Fayetteville, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - With each team looking to extend a winning streak, the Texas A&M Aggies and 18th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks will meet in a SEC showdown at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday.
Texas A&M is trying to improve on a three-game streak, which the Aggies built with a 62-52 victory over South Carolina on the road on Saturday. Texas A&M now sports a 10-4 mark against conference competition, and hopes to utilize its 5-2 road record on Tuesday.
Arkansas has been victorious in six consecutive contests. The Razorbacks did get a bit of a scare from Mississippi State on Saturday however, in a 65-61 victory on the road, after the Bulldogs led for much of the game. Arkansas is 11-3 in league play, and owns an impressive 16-1 record on its home court this season.
This meeting between Texas A&M and Arkansas will be the 151st all-time in the series. The Razorbacks own a hefty 97-53 advantage over the Aggies, although Texas A&M has been victorious in three of the last four clashes.
Neither Texas A&M nor South Carolina shot the ball particularly well in Saturday's meeting between SEC foes. The Aggies connected on 39.5 percent of their tries from the floor (despite shooting 52.6 percent in the opening half), while the Gamecocks hit on a dismal 27.1 percent of their attempts. Houston transfer Danuel House has made a name for himself in an Aggies uniform, and padded his resume on Saturday with a team-leading 25 points in the win, adding in six rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Jalen Jones contributed 12 points in the win with eight boards, and Kourtney Roberson bested the Aggies squad with 10 rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double with eight points. Texas A&M hit on 10-of-21 shooting from 3-point distance in the contest.
House enters averaging 14.8 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting. In 14 games played for House against SEC competition this season, House is averaging 16.6 ppg. Jones ranks second on the team in scoring with 13.5 ppg with a team-best mark in rebounding, pulling down 6.2 boards per outing. Alex Caruso is on the cusp of double-digit scoring with 9.3 ppg, but the guard leads both Texas A&M and the conference with a 5.9 apg mark. The Aggies are netting 67.2 ppg this season behind an impressive 45.6 percent shooting, and are holding their opponents to a mere 61.5 ppg on a 39.3 shooting percentage.
Arkansas trailed Mississippi State for a large portion of the contest. The Bulldogs led by as many as eight points in the first half, though the Razorbacks closed the gap to just one point (33-32) at halftime. Arkansas was able to pull ahead in the latter frame, and hold on down the stretch against a furious Mississippi State comeback attempt. Rashad Madden scored 16 points to pace the Razorbacks in the win, while Michael Qualls added 14 points. Bobby Portis got into early foul trouble and eventually fouled out, but finished his night with 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Anton Beard contributed 11 points in the win.
The sophomore Portis is having a sensational season for the Razorbacks, leading the team and checking in at second in the conference in scoring at 17.4 ppg with a 55.9 shooting percentage from the floor (first in the SEC), also adding in 8.7 rpg to pace his squad and rank fourth in the SEC. Qualls checks in with 15.4 ppg, and Madden nets 9.9 ppg for the Razorbacks, who are burying 45.1 percent of their attempts this season for 79.5 ppg (first in the conference). Madden also ranks second in the league with 4.7 apg, having dished out 128 helpers on the year.