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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies hope to improve win streak

After losing three consecutive conference games in February, Texas A&M fans and bracketology experts alike had all but declared the men’s basketball team unfit for the NCAA tournament.
But the Aggies are now 7-7 in Big 12 play and 21-8 overall after a four-game winning streak that A&M hopes to use for its résumé.
A home win against No. 25 Texas on Feb. 16 marked the start of A&M’s streak. A&M Head Coach Mark Turgeon said junior center Chinemelu Elonu, who led the Aggies with 15 points in the 81-66 rout against the Longhorns, has been an instrumental piece in the Aggies’ turnaround.
“He’s been really good,” Turgeon said. “He’s played against some of the top players in the league and he’s played well. He’s been very difficult to guard and he’s right there as one of the candidates for most improved in the [Big 12] conference.”
Elonu is averaging 10.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 in blocked shots per game with 1.7. Turgeon said the team has also seen exceptional play from senior forward Josh Carter.
Carter leads the team in points per game and free throw percentage, with 13.9 and 85.1 respectively. Carter led the Aggie squad in its most recent victory against Iowa State with a career-high 29 points.
“He’s done great things for this team,” Turgeon said. “He’s been playing very well and making a lot of open shots.”
Junior forward Bryan Davis and sophomore guard B.J. Holmes have also increased their statistics from the 2007-2008 season with 10.4 and 8.5 points per game, respectively.
Despite personal performances, Turgeon said the team’s recent success is an overall improvement in the team’s ability to work together.
“The thing I like is we’re getting better as a team,” Turgeon said. “The way we’re using motion and executing is the best we’ve been all year.”
A&M has two games remaining in its season, a road game Wednesday against Colorado and a home game Saturday against No. 10 ranked Missouri.
Colorado is 19-9 overall this season with a conference record of 1-13 and has lost nine consecutive games. Junior guard Derrick Roland said A&M will not take Colorado lightly.
“It’s really important to win this game on the road,” Turgeon said. “It’s a close race to the end of the season, and we all know we have to win.”
The 64 teams that will be invited to the NCAA tournament will be announced March 15. Turgeon said the next two games will be important for the team’s playoff life.
“The way we play in these two games will dictate our chances to get into the tournament,” Turgeon said. “If we fall face first, we all know what will happen, if we continue to play well, who knows.”

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