North Texas-Texas A&M Preview
Over the past four seasons, Texas A&M has displayed an uncanny dominance on its home floor, but the past two wins at Reed Arena haven't exactly been easy.
The 16th-ranked Aggies will look for a more complete performance as they try to extend their 47-game non-conference home win streak Monday night against North Texas.
Texas A&M hasn't lost to a nonconference opponent at Reed Arena since a 58-51 loss to Saint Joseph's in the 2005 NIT. The Aggies have also won 59 straight home nonconference games in the regular season - all against unranked foes - since an 82-80 defeat to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 13, 2003.
However, adding the past two victories to that streak has proved a struggle at times.
Although they have won three straight, the Aggies (7-1) allowed Prairie View A&M to score the first six points on Wednesday night and they trailed 15-6 nearly four minutes into the game before rallying for an 84-59 victory.
Two nights later, Texas A&M needed a second-half surge to pull away from Akron for a 74-62 win. The Aggies jumped out to a 13-2 lead four minutes into the game but that advantage was down to 56-50 with 7:35 remaining.
Texas A&M, however, launched a quick 7-0 run after that.
"We were just missing a lot of shots,'' guard Derrick Roland said. "We missed a lot of 3-pointers and a lot of layups, too. Not to take anything away from Akron, they were playing good defense, but we were also missing shots."
Donald Sloan led the Aggies with 17 points, including a 3-pointer during the team's pivotal surge. Roland also reached double figures for the third straight game with 15 points and has averaged 14.7 points on 55.2 percent shooting in that span.
Sloan (15.5 points per game) and Roland (12.9 ppg) are the only two Aggies averaging in double figures this season.
Instead of scoring in bunches, Texas A&M has relied on a defense that's allowed 63.1 points per game and hasn't given up more than 65 during its win streak.
To keep that trend going, the Aggies will likely need to limit the Mean Green's Josh White.
White is not only the leading scorer for North Texas (5-2) with 17.1 points per game, but he's also one of the nation's best free-throw shooters. He hit 90.6 percent of his attempts last season to finish third in Division I.
The junior guard, who has averaged 20.0 points against Big 12 opponents in his career, has made 89.7 percent so far this season and hit 19 straight from the line entering Monday's game.
That includes six in the final two minutes of a 64-62 win at Rice on Saturday.
Senior guard Dominique Johnson had a season-high 15 points and junior guard Collin Mangrum added a season-best 12 points off the bench. Senior forward Eric Tramiel also scored in double figures for the fourth straight game.
Texas A&M hasn't faced North Texas since escaping with a 72-70 home win on Dec. 6, 2005.
The Aggies lead the series 11-7, winning both games at Reed Arena.