The Women's Bouncy Ball looks to bounce back from a loss at Tennessee in their final regular season game of the 2012-13 regular season vs. LSU in Reed Arena at 1PM CST. The Ags look to improve on their rebounding D, having been outrebounded 40-24 by the Lady Vols and giving up an appalling 17 second-chance opportunities. The Lady Corndogs have been improving since we beat them by a lopsided 74-57 score in Baton Rouge. Blowing a lead with 13 seconds left vs Tennessee seems to have awakened the sleeping Tigers. They come in on a 5 game win streak that includes wins over Kentucky and Georgia, both top 10 at the time of their games. The Georgia win may seem less impressive after the Georgians lost their SEC Dawgfight vs Miss State and former TAMU Sec. of Def. Vic Schaeffer (Not to be confused with former US Sec of Def from TAMU Robert Gates).
It's Senior Day and the Ags will honor three players who will be playing (or watching) their last regular season game at Reed. It's a sign that A&M is a national program that none of the Seniors are from the state of Texas... but as Lyle Lovett might have sung, Texas A&M wanted them anyway.
- Kristi Bellock: The 6-1 forward from& St. Rose, LA, has to be a candidate for the biggest positive surprise in the country. Between an early injury and being behind Adaora Elonu in the depth chart, Bellock only averages 6.1 min/game her junior year, contributing 0.9 points/game and 1.3 board/game. As a Senior on a team that did not recruit any power forwards in the #2 recruiting class, Bellock had to step up and she has. She's started every game and averages 9.8 points and 7.3 boards over 26.7 minutes/game. She's often called on to defend the opponent's post and her stats don't fully reflect her role as a hustling glue player.
- Adrienne Pratcher: The 5-7 A-Game is from Memphis, TN, and is another player who has raised her game for her final campaign. Initially a backup to Sydney Colson, Pratcher split the PG duties last year with Sydney Carter and the departed Lexi Standish. She made plays but had spells where she made critical turnovers. Pratcher has blossomed this year, perhaps because she is finally secure in her role as the starter at point. She leads the SEC in assist/turnover ration; prior to a 4 assist, 2 turnover performance vs Tennessee dropped her from #1 in the nation to #4. To make up for having 2 turnovers, AP poured in 20 points vs the Vols and kept the Ags in the game in the second half.
- Cierra Windham: CeCe, 6-0 wing from Corona, CA, hasn't seen much playing time in her career, and has been hindered by health problems (she missed several games with mono one year). CeCe has been in street clothes the past couple of games at Reed, so it's not clear if she will play today. I certainly hope she can suit up for this one; if not, I'll be watching the bench to see if her earrings are as great as they were vs. Ole Miss. Despite her lack of PT, Windham has shown leadership in practice (per an interview on Coach Blair's radio show a couple of weeks ago), plays hard when she does enter the game, and serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
The Ags lost their chance at the SEC regular season crown with the two losses in Tennessee last week and fell to a tie for third place in the SEC standings with Georgia at 11-4 in conference. S. Carolina is lurking in the 5th spot at 10-5. A win today should clinch the 3 seed in the SEC tourney, since we have the head to head tiebreaker with Georgia. I don't think it's mathematically possible to fall to 5th, since we also have scoreboard on the Gamecocks. Being in the top 4 is important for the conference tourney because of the extra bye. The game today is more important for our NCAA seed, but most important for retuning the team for the postseason run.
LSU Center Theresa Plaisance is contending for the conference scoring crown. She's a tall post who has both an inside game and can knock down jumpers from behind the arc. Plaisance has to be the main focus of attention, but LSU brings in plenty of others who can play. Adrienne Webb is a senior guard who showed a lot of grit and leadership in the game at Baton Rouge. Jeane Kenny went off for 22 vs UK. Ballard and Lutley have had good games during their run. F Derryal Youngblood is a wide body off the bench who can create problems the paint and free up Plaisance to go outside. Coach Nikki Caldwell is highly respected in WBB. This is no gimme for the Ags.
Come out to Reed and support the Seniors and the team!