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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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Battle for SEC’s No. 2

Vanessa+Pena+%26%238212%3B+THE+BATTALIONJunior+guard+Danuel+House%2C+shown+in+a+recent+home+win+over+Florida%2C+made+seven+3-pointers+on+the+road+Saturday+against+Tennessee.

Vanessa Pena — THE BATTALION

Junior guard Danuel House, shown in a recent home win over Florida, made seven 3-pointers on the road Saturday against Tennessee.

Texas A&M visits Arkansas seeking its first win against the RPI top 50, which could help land Billy Kennedy’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in his time with the Aggies.
The men’s basketball team travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in a battle for second place in the SEC.
No. 18 Arkansas (22-5, 11-3 SEC) leads Texas A&M in the SEC standings by a single game. The Razorbacks, which have won six consecutive games, rank No. 14 in the country in points per game (79.5).
The most standout facet to their game, however, might be how they spread the wealth, as they average 17 assists per game — No. 6 in the country.
The Aggies (19-7, 10-4 SEC) are riding a three-game win streak in which they have knocked off conference opponents and climbed the ladder of the SEC standings. A&M sits at a tie for third place with Ole Miss.
A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said both teams play great basketball, and the game will pose a challenge for each team.
“We are coming off of a good win against South Carolina and are going to play one of the hottest teams in the league in Arkansas,” Kennedy said. “They are playing with a lot of confidence and are very tough to beat at home. We are going to have to take care of the ball and be able to attack their press right away.”
The Razorbacks are led by Bobby Portis and Michaels Qualls, who both average more than 15 points and five rebounds per game. Portis is shooting almost 56 percent from the field, while averaging above 47 percent from 3-point range.
Danuel House has been the go-to guy for the Aggies as of late. In A&M’s last game versus South Carolina, House hit 7-of-11 shots from beyond the arc en route to a 25-point outing, tying his season high. In the past five games, the junior guard has shot 18-for-33 from 3-point land while garnering three 20-point games.
House has had support. His teammates down low, Kourtney Roberson and Jalen Jones, provided much-needed help, scoring 44 and 38 points respectively in the last three games.
When asked about the Aggies’ strategy, Coach Kennedy explained the direction in which the team tries to go.
“We know where we are trying to go with the ball,” Kennedy said. “We know that we want to get Danuel House and Jalen Jones touches and we kind of play off of those guys.”
Tuesday will provide the opportunity for Billy Kennedy’s Aggies to capture the program’s 14th 20-win season and the first since 2011.
A win for the Aggies could mean security for second place, and the same goes for the Razorbacks. When a conference is as tightly knit as the SEC, games like these must be taken seriously, Kennedy said.
“It obviously would be a tremendous win,” Kennedy said. “Anytime you win in Arkansas it is a special thing, especially this time of the year. We both have veteran guys that have been in our system and that we have recruited. We are both competing to finish in second place, which is quite an honor when you talk about the number one team in the country, [Kentucky]. Kentucky is the best team in the country.”

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