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Aggies Travel to Tennessee for SEC Showdown

January 10, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Aggie Basketball Game #15:

Texas A&M (10-4, 1-0 SEC) at Tennessee (10-4, 1-0 SEC)

Jan. 11, 2014 · 5:00 p.m. (CT)

Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)

Knoxville, Tenn.

 

TV: FSN (For more info - AggieAthletics.com/TV)

  Dave Neal, Play-by-Play

  Larry Conley, Commentary

 

RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network

  Dave South, Play-by-Play

  Mike Caruso, Commentary

  Local: WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)

 

LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com

 LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com

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COLLEGE STATION – After opening Southeastern Conference play with a home win over Arkansas earlier in the week, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team hits the road this weekend for Knoxville, Tenn., to face Tennessee on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

The match-up will be televised on FSN with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Larry Conley (commentary) calling all the action. Fans are encouraged to check with their cable provider for availability and channel listings in their area.

Additionally, the game can be heard on the Texas A&M Sports Network with local coverage in the Bryan-College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).

The Aggies (10-4, 1-0 SEC) received great contributions by a couple of the new faces on this year’s squad during Wednesday’s victory over Arkansas as both Davonte Fitzgerald and Jamal Jones provided a scoring punch for the Maroon & White.

Fitzgerald, a true freshman from Atlanta, enjoyed a career night in his first action against SEC copetition, finishing with a personal-best and game-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and a 7-of-8 mark from the free throw line.

Jones, meanwhile, approached his first career double-double by ending play with 14 points and a personal-best eight boards. In six games since being inserted into the starting line-up, Jones is averaging a team-best 12.7 points per contest.

Also making his presence felt in the win over the Razorbacks was sophomore guard Alex Caruso, who joined elite company with contributions on the court. The College Station, Texas, native tallied a career-high 11 assists vs. Arkansas to become the first Aggie to reach double-digits in assists since Acie Law IV accomplished the feat against Texas on Feb. 5, 2007.

Caruso enters the weekend leading the SEC in assists (69) and assists per game (4.9) while ranking fourth in the league in steals per game (2.2).

The Volunteers (10-4, 1-0 SEC) also opened SEC play earlier in the week as they earned a 68-50 win at LSU on Tuesday night. Junior forward Jarnell Stokes led the way for UT with a double-double against the Tigers, finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds while senior guard Jordan McRae contributed a game-high 19 points.

A year ago, Tennessee and Texas A&M engaged in one of the most epic battles of the SEC season when the two teams traded blows in a four-overtime thriller at Reed Arena. The Vols walked away with a 93-85 victory despite a Reed Arena record 38 points from A&M’s Elston Turner.

 

QUICK HITS

• After opening Southeastern Conference play with a win over Arkansas on Wednesday at Reed Arena, the Aggies are back in action Saturday as they make just their second-ever visit to Thompson–Boling Arena to face Tennessee.

• The Aggies and Volunteers have faced off just six times in the series with the Vols walking away winners in five of the contests.

• The visit to Knoxville will be the Aggies' first true road game of the season after playing 11 home games at Reed Arena and three on neutral courts this season.

• During the victory over Arkansas the Aggie defense held the Hogs, which entered the game leading the SEC and ranking seventh nationally in scoring offense by averaging 87.2, to season lows in both points (53) and shooting percentage (36.2%) ... This season, the A&M defense leads the SEC in field goal percentage defense (.377) and ranks second in scoring defense (60.1 points per game).

• Texas A&M has proven to be a good closing team as the Aggies are shooting 60.2 percent during the final five minutes of games this season while holding their opponents to just a 32.7 shooting percentage during that same time frame.

• Dynamic sophomore guard Alex Caruso dished out a career-best 11 assists during the win over the Razorbacks Wednesday and in the process became the first Aggie to reach double-digits in assists since Acie Law accomplished the feat against Texas on Feb. 5, 2007 ... The College Station, native enters the weekend leading the SEC in assists (69) and assists per game (4.9) ... Additionally, Caruso ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (2.2) and on the Aggies in scoring (9.5 points per game).

• Junior guard Jamal Jones has continued his growth into one of the Aggies' most reliable scoring options after scoring 14 points in the win over Arkansas ... In the last six game since joining the starting line-up, Jones is averaging 12.7 points per game.

• Freshman forward Davonte Fitzgerald enjoyed the highest scoring contest of his young A&M career during the win over Arkansas, finishing with a game-high 17 points in 19 minutes off the Aggie bench.

