Prairie View A&M (3-2) at (19) Texas A&M (5-1)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 9:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: Prairie View 3-0, Texas A&M 2-0. Away Record: Prairie View 0-2, Texas A&M 1-0. Neutral Record: Prairie View 0-0, Texas A&M 2-1. Conference Record: Prairie View 0-0, Texas A&M 0-0. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 8-0.
GAME NOTES: The 19th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies open up a three-game homestand this evening, as they welcome the Prairie View A&M Panthers in non-conference action from Reed Arena in College Station.
It has been a tale of two seasons in the early stages for Prairie View, as the Panthers have won both their home games, but have lost all three road tilts. Last time the team was on the floor, it completely destroyed Champion Baptist, 101-38.
The Aggies have jumped into the national rankings thanks to a red-hot start that has seen the team win five of its first six games. The Aggies return to College Station following a trip to Anaheim to take part in the 76 Classic, where the team played three straight ranked opponents, knocking off Clemson (69-60) and Minnesota (66-65), while losing to eventual tournament champion West Virginia (73-66).
This is the ninth all-time meeting between these two teams, with Texas A&M winning all eight previous matchups.
The Panthers have played some solid competition, but they have resulted in losses at Cincinnati and at Oklahoma State. The lack of competition in the victories however is what has the numbers a bit skewed. The team is averaging a solid 76.2 ppg, while allowing a mere 57.6, but a lot of that has to do with the lopsided win over Champion Baptist last time out. On the year, the team boasts of two players averaging double figures. Darnell Hugee leads the way by virtue of his sizzling .592 shooting percentage. The result has been a solid 15.4 ppg. Michael Griffin is a distant second in the scoring column, tallying 10.8 ppg. In the lopsided win over Champion Baptist, Prairie View did little wrong, as the team shot a sterling .519 from the floor, doled out 22 assists, outrebounded its opponent 53-37 and forced 24 turnovers. Five players notched double digits in the win, led by Phillip Gates' 16 points off the bench. Hugee was a monster in the low post, finishing with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Alex Richman (13 pts), Griffin (11 pts) and Dorian McDaniel (10 pts) added to the onslaught.
Derrick Roland erupted for an unexpected 19 points to lead the Aggies to their second victory over a ranked opponent in a three-game span, as Texas A&M topped Minnesota last time out. Roland was joined in double figures by Nathan Walkup and B.J. Holmes, who added 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Aggies shot a mere .407 from the floor in the game and only got nine points from leading scorer Donald Sloan, who shot just 3-of-12 from the field. The Aggies did however, limit the Gophers to a worse .386 shooting effort, while forcing 16 turnovers. On the season, the team is shooting a decent .459 overall and boasts three players in double figures. Sloan leads the charge with 16.0 ppg. Roland is next at 13.0 ppg, followed by Holmes (10.8 ppg), who has been a catalyst off the bench.
The Aggies are clearly the better team here, but cannot afford to look past the Panthers. Prairie View played well in a road loss at Cincinnati and if Hugee and company can get into a groove, this may end up being more entertaining that most people would think.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 74, Prairie View A&M 62
12/02 10:46:58 ET