Texas A&M looks to rebound from a pair of tough losses to 2006 Final Four teams when it takes on Fordham on Tuesday at Reed Arena.
The 13th-ranked Aggies (7-2) lost to top-ranked UCLA 65-62 in the John R. Wooden Classic on Saturday, four days after losing 64-52 to then-No.9 LSU.
The defeats dropped Texas A&M seven spots in the polls from last week’s No. 6 position, which had been the highest in the history of the program.
Acie Law scored 21 points for Texas A&M in Saturday’s game, and cut the Bruins’ lead to three with 41 seconds left, but that was as close as the Aggies could get.
“They stepped it up a little bit and they made plays and we didn’t,” said Law, who bounced back from a season-low four points against LSU. “The last five minutes we were in position to win, but we didn’t.”
Law has scored 21 points or more four times in nine games, and his 14.4 points per game lead the team despite the poor night against LSU. Junior forward Joseph Jones is averaging 14.3 points, and had 11 against UCLA along with 13 rebounds in his first double-double of the season.
Texas A&M outrebounded the Bruins 34-23, but the Aggies committed a season-high 20 turnovers, which UCLA converted into 22 points.
Texas A&M’s defense came into the game holding opponents to just 32.2 percent shooting from the field—best in the nation—but their last three opponents have all shot better than that mark. The Bruins shot 49.0 percent (25-for-51).
The Aggies had the exact same success rate from the field as the Bruins, although it fell below their season shooting percentage of 51.6—ranked 10th in the nation.
They have won 12 straight home games and 29 consecutive regular season non-conference contests at Reed Arena. This is their first meeting against Fordham (5-3).
The Rams have lost twice to ranked opponents this season, a 78-71 defeat to then-No. 25 Tennessee on Nov. 13 and a 79-59 rout by then-No. 23 Maryland last Wednesday.
However, Fordham is coming off a 77-60 win over Penn on Saturday. Junior forward Bryant Dunston scored a game-high 21 points while grabbing eight rebounds, and junior guard Marcus Stout added 17 points and seven assists.
The Rams were 12-for-21 beyond the 3-point line, with Stout going 5-for-10.
“A lot of teams have been playing zone against us,” Fordham coach Dereck Whittenburg said, “and tonight we were able to hit the 3-pointers over the zone, which opened up the middle for Dunston. We know we have guys capable of hitting the threes, and tonight we saw that.”
Stout and Dunston are the team’s leading scorers, averaging 14.3 and 13.6 points, respectively.
The Rams have dropped their last eight games against ranked opponents since a 68-67 win over then-No. 24 St. John’s on Dec. 9, 2000.
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