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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies follow LSU win with Vandy road date

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team (14-10, 5-6 SEC) will tip off against the Vanderbilt Commodores (13-9, 5-5 SEC) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.
Texas A&M is coming off an 83-73 upset win against LSU on Wednesday. Junior guard Jamal Jones led the Aggies in scoring with 19-points and made a game-high five shots from three-point range. Jones leads A&M in scoring and averages 15.5 points per game in conference play.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said his team is coming together and playing its best basketball at this point in the season.
“It’s good to come off of a win,” Kennedy said. “We won two of our last three and played well in all of them. Hopefully we’ll continue to play well.”
In the previous matchup between Vanderbilt and A&M, the Commodores defeated the Aggies 66-55 on Jan. 25 in Reed Arena. Vanderbilt forward James Siakam posted a 22-point, 10-rebound performance and blocked four shots.
“[Siakam] rebounded the ball and made a lot of nice plays,” Kennedy said. “They hurt us defensively and we’ve got to do a better job of protecting the paint against Vanderbilt.”
Junior forward Kourtney Roberson gave the Aggies a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In Wednesday’s matchup with LSU, freshman forward Davonte Fitzgerald went down with a left knee injury. Kennedy confirmed Thursday that Fitzgerald will miss the remainder of the season. Fitzgerald recorded a career high 20-points against Mississippi State and earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Jan 20.
Four Vanderbilt players average double-digit scoring in Rod Odom, Eric McClellan, Kyle Fuller and Damian Jones.
Odom leads the team, averaging 15.2 points per game. He won SEC Player of the Week honors Monday for his career-high 26-point performance on Feb. 5 against Tennessee.
Fuller ranks second in the SEC in assists, averaging 4.4 assists per game, trailing only Texas A&M sophomore guard Alex Caruso, who averages 4.6 assists per game.
Vanderbilt was on a four-game win streak before it was upset Feb. 8 on its home floor by Arkansas. Arkansas guard Michael Qualls hit a three-point shot with three seconds left in the game to give the Razorbacks the win.
When the Aggies arrive at Memorial Gym, they will be playing the same game in a very different setting. Memorial Gym – constructed in 1952 with a maximum capacity of 14,300 – differs from all other programs by having an end-of-the-floor bench setup. This means that players and coaches sit by the goals rather than on the sidelines, making it tough for opposing coaches to call plays and make substitutions.
A&M has struggled on the road this season, going 1-5 in conference games when playing away from Reed Arena. Following Saturday’s game against the Commodores, the Aggies will head back to Reed Arena to host Alabama on Feb. 20.

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