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The Battalion

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 host BU in home finale

Tonight’s men’s basketball game against the Baylor Bears will be the last game at Reed Arena for this year’s senior class, barring a dramatic finish that results in the Aggies hosting a game for the National Invitational Tournament. This year’s seniors, including guards Bernard King and Bradley Jackson, and forwards Keith Bean and Brian Brookhart, have led the 2002-03 Aggies to their best finish since they’ve been at A&M and need one more win to assure them their first winning season in nine years.
A&M Head Coach Melvin Watkins said A&M has plenty of motivation for Wednesday night’s game.
“We still feel like we’re playing for something and we are,”he said. “We are playing for seeds in the (Big 12) conference tournament and it’s the last home game for the seniors that have been in our program for a while.”
A&M and Baylor are entering the match up tonight coming off tough losses at home and riding losing streaks.
In the first meeting between these two teams this year, the Bears overcame a 32-27 A&M lead at the half and walked away with a 77-69 win in Waco.
Sophomore guard John Lucas led the Bears with 24 points and six assists while sophomore forward Lawrence Roberts added another 23 points and 10 rebounds.
King led the Aggies with 17 points and eight rebounds in the losing effort.
“They did a much better job in the second half of spreading the floor and Roberts really hurt us down low,”Watkins said. “There are some adjustments we need to make and we feel we can make them.”
Lucky for the Aggies, this game is at home, where they are 9-4 this year. Baylor is 2-6 on the road this year but did pull off the upset in Stillwater,Okla., against Oklahoma State, handing the Cowboys their first loss at home this season.
The Bears are led by Roberts, who is averaging a double-double for the season with 15.3 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game.
“They have an inside-outside game and their game is clicking,”Watkins said. “That makes them a very dangerous basketball team and that’s how they won a couple of games on the road including at Oklahoma State.”
The Aggies will have to outshoot the Bears who are 30-3 when scoring more than 80 points and are No. 6 in the nation with 9.1 three-pointers per game.
Baylor Head Coach Dave Bliss said that as much as the Bears depend on Roberts and Lucas, he is hoping for a big game from junior R.T.Guinn, who has been a deciding factor in many games for the Bears this year.
“Guinn will have a good game and we play well; he’ll have a not so good game and we don’t play well,”Bliss said. “We need him to play well in order for us to succeed.”
Watkins said that he is looking forward to the end of the season and the excitement surrounding March Madness around the country.
“You’re looking at what’s going on around the country and all the talk about March Madness and it doesn’t get any better,”Watkins said. “You just want to put yourself in a position to be talked about and be a part of that and we feel like we’re right there.”

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