February 1, 2010
A&M looking to end road woes in tough arena
The road hasn't been a pleasant place for Texas A&M this season. The Aggies have played in five true road games this season, and apart from a win over SMU in Dallas in the second game of the season the Aggies have gone 0-4 since.
Of course there was the heartbreaking overtime loss to then-No. 1 Texas in Austin, subpar performances in losses at Kansas State and Oklahoma State, and then the date the changed A&M's season forever - a 73-64 loss at Washington in which the Aggies lost Derrick Roland for the season. But the fact of the matter is the Aggies need road wins in the worst way possible to bolster their NCAA tournament resume.
Wednesday night A&M travels to Columbia, Missouri, to face Missouri at 8 p.m. on ESPNU, and the Aggies will face what could be the toughest home court advantage they'll see all season at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers own the second-longest home court winning streak in the NCAA at 32, shared with Siena. The longest home streak is Kansas at 54 games.
And coincidentally the last team to beat Kansas at home was A&M. Could the Aggies be the first to knock off Missouri at home since Feb. 2008?
If A&M is to pull off the win, however, it'll be because they took care of the ball against Missouri head coach Mike Anderson's version of Nolan Richardson's 40 minutes of hell. The Aggies turned the ball over just four times in an 85-70 win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
But that was at friendly Reed Arena.
"Whenever you go on the road you want to take care of the basketball, and obviously Missouri forces a lot of turnovers with their traps and presses and different things. That's how they've forced 450 turnovers this year, which is a tremendous amount," said A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. "They keep you off balance. We've played in some tough venues and have taken care of the ball, but this will really test us. Hopefully we will be ready for traps and different kinds of things that will come at us and handle the crowd on the road too, but our guys have done it for the most part but if we want any chance on Wednesday night we're going to have to take care of the ball."
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