Women's Bouncy Ball had their regular season home opener last night against the Panthers of TAMUS member Prairie View A&M University. The Ags had opened the regular OOC season on the road at North Texas on Veterans' Day. Newcomer Achiri Ade led the Ags with 14 points and 8 boards in a 67-48 win. Senior Center Karla Gilbert was just behind with 12 and 7. Prairie View had dropped their season opener against the Rice Owls, 77-63, with Junior guard Jeannette Jackson pouring in a career-high 32… which put a target on her #1 uniform.
A&M dominated as expected in a 76-27 win, but a few things were worth noting.
- For the second game in a row, Chelsea Jennings got the starting nod over Courtney Williams, who did not travel with the team to Denton due to a 1-game suspension for unspecified reasons. CWill did play more total minutes last night than Jennings, but Jennings had a nice 15 minutes with 8 points on 4/5 shooting, 2 assists and a steal.
- Jordan Jones had a great game. She only had 6 points, but added 10 assists with just 3 turnovers and had 5 of the Ags 11 steals. Several of her steals were impressive, but I especially recall her jumping to pick off a pass from the top of the key (think Daeshon Hall's pick vs Miss State) and immediately hitting a long pass to Tori Scott streaking for a layup (no, not that kind of streaking).
- Courtney Walker, Jones, and the rest of the Ags combined to hold Jackson scoreless from the floor. She ended up going 0-14 with 9 turnovers in 34 minutes of play. Only a late free throw kept her from the complete goose egg. While Walker and Jones checked Jackson most of the night, I recall Curtyce Knox and Kristen Grant taking her later in the game. The front line also aggressively hedged and trapped her whenever she had the ball. It's too bad Jones and Walker are too small to play for Mark Snyder.
- Walker had another excellent and unselfish game. She contributed 11 points and 8 assists to go with her shutdown D. Walker, who doesn't shoot from long distance much, had the Ags only 3 pointer on her only attempt. If she can hit that consistently, it will make her even harder to guard.
- Achiri Ade and Karla Gilbert got lots of "that was too easy" buckets vs the undersized PVAMU front. Karla led the scoring with 15, while Achiri had 11.
- Overall, the Ags had 27 assists and forced 30 turnovers.
There were two negatives to note
- The Ags only outrebounded PVAMU by 37-36, and PVAMU led on the boards most of the game. This was partly because many of their shots were so far off the mark that they took odd long bounces off the rim, but still…
- Rachel Mitchell wasn't at the game. Blair revealed later that she's suspended indefinitely. Hope she takes care of whatever the problem is.
Before last night's game, the ladies got their championship rings for last year's SEC tourney triumph. This was the last home game until December 3 when San Diego State comes to Reed. In the meantime, the Ags play at Houston on Sunday, and then will play in the Virgin Islands over the Thanksgiving break.