In a three-way tie for third place in the Big 12, Texas A&M can earn a first-round bye in the conference tournament with one victory. Facing a struggling Oklahoma team could help the Aggies achieve that goal.
Texas A&M finishes its regular season Saturday in Norman, where the Sooners will try to avoid their first four-game losing streak in over 46 years.
The 23rd-ranked Aggies (21-8, 10-5) pulled even with No. 21 Baylor and Missouri in the Big 12 with a 76-61 victory over Oklahoma State on Wednesday. Texas A&M, the conference’s worst 3-point shooting team at 33.1 percent, went 10 of 21 from beyond the arc.
“Guys were feeling it,” senior Donald Sloan said after scoring 19 points and hitting two 3s. “That gave us extra confidence while we were shooting.”
If Sloan—fifth in the Big 12 with 18.1 points per game—and the Aggies can avoid a third straight loss in Norman, they will secure a first-round bye at the Big 12 tournament.
The Aggies split two meetings with Baylor and own the tiebreaker over Missouri by virtue of a 77-74 victory Feb. 3 that snapped the Tigers’ 32-game home winning streak.
“It would be a great compliment to this team, playing in the No. 1 RPI league. It would be great for our program,” said coach Mark Turgeon, who needs one win to set a school record with 71 in a three-year stretch.
The Aggies couldn’t ask for a better opponent to face Saturday.
The Sooners (13-16, 4-11) are trying to avoid their first eight-game slide since Feb. 1-24, 1969, and first four-game home losing streak since dropping five in a row Jan. 11-Feb. 17, 1964.
Despite owning an 11-point second-half lead, Oklahoma lost 87-76 to Texas on Monday to finish 0-8 on the road in Big 12 play.
“They were the tougher team down the stretch. I thought we were the better team for 31 minutes,” coach Jeff Capel said.
Oklahoma led Texas A&M by seven in the second half Jan. 19 but fell 65-62 after getting outscored 9-2 in the final 2 minutes.
With senior guard Tony Crocker playing the final home game of his career for Oklahoma, Tommy Mason-Griffin will try to continue to make a name for himself. The freshman guard is averaging 15.6 points and 5.7 assists during the seven-game skid and needs one assist to set the program’s single-season freshman record with 142.
Mason-Griffin had 21 points and five assists against Texas A&M in January.
Sooners guard Willie Warren scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in that matchup, but last season’s Big 12 freshman of the year underwent season-ending surgery on his right ankle Wednesday.
After spraining his right foot in a 74-58 victory over then-No. 21 Texas last Saturday, Aggies guard B.J. Holmes hit four 3s and scored 12 points Wednesday. Holmes has hit 11 of 19 from 3-point range in the last four games.
The Sooners lead this series 28-5 and have won 14 of 15 matchups in Norman.