FACTS & STATS: Site: Sprint Center (18,972) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Texas A&M 3-0, WSU 2-0. Away Record: Texas A&M 0-0, WSU 0-1. Neutral Record: Texas A&M 0-1, WSU 0-1. Conference Record: Texas A&M 0-0, WSU 0-0. Series Record: Washington State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M Aggies and the Washington State Cougars will meet at Sprint Center in Kansas City on Tuesday night in the consolation game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
Texas A&M's season got off to a great start, as it won all three games on its opening homestand against Louisiana (71-59), Troy (83-65) and Prairie View A&M (81-59). Straying away from the comforts of Reed Arena for the first time this season did not go as well for the Aggies however, as they dropped a 70-49 decision to Saint Louis on Monday night.
Washington State has lost back-to-back games away from home since starting the season off 2-0 at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars first dropped a road tilt with Pepperdine on Nov. 16, 58-56, in overtime, then they were completely overmatched by No. 12 Kansas in the semifinals of the Classic, 78-41. They found themselves in a 10-2 hole less than two minutes into the game, and it was never really a contest from that point forward.
Washington State leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 1-0, with the only meeting coming in 1997.
Coming into Monday's game, Texas A&M had been shooting 47 percent from the floor while putting up more than 78 ppg, and while its field goal percentage against Saint Louis wasn't terrible (.442), it was held to just 19 field goals and was goaded into 19 turnovers in the 21-point defeat. Elston Turner was one of the few bright spots for the Aggies as he tallied 16 points, five boards, and three assists in 36 minutes of action. Turner is the team's leading scorer on the season (16.8 ppg), and the senior is expected to be one of the top performers in the SEC this year. Ray Turner attempted just four shots, but he made all four of them en route to 10 points. Fabyon Harris (12.5 ppg) is typically a prime performer alongside Elston Turner in A&M's backcourt, but he shot just 2-of-10 from the field for four points against Saint Louis.
Since scoring 88 points in its season-opening win, Washington State's offensive production has dropped off considerably in each subsequent game, culminating in an embarrassing 41-point, 29.8 percent field goal shooting effort against Kansas. In addition to a woeful shooting night, the Cougars only managed to attempt three free throws. Brock Motum was the only player to score in double figures with 14 points, although he did so on just 6-of-18 shooting from the field, which included a 1-of-5 effort from three-point range. Motum, the reigning Pac-12 scoring champion, is off to a good start this season, as he is netting 16.8 ppg on 45.5 percent field goal shooting while also ripping down a team-high 6.8 rpg. Mike Ladd is the only other Cougar to average double figures in points with 10.8 ppg, but he's made just 3-of-15 from three-point range. In fact, the entire team has been lackluster at best from beyond the arc, combining to make just 22-of-76 long-range shots in the early going (.289).
After a down offensive performances, both teams will be eager to bounce back on Tuesday in this consolation game. Motum may have a slight edge over Elston Turner as the best player on the floor, but A&M has more depth than does WSU, which will help the Aggies going on short rest.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 74, Washington State 71