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Texas A&M at #1 Auburn Game Preview and Open Thread

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Time to Start a New Streak

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday February 12th, 2022

Texas A&M Aggies at Auburn Tigers

Auburn Arena

Time: 11:00AM CT

Network: ESPN, Auburn Radio Network

Well unfortunately you can’t win them all.

Auburn’s 19 game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday night in an 80-76 OT loss at Arkansas. It was quite the scene in Fayetteville before, during and after the game as the Tigers faced the toughest environment they will play in this year. It’s also one of the best environments this writer has ever been a part of outside of Auburn Arena.

The Tigers scored 4 points over a 12 minute stretch of the first half but as it’s done several time this season, defense kept Auburn within striking distance and were able to pull with 3 at halftime. Auburn and Arkansas went back and forth in the second half and the Tigers had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but were unable to do so. Arkansas did most of their damage from the free throw line where Auburn struggled mightily in the hostile environment.

Ultimately, it wasn’t Auburn’s night and the Razorback student section stormed the court as they defeated a #1 team for the first time ever at Bud Walton Arena who was also the first SEC team to visit Bud Walton Arena as the #1 team in the country.

It was a tough loss for Auburn but a learning experience for sure. Now, Auburn looks to turn the page and there’s certainly a lot going on inside Auburn Arena today.

First of all, it’s the second trip to Auburn (22-2, 10-1) for ESPN’s College Gameday who were able to witness Isaac Okoro put on a show during Auburn’s 2020 home win over Kentucky. Today, the group returns for an encore visit. Today is also the 7th annual AUTLIVE game, Auburn’s annual game in their fight against cancer. Auburn is 6-0 in their AUTLIVE games. They’ll put that record up to the test against a team who was never lost inside Auburn Arena.

Get to Know Texas A&M

Since Texas A&M joined the SEC, the Aggies are 5-0 inside Auburn Arena. They are the only team that beat Auburn during both the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 seasons in Auburn Arena.

Texas A&M (15-9, 4-7) comes into today’s contest having lost 7 in a row after a 4-0 start in SEC play. As a team, they average 73.5 PPG and allow 66.2 PPG. As a team, they are shooting 34% from 3-point range.

Leading the way is one of the league’s better Sixth Men in senior guard Quenton Jackson (#3). Despite coming off the bench, Jackson leads the Aggies averaging 13 PPG this season. Jackson is the team’s best Free Throw Shooter at 83.2% and shoots 32.9% from 3.

Next is sophomore forward Henry Coleman (#15), the Duke transfer. Coleman averages 11 PPG and 5.9 RPG. He shoots 67.9% from the free throw line.

Junior guard Tyrece Radford (#23) is another player who left the ACC for College Station last offseason. Radford is averaging 9.7 PPG and 5.5 RPG and shoots 35.6% from 3.

Next is last year’s Mountain West Freshmen of the Year sophomore guard Marcus Williams (#1) who returned to Texas after a year at Wyoming. Williams is averaging 8.8 PPG and leads the team in assists. Williams is shooting 29.8% from 3 so far this season.

Freshmen guard Wade Taylor (#1) has been another important bench piece for Buzz William’s group this season. Taylor is also averaging 8.8 PPG this season and shoots 32.6% from 3.

Junior guard Andre Gordon (#20) is averaging 7.5 PPG. Statistically, he is A&M’s best 3-point shooter at 43.6% on the season.

A couple others to make a note of are sophomore guard Hassan Diarra (#5) is averaging 5 PPG and senior forward Ethan Henderson (#10) who is the team’s leading shot blocker and Arkansas transfer.

Prediction

Tuesday’s loss was hopefully a wakeup call for Auburn as the Tigers lost for the first time since the day before Thanksgiving. One of two things will happen: Auburn will lose their first AUTLIVE game OR Texas A&M will lose for the first time inside Auburn Arena. There’s a lot of eyes on Auburn this weekend and how they bounce back from Tuesday’s night game in Fayetteville. I think Auburn’s able to bounce back and start a new winning streak.

Auburn 80 Texas A&M 65