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CBB Longhorns at Aggies Preview

February 05, 2007

College Basketball - Texas Longhorns at Texas A&M Aggies (-7½, 138½ ) 9:00 PM EST

Acie LawBoth Texas’ Durant and A&M’s Law have been sensational in recent games, and their duel shapes up as the highlight of what is certain to be a high-scoring affair.

The Aggies (19-3) go into this game on their home court in College Station as firm 7.5 point favorites against the Longhorns (16-6). But with Durant, who is averaging 33 points in Big 12 games, leading the way, the Longhorns have the ability to spring an upset.

Texas has been playing consistently in recent weeks, winning eight of 10 games before being nipped, 73-72 in a rare home loss to Kansas State on Saturday.

And even in defeat, Durant was superb. Despite being closely marked by the aggressive Kansas State defense, he came up with 32 points and nine rebounds to almost lead his team to victory.

But if the Longhorns hope to upset the Aggies tonight, Durant will need more support from his teammates. Against Kansas State, Durant scored 13 field goals, as many as the rest of the team put together.

Guard A.J. Abrams, regarded as one of the best outside shooters in the Big 12, particularly needs to step up after landing just two of 16 shots from the field against K-State.

Texas A&M is riding high after upsetting number six-ranked Kansas, 69-66 on the road Saturday. Law, a senior guard, led the way with 23 points, including the final five points of the game as the Aggies came from behind to score a thrilling victory.

Trailing 66-64 with 45 seconds left on the clock, Law turned the game around with a pressure three-pointer followed by two free throws.

The win had plenty of significance for the Aggies. It was their first victory in 12 games against Kansas, and the Jayhawks’ first loss at home to a Big 12 South team since the conference began in 1996. It also moved A&M into first place in the Big 12.

With the confidence that win has added to their campaign, the Aggies will be hard to beat tonight.

The Longhorns have struggled on the road all season (4-3) and coach Rick Barnes has spent the past 24 hours working on shooting after a below par performance across the board on Saturday, with Durant the obvious exception.

Barnes may also want to take some time honing his defense, with Josh Carter, Joseph Jones and Antanas Kavaliauskas all capable allies to the formidable Law when it comes to stacking up points.

Summing Up: The Aggies have a perfect record at home this season (15-0) and should continue that run if they can keep Durant relatively quiet. If they skip away early, a blow-out is in the cards.

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