The No. 11 Aggies try for their 14th win in a row, but they’ll need their first in Austin in nearly nine years as they face the 10th-ranked Longhorns on Wednesday night.
Texas A&M (16-1, 3-0 Big 12) has won 13 in a row for its longest winning streak since a school-record 25-game run from 1919-21. The Aggies’ start to 2010-11 is their best since the 1919-20 team won all 19 of its games.
Still, coach Mark Turgeon feels his team isn’t becoming overconfident, despite ranking among the nation’s leaders defensively, allowing 57.6 points per game on 38.8 percent shooting.
“Our guys are pretty level-headed, they realize that we’ve only played three league games, and only one road game (actually two),” Turgeon said.
The Aggies’ yearly visit to Austin will be a major test to their winning streak.
They’ve lost 22 of their last 23 road games against Texas (14-3, 2-0), including eight in a row since last winning there Jan. 23, 2002.
“We’ll see, this will be our first real road game,” Turgeon said. “This will be our first road test as far as fans in the building and students in the building.
“I think we’re pretty good, but I think we’ll find out Wednesday how good we really are.”
Khris Middleton may have created some significant momentum for Texas A&M when he scored 11 of his 28 points in overtime to help beat then-No. 15 Missouri 91-89 on Saturday.
“I was kind of feeling it,” said Middleton, who leads the Aggies with 15.8 points per game. “I don’t think I was really feeling it. I just really wanted to win.”
The sophomore forward, though, had little success in two meetings with the Longhorns last season, totaling eight points while missing all six shots from the field.
David Loubeau, second on the Aggies with averages of 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds, had 15 points and seven boards to help Texas A&M to a 74-58 home victory over Texas on Feb. 27 as the teams split the regular-season series for the sixth time in a row.
Loubeau had 12 points and seven rebounds against the Tigers, as the Aggies set a season high in points while beating the highest-scoring team in the Big 12.
Texas also presents a major challenge. The Longhorns improved to 10-1 at home with a 66-46 win over Oklahoma on Saturday, but they’re expecting the Aggies to pose more of a problem.
“We know what we have to do,” said Texas swingman Jordan Hamilton, third in the conference with 19.2 points per game. “We just have to come out and play hard and execute. I know they’re going to come in and play hard.”
The Longhorns are allowing just 61.4 points per game on 36.8 percent shooting - the nation’s fourth-lowest mark - and they’ve been especially stingy in winning their first two Big 12 games. They’ve held the Sooners and Texas Tech to 49.0 points per game and 1-of-26 shooting from 3-point range.
Freshman Tristan Thompson is second on Texas with an average of 12.8 points and the leader with 7.8 rebounds, and he’s been even more effective shooting the ball lately. The forward is making 64.0 percent of his field goals to average 16.8 points over the last five games.