Baylor-Texas A&M Preview
By MATT BEARDMORE, STATS Writer
Baylor won’t have to face a top 10 opponent for a third straight road game, but that doesn’t mean this trip away from home will be any easier.
The 20th-ranked Bears try to snap Texas A&M’s 15-game home winning streak Saturday when the Big 12 foes meet for the 200th time.
Since falling at current-No. 1 Kansas on Jan. 20, Baylor (17-4, 4-3) played its only other road game against then-No. 6 Texas last Saturday and came away with an 80-77 overtime victory.
The Bears had lost their previous four on the road to Top 25 teams since a 116-110 victory in five overtimes over then-No. 18 Texas A&M on Jan. 23, 2008. Baylor snapped the Aggies’ 15-game home winning streak in that matchup and will look to do it again Saturday at Reed Arena.
“Obviously Texas A&M is a team that you don’t have to say much in order to get Baylor excited for, just like any of the in-state rivalries,” coach Scott Drew told Baylor’s official Web site.
Texas A&M (16-6, 5-3) is 73-28 versus the Bears in College Station, but Baylor makes this 90-mile trip with a chance for its best 22-game start since 1947-1948 when it opened 18-4 en route to the program’s first Final Four and a national runner-up finish.
The backcourt play of junior LaceDarius Dunn and senior Tweety Carter has been instrumental to this season’s hot start. Dunn, third in the Big 12 with 18.5 points per game, averaged 12.0 on 30.6 percent from the field in his previous three games before scoring 21 on 8-of-14 shooting in Wednesday’s 84-63 victory over Iowa State.
Carter is averaging 17.1 points and leads the conference in assists with 6.2 per game. He had 14 points and two assists in Baylor’s last game against Texas A&M – a 72-68 Bears victory in Waco on Feb. 14.
“Both their guards are having great years and being great leaders,” Aggies coach Mark Turgeon said.
They’re not Turgeon’s only concern, considering Michigan transfer Ekpe Udoh could cause plenty of headaches for the Aggies on both ends of the floor.
The 6-foot-10 junior, who posted his 11th double-double of the season Wednesday with 19 points and 10 rebounds, is averaging 13.9 points, 10.7 boards and 4.2 blocks – fifth-best in the nation.
While Baylor looks to win two straight against Texas A&M for the first time in five seasons, the Aggies will try for their longest home winning streak since a 21-game run from Jan. 28, 2006-Feb. 5, 2007.
Texas A&M, which has won its 12 home games this season by an average of 17.2 points, is looking to build off Wednesday’s 77-74 victory at Missouri. Sophomore David Loubeau and senior guard Donald Sloan each had 17 points as the Aggies snapped the Tigers’ 32-game home winning streak.
Sloan, who leads Texas A&M with 18.4 points per game, is averaging 15.8 with 6.3 rebounds in the last four games versus Baylor.
The Bears make their third straight visit to College Station as a ranked team.
Texas A&M is 126-73 all-time versus Baylor.