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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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A&M Men’s basketball looks to prove itself against Ole Miss during Wednesday matchup in Oxford

Sophomore+guard+Jay+Jay+Chandler+was+1-for-1+in+field+goals.
Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore guard Jay Jay Chandler was 1-for-1 in field goals.

Despite a two-game losing streak against No.19 LSU and No.1 Tennessee, the Texas A&M men’s basketball team is looking to turn the season around with a win on the road against the Ole Miss Rebels on Wednesday.
The Aggies are currently 8-12 overall and 1-7 in the SEC, while the Rebels are 14-7 and 4-4 in conference play.
A&M has an away game record of 1-3, with its only conference victory coming from a road game against Alabama on Jan. 12.
“I feel like we’re just locked in [on the road],” sophomore guard TJ Starks said. “I try to bring [my teammates] together … and let them know it’s us against the world. That’s how we feel.”
After winning only one game in the last six matchups, A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said being consistent throughout both halves is essential.
“Forty minutes,” Kennedy said. “We’ve had some possessions where we’re so tired that we’re resting on the defensive end. We’ve got to play with a sense of urgency and finish off possessions on the defensive end.”
However, the Aggies aren’t the only ones looking to bounce back. After starting perfectly in conference play with a 4-6 record, the Rebels have lost four straight games since Jan. 22. In that stretch, Ole Miss also lost its top 25 ranking.
It will be a challenge for A&M to fend off the Ole Miss offense. Junior guard Breein Tyree, senior guard Terence Davis and sophomore guard Devontae Shuler play the most minutes on the team and all shoot at least 40 percent from the three-point line, making perimeter defense a priority in the matchup.
“They’re playing really well at shooting from the three-point line,” Kennedy said. “We’re going to have to do a better job at defending the perimeter.”
In addition to the Rebels’ dangerous perimeter shooting, they are shooting 54 percent from the floor.
A&M saw five players in double digits Saturday during its 93-76 loss to No.1 Tennessee. Junior guard Wendell Mitchell led the way with 18 points and five rebounds, with junior forward Savion Flagg not far behind, recording 14 points and six rebounds.
Where the Aggies have found the most success is in the paint. A&M ranks 47th in offensive rebound percentage, according to NCAA.com. Players like junior forward Josh Nebo, senior forward Christian Mekowulu and senior guard and forward Savion Flagg, who have 132 combined rebounds this season, will have to continue to dominate the boards on both ends to pick up the win.
“I know they play very fast, up-tempo,” Starks said. “If we just step up and get a high hand on the three-point line and run them off the three-point line and stay in the drives, I think we’ve got a good chance to win it.”
The Aggies take on the Rebels on Wednesday at The Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

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