Texas A&M and Kentucky played another great game for the SEC crown. Kentucky won the first two, but the Ags got the win for the biggest prize so far. Final score from Duluth, GA: Ags 75 KY 67.
The Ags needed a total team effort to win this one. With Kelsey Bone having to sit most of the first half with 2 fouls. Karla Gilbert did another great job filling the post while Bone sat, and the Ags went into the half only down 36-34. Kelsey Bone played her best half in a long time after the intermission. Bone had a double-double for the game with 18 points and 15 boards. She added 4 assists and 2 blocks.
On offense, A&M put on a passing clinic, finishing with 19 assists. As predicted, A&M repeatedly used the back door cuts to take advantage of WildCat pressure and aggressively attacked downcourt. I was surprised how often the Ags were able to hit long outlets for fast breaks. Although the Ags had 18 turnovers, the same number as in Reed, the kinds of turnovers were very, very different. Today, the turnovers happened when a long outlet was just out of the reach of a streaking Maroon uniform. Kristi Bellock was on either the beginning or end of many of those fast breaks. Bellock had 15 for the game. Both Courtneys of the CW network scored in double figures and grabbed 11 rebounds between them. Adrienne Pratcher had an off shooting night, but handled the pressure D well and forced O'Neill into a late turnover. Peyton Little made some aggressive moves to the basket and added 4 points on layups.
For Kentucky, A'dia Mathies showed why she was SEC co-POY with 19 points, hitting shots with defenders in her face. Jen O'Neill added 17, including a beautiful drive for an and 1 at the expense of Courtney Williams. The Cats had 8 blocks. But the Ags clamped down on the interior in the second half. Stallworth only had 2 of her 10 in the second half. Samarie Walker was limited to 3 pts.
In the preview I said the word of the day was poise. The Ags played with poise, and are cutting down the nets in Duluth.
Way to go. Ags!