February 19, 2009

A&M hopes to reverse fortunes in Lubbock

It's been a while since Texas A&M has been able to knock off Texas Tech in Lubbock. The last time the Aggies won at the United Spirit Center was in 2006 in a 75-59 win. But that game was on the tail-end of a seven-game win streak and followed the win over No. 6 Texas in which Acie Law and "The Shot" became Aggie lore. In other words, no one was going to beat the Aggies that day.

The Aggies (18-8, 4-7 Big 12), however, have come on hard times ever since. A&M was upset by a bucket in 2007, the same year A&M made the Sweet 16 and finished a school-best 13-3 in the Big 12 conference yet two of those losses were to the Red Raiders. Last year, A&M got drilled, 68-53, in Lubbock.

Saturday when the Aggies travel to Lubbock once again to face the reeling Red Raiders (12-15, 2-9) at 5 p.m., they'll hope to repeat the 2006 performance rather than fall once again in the black hole known as the United Spirit Center.

"The past couple of years we've played there they play some pretty good defense, off the ball and on the ball. Guarding that motion for some reason seems to be harder there," said A&M guard Donald Sloan. "They just seem to play better at home ever since I've been here and have played there. They're a pretty good team. They've had some rough stretches in conference, but I still think they're pretty good. It's going to be a tough game to go in and get a win in Lubbock."

A&M's luck in Lubbock has been bad for quite some time and goes deeper than just the past two seasons. The Aggies are 3-7 in Lubbock over the past 10 years, and the 2006 win broke a four-year Lubbock curse. To be more recent, the Aggies have one win in four tries since the "resurgence" of Aggie basketball that started with the 2004-05 team.

To say that Texas Tech has provided heartache for the Aggies is an understatement.

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