College Station, TX – The sixth-ranked Baylor Bears continue their quest for a Big 12 title, as they invade College Station this evening for a conference matchup with the Texas A&M Aggies at Reed Arena.
Scott Drew's Bears are certainly within striking distance in the Big 12, as the team sits at 6-2 in-conference, just one game behind league-leading Kansas. Baylor has won two straight games since back-to-back losses to Kansas and Missouri, most recently knocking off the Texas Longhorns, 76-71.
The Aggies have struggled at times this season, but much of that has come outside of College Station. The team has posted 11 of its 12 wins at home this year, including a 76-61 blasting of Oklahoma State this past weekend. The victory moved A&M to just 3-5 in league play.
Texas A&M holds a 127-77 lead in the all-time series, but Baylor has won four straight against the Aggies and is seeking a regular-season sweep after posting a 61-52 victory in Waco on January 2nd.
Offensive firepower is something Baylor relies on game-in and game-out. The Bears are one of the top teams in the country, averaging 78.0 ppg, shooting .494 from the floor, including .411 from three-point range. Scoring depth is apparent, with five players averaging double figures. Perry Jones III paces the team in both scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg). Quincy Miller (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Quincy Acy (12.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) complete a potent frontcourt trio. Pierre Jackson (12.5 ppg) and Brady Heslip (10.0 ppg) are lethal from three-point range, combining for 95 of the team's 155 treys on the year. The frontcourt led the way once again in the recent win over Texas. Jones had a huge game, finishing with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Miller poured in 18 points, while Acy also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Baylor outrebounded the Longhorns 40-28 and outscored Texas 27-16 at the free-throw line.
A&M was on fire in the win over Oklahoma State, shooting 58.3 percent from the floor, the highest mark by an Aggie squad in Big 12 play since 2009. Elston Turner led the way, hitting 6-of-14 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the free- throw line to post a game-high 23 points. David Loubeau added 13 points, while Daniel Alexander chipped in 11 points. The offensive proficiency the Aggies showed against the Cowboys was a bit of an anomaly. On the season, the team is averaging just 63.0 ppg, on a modest .445 shooting. The defensive effort has been much more consistent and an obvious strength. with Texas A&M allowing just 59.5 ppg, with foes shooting a meager .382 from the floor, including .271 from behind the arc. Turner is the scoring leader at 14.7 ppg, pacing the team with 43 three-pointers. The team has missed the frontcourt presence of Khris Middleton (12.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) of late. The 6-7 Middleton has missed the last two games with a knee injury. Loubeau (10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is needed to pick up the workload in Middleton's absence.