Bryan Davis put on his superman cape and took over. The 6'9" junior from Dallas scored back-to-back baskets for the Aggies which started Davis scoring 6 of the Aggies next 9 points. The 9 points from the Aggies were unanswered by LSU and the score suddenly stood at 68-57 and for all intents and purposes, the game was over.
The Aggies made 4 more free throws down the stretch to push the final score to 72-61 and you can't help but get the feeling that the Aggies and Tigers are starting to develop quite the rivalry. The two teams have faced each other for 4 straight seasons now with each team winning a home game and a neutral-site game. I would be all for the two schools agreeing on an annual match-up. I think it would be great for both programs and their fans.
Josh Carter led the Aggies with 19 points while Bryan Davis added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Donald Sloan also had a good night contributing 11 points and 7 boards.
After taking off 8 days for Christmas, the Aggies got back to action Sunday night against Sam Houston at Reed Arena. I'm not sure what to make of their 10 point win (60-50), they again sleepwalked for 40 minutes against an inferior opponent. The Aggies were ahead by 17 (55-38) and cruising to a "to be expected" win before they let the Kats score 12 points in the final 4+ minutes.
There is not a whole lot to talk about from this game, they were just on cruise control all night and didn't do anything to make you feel good one way or another. Once again, just book the win and move on.
BJ Homles and Junior Elonu led the Aggies with 11 points each. Elonu also added 11 rebounds for his 3rd double-double of the year.
Can someone explain to me how and why Josh Carter only shot the ball 4 times against SHSU? This was the 4th time this year that Carter has shot the ball 6 times or fewer. Don't you want you best scorer putting the ball up 10+ times per game?
The Aggies take on Rice today at the sparkling new Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice campus in Houston.
The Aggies took on the Owls last year in College Station on New Year's Eve and won easily 68-41. Today's New Year's Eve rematch should also be an Aggie win, but I would expect the margin to be much closer this time around.
Rice played Texas pretty tough in Austin for 30 minutes (trailed by 11 with 10 minutes left) before succumbing in the end to fall 77-56. They also played Oklahoma way tougher than expected (tied with just under 8 minutes left) before falling to the Sooners 70-58 in Houston.
Rice is led by a couple of decent guards, Cory Pflieger, who averages 12.3 points per game and Rodney Foster who adds 11.0 points and 4.3 assists per game.
Vegas says the Aggies should win by 8.5, I think that's about right to maybe a touch high.
I think the Aggies win this game by 6 - let's call it 67-61.
If you are in Houston, make your way over to Rice for the 3:00 tip - it should be a pretty good game.