Texas A&M-Iowa St. Preview
Texas A&M believes it won't suffer too much of a letdown after missing an opportunity to earn possibly the biggest win in school history.
The No. 24 Aggies look to bounce back from having a four-game win streak snapped when they go on the road and try to hand Iowa State a sixth straight loss Saturday.
Texas A&M (18-7, 7-4) moved back into the Top 25 on Monday and nearly did so in triumphant fashion at home against No. 1 Kansas that night. The Aggies, who have never defeated a top-ranked team, led through most of the second half of a 59-54 loss.
The Jayhawks closed on an 11-2 run.
"We don't get too high, we don't get too low," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon insisted. "I didn't treat Kansas preparation any different than I treated Texas Tech, and I won't treat Iowa State any differently than I did Kansas."
The Aggies are the worst 3-point shooting team in the Big 12 at 31.8 percent and shot 23.8 percent (5 of 21) from beyond the arc Monday. Turgeon was more concerned with his team's 13 turnovers, including senior forward Bryan Davis' six that matched a career high.
It came two days after the Aggies won 67-65 at Texas Tech despite matching a season high with 21 turnovers, including senior guard Donald Sloan's career high-tying seven. Texas A&M is tied with Nebraska for the fewest turnovers in the conference with 12.2 per game, but is averaging 17.0 in four games this month.
Texas A&M has won six straight over Iowa State (13-13, 2-9), which has lost to three ranked teams during its current five-game skid that dates to a 64-63 victory over Colorado on Jan. 30. The Cyclones fell 69-64 at home to Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
Iowa State leading scorers Craig Brackins and Marquis Gilstrap struggled to combine for 22 points, but the Cyclones stayed in the game thanks in part to reserve guard Scott Christopherson's career-high 19.
"It scares me because their two best players, their scorers didn't play well," Turgeon said. "They were 5 for 27, Brackins was 3 for 17 and they still had a wide-open 3 to tie it with 27 seconds to go. That makes me a little bit nervous going in."
The Cyclones fell behind by 20 points in the first half and failed to overcome 35.1 percent shooting for the game.
"The start of the game was a joke," coach Greg McDermott said. "That's all there is to it. It's my job to get these guys ready, and obviously they weren't ready."
Texas A&M is hopeful that starting shooting guard Dash Harris will be available after suffering a bruised hip during the loss to Kansas. Harris, also battling wrist tendinitis, missed practice earlier this week, but thinks he'll play.
"I couldn't even walk when I woke up Tuesday morning," Harris said. "My back and my hip was real stiff. So I just came and got some treatment the past couple of days, hope to get ready for Saturday."
The Cyclones have dropped 20 straight to ranked teams, including six this season.
"We haven't gotten a lot of breaks but sometimes you gotta make your own, too," McDermott said. "For whatever reason, it hasn't happened for us."