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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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Men’s basketball seeks conference title

Alex+Caruso+attempts+a+layup+against+Mississippi+State.
Photo by File

Alex Caruso attempts a layup against Mississippi State.

Danuel House, Alex Caruso, Anthony Collins and Jalen Jones will all play in their last game in Reed Arena Saturday, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Texas A&M will not only seek revenge against Vanderbilt Saturday, but can clinch a  regular-season SEC title with a win on Senior Day.
The Commodores (19-11, 11-6 SEC) are in contention as well, standing one game behind Kentucky and A&M. Not only did Vanderbilt defeat the Wildcats recently, but it derailed A&M  77-60 on Feb. 5, beginning a four-game losing skid for the Aggies.
The following three losses after Vanderbilt were decided by five or less. However the Aggies recollected with five straight victories — including a win over No. 22 Kentucky — giving them the tiebreaker for first place in the SEC.
Vanderbilt inched its way up the standings as well after four consecutive wins of its own. While A&M boasts a 16-1 record at Reed Arena, Vanderbilt led in the previous matchup for almost 35 minutes and by as much as 18.
Texas A&M’s (23-7, 12-5 SEC) leading scorer Jalen Jones was held to a season-low four points on 1-for-13 shooting in the contest. Offensively, Vanderbilt shot over 50 percent from the field, and almost 45 percent from the three-point range. Four Commodores had 13 points or more, and the Aggies had only one such player.
Since his worst offensive output of the season, Jones has registered 12 or more in six out of eight outings. Danuel House, who also struggled with a 2-for-8 mark from the field, has averaged almost 15 points a game since.
Freshman center Tyler Davis’ involvement has increased as the season grows older. Davis failed to record a double-digit outing during the losing streak, but tallied four of five during the winning run.
Wade Baldwin IV not only leads the Commodores in scoring (14.4 PPG), but also contributes in most categories on the statsheet, much like A&M’s Alex Caruso. Seven-footer Damian Jones, who is projected by most to be a first rounder in the upcoming NBA Draft, trails right behind Baldwin IV with 14. 3 PPG while grabbing 7.3 RPG.
The Commodores’ three-point shooting ranks in the nation’s top 20, and three players are shooting 44 percent or higher beyond the arc. Their efficiency creates many scorers, as the three players below Baldwin IV and Jones in scoring — Matthew Fisher-Davis, Jeff Roberson and Luke Kornet — average just below double-digits.     
A loss for the Aggies could result in a variety of situations as far as seeding goes for the SEC Tournament. Vanderbilt, LSU and South Carolina trail A&M by one game, and LSU faces Kentucky Saturday.
Winning could erase the myriad of scenarios for A&M. However, while a victory would clinch the No. 1 seed, Kentucky beating LSU would lead to the Aggies and Wildcats sharing the SEC title.
A&M and Vanderbilt will tip off at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

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