After losing for the first time in 2007-08, Texas A&M looks to continue its regular- season dominance of non-conference opponents at College Station when it opens an eight-game homestand Saturday with its first meeting against Texas State in nearly 16 years.
The 16th-ranked Aggies (7-1) have outscored opponents by an average of 24.9 points in winning 39 consecutive non-conference regular-season games at Reed Arena since an 82-80 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 13, 2003.
They’ll be facing seven non-conference opponents in a row before opening their Big 12 schedule against Colorado in the final game of the homestand on Jan. 12.
Overall, Texas A&M is 28-1 in its last 29 home games. The team’s lone loss in that span was a 77-75 defeat to Texas Tech on Feb. 13.
Now, the Aggies host the Bobcats (5-2) in the teams’ first meeting since a 73-71 loss at College Station on Dec. 28, 1991. The defeat was just the third in 14 all-time meetings against Texas State, which is 2-0 on the road this season.
Texas A&M appeared to be putting together another dominant performance - this time on the road - Sunday, but squandered a 20-point, first-half lead and lost 78-67 at No. 22 Arizona. Despite the loss, Aggies coach Mark Turgeon felt it was a good learning experience for his team, which has only three seniors on the roster.
“We had some young guys,” Turgeon said. “When the crowd got into it, we were not tough enough. We will be, we just were not tonight.”
The Wildcats shot 51.1 percent after the Aggies held opponents to only 37.3 percent shooting in their seven wins.
Texas A&M junior swingman Josh Carter shot 7-of-14 from the floor Sunday, scoring 17 points to up his team-leading average to 13.5 per game. He’s joined in the frontcourt by senior Joseph Jones, who is second behind Carter with 11.5 points per game and made 6 of 9 shots for 13 points against the Wildcats.
Texas State, meanwhile, is coming off an 88-81 loss to Rice on Wednesday that snapped its three-game winning streak.
The Bobcats use a three-guard system led by Brandon Bush, who made 5 of 10 shots from the field for 17 points Wednesday. Bush leads the team with 16.6 points per game.
The other two guards - senior Brandon Thomas and freshman Corey Jefferson - are averaging 14.3 points combined. Jefferson had eight assists against the Owls after dishing out a season-high nine in a 79-78 win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 29.
Second-year coach Doug Davalos got another strong performance off the bench from Brent Benson, who had 15 points Wednesday. The junior guard is averaging 17.8 points in the last four games while shooting 53.1 percent from 3-point range. He has yet to start a game, but is second on the team with 14.9 points per a contest.
Texas State has lost all five of its meetings with ranked opponents since 1996—all on the road.