College Station, TX – The 22nd-ranked Texas A&M Aggies obviously have a great chance to add a win to their record tonight as the Sam Houston State Bearkats come to College Station.
Sam Houston State began the season by losing five of its first six games, but victories in the last two outings may have restored some lost confidence. On Thursday, the Bearkats knocked off lowly Paul Quinn by a 66-54 final, but tonight's affair obviously represents a major leap in competition level.
As for Texas A&M, it has ripped off four consecutive victories since suffering its only loss of the season to Mississippi State on a neutral court. The Aggies, who are 6-1 overall, have held three straight opponents under 45 points with stifling defense, and the most recent effort was a 55-42 decision over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.
Texas A&M owns a commanding 65-17 series lead over Sam Houston State, including 16 straight wins over the Bearkats.
There is only one double-digit scorer on the Sam Houston State roster, as Konner Tucker is netting 12.4 ppg despite his woeful 34.7 percent shooting from the field, including 28.8 percent from three-point range. The Bearkats are generating 56.9 ppg on 39.9 percent shooting from the floor, so there is plenty of room for improvement offensively. On a positive note, they do play stellar defense and have limited their eight opponents to 60.6 ppg on 38.4 percent overall shooting. Taking a look at the 12-point win over Paul Quinn, four of the five Sam Houston State starters reached double figures in scoring, and Marcus James led the charge with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Darius Gatson and Tucker pitched in 13 points apiece, and Michael Holyfield added 10 points. The Bearkats earned a 39-24 rebounding advantage in the affair and connected on 51.1 percent of their field goal attempts.
Someone with the last name of Turner has led the Aggies in all seven games to date. Ray Turner is currently averaging a team-best 14.1 ppg on 66.7 percent shooting from the floor, and he is tops with 6.3 rpg as well. As for Elston Turner, he contributes 11.9 ppg for the squad. David Loubeau rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers with 10.9 ppg for the Aggies, who are netting 64.1 ppg while holding opponents to 53.1 ppg on 34.1 percent field goal efficiency. Strong rebounding has been a key to the 6-1 start, as the Aggies are ripping down 9.6 rpg more than the competition. In the double-digit victory over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, Elston Turner hit 4-of-7 three-point tries en route to 17 points, and Ray Turner added 12 points. The Aggies earned a 44-28 rebounding edge in that affair and limited the competition to 28.8 percent field goal efficiency.