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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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No. 5 Aggie hoops travel to Arkansas in search of first victory since 1986.

Mens+Basketball
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
Men’s Basketball

After a week of home wins and a meteoric journey into the top five of the AP poll for the first time in school history, A&M’s “statement week” is here.

The Aggies hit the road to Fayetteville Wednesday to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks for the second time this month, where they will meet for the 153rd time in series history.

“We don’t get too excited about the number because as quick as we got the number, it can get taken away from you,” Danuel House said. “We are just focused on one game at a time.”

A&M (17-2, 7-0 SEC) comes in as one of the hottest teams in the country on a 10-game win streak — the sixth longest active streak in the nation and the Aggies’ longest since 2010. Junior forward Jalen Jones has been the Aggie leader thus far, averaging 20.6 points per game during SEC play and is coming off a 19-point performance Saturday against Missouri. Jones has scored at least 20 points in five of the seven SEC games this year.

Beyond Jones, Danuel House, Alex Caruso and freshman Tyler Davis are also paving the way to A&M’s success. Davis is averaging 11.2 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. Caruso is the one to watch for as his shot continues to improve this season. He is ranked among the top of the team in both field goal percentage (51.5 percent) and three-point percentage (42.9 percent).

Balance has been the name of the game, as the Aggies have eight players who average over five points per contest. They have weapons all over the floor, so look for the Aggies to spread the floor as much as possible and get everyone involved early.

A&M has lost their last seven trips to Bud Walton Arena, and have not knocked off Arkansas in Fayetteville since Mar. 1, 1986. A&M coach Billy Kennedy said Arkansas is a different team at home.

“Big game going down to Arkansas, which I think is the toughest place to play in our league,” Kennedy said. “They play at a different level there. We need to go in and have our best game.”

The Razorbacks (9-10, 3-4 SEC) enter on a three-game losing streak but the contests have been tight until the end.  

Arkansas is first in the SEC in scoring, averaging about 82 per game, while A&M is first in scoring defense, allowing 64 points per game on average. If the Razorbacks want to show up the Aggie defense, they will need a big night from Dusty Hannahs, Moses Kingsley and Anthlon Bell. Hannahs and Bell tie for the team leads in points per game with 16.6, and Kingsley sits right behind them averaging 16.4 points per game.

Hannahs and Bell dominate at shooting three-pointers, both shooting a blistering 47.1 percent and 46.4 percent from behind the arc respectively. If they can find their stroke early, it could become a shootout in Fayetteville.

“This time, there is a number by our name,” House said. “We have to come out and be ready for a battle.”
The Razorbacks will be looking to extract revenge on the Aggies, who blasted them 92-69 earlier this month. A&M and Arkansas will tip-off at 6 p.m. and the game will air on ESPNU.

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