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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Men’s hoops targets Auburn for SEC rebound after loss

FILEJunior+forward+Jalen+Jones+is+second+on+the+team+in+scoring+behind+Danuel+House%26%238217%3Bs+15.4+points+per+game.

FILE

Junior forward Jalen Jones is second on the team in scoring behind Danuel House’s 15.4 points per game.

Texas A&M will try its best Saturday to recapture its momentum and keep the NCAA Tournament selection committee happy.
A&M (19-8, 10-5 SEC) will host Auburn in Reed Arena, and a loss would mark its first defeat to a squad that ranks outside the RPI top 100.
The Aggies are coming off one of their biggest games of the year against Arkansas, an 81-75 loss in Fayetteville. A&M trailed by as many as 24 points, but a 28-point effort from Danuel House and a double-double from Jalen Jones brought them within striking distance. However, the No. 18 Razorbacks were able to ice the game at the foul line and with defensive execution.
The Tigers (12-16, 4-11 SEC) are doing the best they can to stay away from the bottom of the barrel. After losing four out of its last five, Auburn sits tied for second-to-last place. A win could bring them over that hump and gain them a possible bye in the ensuing SEC tournament.
With LSU being bumped up to the RPI top 50, A&M finally has its first two wins, and will only look to avoid a bad loss going forward. The Aggies second win that concluded their season sweep of the LSU Tigers came during their swift three-game winning streak — which came before the game versus Arkansas.
Perhaps the Aggies most impressive streak, however, came after their first two SEC losses, which brought six consecutive wins. In that span, A&M defeated Auburn 71-61 away from Reed on Jan. 27. In that game, the Aggies shot 50 percent from the field (28-for-56), and House led in scoring with 22 points, shooting 6-for-7 from three.
House has been the guy for the Aggies, whether it be in the clutch or strictly scoring the basketball. He averages the most points for the Aggies (15.4) and in the past six contests, he has accumulated four 20-plus-point performances. As A&M approaches the end of its most successful SEC season, House has only had one single-digit outing.
Three double-digit scorers mold the Auburn offense in K.T. Harrell (17.7 ppg), Antoine Mason (15.1 ppg) and Cinmeon Bowers (12.9 ppg). Bowers’ contribution doesn’t end with his ability to score, however, as he averages a double-double with his 10.3 rebounds per game. In the Tigers first game against the Aggies, the trio stuck near their commonplace, as they all tallied double-digit nights.
The Aggies have already played each of their last three opponents, with a 2-1 record. However, there’s no room for error against the Tigers, as A&M still lingers in the bubble in most March Madness projections. The team is tied for third in the SEC, and only the top four receive a double-bye in the SEC tournament.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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