GAME NOTES: The Ole Miss Rebels will try to halt their slide in the SEC standings on Wednesday night, as they have made the trek to College Station for a bout with the Texas A&M Aggies.
Ole Miss was riding high just a few weeks ago, as it was off to its best start in program history at 17-3 overall and 6-0 in SEC action, but since then it has stumbled its way out of the Top-25 with losses in three of its last four games. The Rebels most recently faced Missouri on the road and were handed a 98-79 defeat.
Texas A&M's first season as a member of the SEC hasn't been a complete failure, but it's hard to deem it a rousing success as of yet, as it sits with a 14-9 overall record and a 4-6 mark in league play. The Aggies lost at Georgia on Saturday, 52-46, and while they return home for this matchup, they have lost three of their last four games played at Reed Arena.
These newly-formed conference rivals have met just once before, with Texas A&M winning in 1973.
The Rebels had a decent night shooting the ball their last time out, going 29- of-69 from the field (.420) and 15-of-18 from the foul line (.833), but the effort wasn't nearly good enough to make up for their worst defensive performance of the season, as they allowed Missouri to net 98 points on 47.3 percent field goal efficiency. Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers both poured in 16 points in the setback, while LaDarius White netted 13 points. Ole Miss is no stranger to high scoring outputs, as it leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the nation with an average of 79.8 ppg. Henderson is the conference's top scorer, putting up 19.9 ppg while ranking fifth in the country in 3- pointers made with 91. Making up the other half of an outstanding inside- outside duo is Murphy Holloway, who nets 14.7 ppg on greater than 53.4 percent from the field while also ripping down 9.7 rpg. Reginald Buckner joins Holloway down low and tallies 9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 2.7 bpg, while Jarvis Summers (9.2 ppg) has dished out 88 assists compared to only 32 turnovers.
Texas A&M has scored fewer than 60 points in six of its last eight games, but Saturday's matchup with Georgia was its most futile offensive effort of the season, as it shot just 12-of-50 from the field (.240). The ice-cold shooting spoiled a fantastic effort at the defensive end, as it held Georgia to only 32.4 percent from the field, although the Bulldogs were able to take advantage of the Aggies' foul trouble, going 25-of-32 from the foul line. Fabyon Harris scored 17 points in the setback, and while Elston Turner was a woeful 2-of-14 from the floor, he made 9-of-11 free throws on his way to 13 points. On the season, A&M sports a fantastic scoring defense, holding team's under 60 ppg, but its problems at the offensive end of the court have hindered it from becoming a true contender in the conference, as it puts up only 62.7 ppg. Elston Turner scores 15.6 ppg to lead the team, while Harris nets 11.5 ppg on 44.7 percent 3-point shooting. Ray Turner does a solid job in the paint with 9.7 ppg and a team-best 5.9 rpg.
The Aggies certainly have the defensive presence to slow down the Ole Miss shooting attack, especially considering the Rebels' struggles of late, but the big question is whether or not they can score enough points to keep up. A&M will be helped by the home crowd, but the star power on the Ole Miss roster will lift it to a narrow victory.
Game Date and Time