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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Aggies look to earn additional SEC victory in Auburn matchup

Last+week+against+Alabama%2C+sophomore+guard+and+forward+Savion+Flagg+had+a+total+of+16+points%2C+seven+rebounds+and+two+assists.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Last week against Alabama, sophomore guard and forward Savion Flagg had a total of 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team will host the No. 14 Auburn Tigers on Wednesday in Reed Arena with hopes of pulling away with a victory over a divisional foe.
A&M is coming off of an electrifying win over Alabama, which boosted the team to a 7-7 overall record and their first conference win. However, the Aggies are now preparing for a different challenge, as Auburn’s potent defense and shooting has earned the team a 12-3 (1-1 SEC) season record.
The Tigers are ranked fifth nationally in steals per game, forcing opponents to turn the ball over 10 times per game on average. A&M will need to have better ball security against Auburn’s defense, as the Aggies rank 213th nationally in turnovers with almost 14 a game.
A&M head coach Billy Kennedy noted that the turnover battle could be a defining factor in the game.
“Defensively, they turn you over, but if we can take care of the ball like we did against Alabama, then we put ourselves in a great chance to get a win,” Kennedy said.
Junior forward Josh Nebo stressed that the Aggies will have to display a similar performance to one they pulled off in the Alabama game, where the team had only three turnovers.
“Against Auburn, you can’t have too many turnovers because they are a very good fast-breaking team that can get hot, so we’ll have to limit our turnovers again,” Nebo said.
The Tigers also pose a problem with their shooting, as they rank sixth nationally in three-point shots per game with 10.8. The Aggies, meanwhile, rank 319 nationally in three-pointers per game, seeing more success when defending three-pointers than when shooting them. A&M gives up a shot from outside the three-point line only 32 percent of the time, and will have to capitalize on this when they face Auburn.
Nebo said if they are able to use height to their advantage, A&M will have a chance against a tough Auburn lineup.
“When you have a long lineup like that, you can rebound pretty well, you can protect the rim, get steals, and it’s a pretty unique lineup out there,” Nebo said.
After the win over Alabama, where sophomore point guard TJ Starks hit a buzzer-beating three-point shot to win the game, Kennedy said he wants to see his team finish games. He believes that the Auburn game, along with the rest of the season, will be a chance to do that.
Looking ahead, Kennedy said he hopes the team can avoid situations where especially tough shots are essential to win.
“Winning a little bit easier than that is easier on the coach, and easier on everybody,” Kennedy said. “But we’ll take them however we can get them.”

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