 

SERIES HISTORY VS. TENNESSEE (TENNESSEE LEADS 5-1)

• Saturday will be the sixth meeting between the Aggies and Volunteers on the hardwood ... Tennessee owns a 5-1 edge in the all-time series.

• A year ago, the two squad engaged in a four-overtime thriller at Reed Arena which saw the Vols emerge with a 93-85 victory ... A&M's Elston Turner set a Reed Arena scoring record (men's games only) during the contest by finishing with 38 points.

• The first meeting between the schools came on Dec. 15, 1951, in Knoxville ... The Vols earned a 60-52 win.

• Prior to becoming conference partners in the SEC, most recent meetings between the schools came during a home-and-home series in back-to-back seasons with A&M winning 83-66 in College Station on Dec. 4, 2002, before dropping a 108-84 decision at Tennessee on Dec. 2, 2003.

• The Aggies' lone win in the series came in College Station on Dec. 4, 2002 ... A&M's Antoine Wright logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Aggies to a 83-66 victory.

 

UP NEXT

The Aggies return home to College Station to host South Carolina at Reed Arena on Wednesday (Jan. 15) ... The game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by SEC TV.

 

ALEX JOINS ELITE COMPANY

In just two seasons in Aggieland, dynamic sophomore guard Alex Caruso has developed into one of the most well-rounded players in the Southeastern Conference and during the Aggies' win over Arkansas on Jan. 8 he joined elite company in A&M basketball history.

During the 69-53 victory over the Razorbacks, Caruso set a personal best by dishing out 11 assists and became the first Aggie to reach double-digit assists totals in a game since All-American Acie Law IV tied a school record with 15 helpers vs Texas on Feb. 5, 2007.

Caruso enters the weekend leading the SEC in both assists (69) and assists per game (4.9) while ranking third in the league steals (32).

 

KOURTNEY JOINS 500-REBOUND CLUB

With a six-rebound performance on Jan. 8th against Arkansas, junior forward Kourtney Roberson joined a prestigious group in Aggie basketball history - the 500 Rebound Club.

The three-year letterwinner, who has seen his rebounding totals improve each season in Aggieland, became just the 24th player to accumulate more than 500 rebounds during his playing days at A&M.

Roberson enters the Tennessee game with 500 career rebounds and trails Josh Carter (509 rebounds from 2005-09) by just nine boards for 23rd place all-time.

 

GEARING UP FOR SEC ACTION

Year two of Texas A&M's membership in the Southeastern Conference has seen the Aggies earn a regular season and postseason league title in soccer and the A&M men's basketball team is ready to make its impression on the SEC when conference play begins this week.

SEC basketball tipped off in Aggieland on Wednesday, Jan. 8, when Texas A&M defeated former Southwestern Conference running mate Arkansas 69-53 at Reed Arena.

Following a trip to Tennessee on Jan. 11, the Aggies return to College Station to face South Carolina on Wednesday, Jan. 15, before hitting the road once again for a two-game road swing that features games at Mississippi State on Jan. 18 and at Kentucky on Jan. 21.

The UK contest will see the Aggies and Wildcats face off in front of a national ESPN audience as part of Super Tuesday.

For the second year in a row, Texas A&M basketball will be visible across the country as every one of the Aggies’ 18 SEC games is slated to be broadcast on one of the ESPN family of networks, FSN, CSS or the SEC Network.

Vanderbilt pays a visit to the Lone Star State on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Texas A&M will return the favor with a trip to Nashville to battle the Commodores inside Memorial Gymnasium on Feb. 15.

As the calendar fades from January to February, the Aggies will travel to the East Coast for road contests at South Carolina (Jan. 29) and at Florida (Feb. 1).

Mississippi State will visit Aggieland for the first time in hardwood history on Wednesday, Feb. 5, before the Aggies return to the court for a road tilt three days later on Feb. 8 at Georgia.

LSU travels to College Station for a mid-week contest on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and two weeks later on Feb. 26 the Aggies make an appearance at the Tigers’ Maravich Center.

On Feb. 20, Alabama and Texas A&M will face off during their only meeting of the regular season with a Thursday night match-up at Reed Arena.

Closing out the regular season in March, the Aggies will host a pair of SEC foes with Ole Miss coming to College Station on Saturday, March 1, and Auburn making the trip to Texas a week later on Saturday, March 8. The final road contest of the year will see Texas A&M travel to Columbia, Mo., to battle Missouri on March 5.

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