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WBB: Ags go back to school

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Reed Arena was rocking in the morning as the Women's Bouncy Ball team had an 11AM start on Elementary School Day

That's what I call a student section!
That's what I call a student section!
jimhu's iPhone

First Half

Coming off a long flight back from Hawai'i with only a day's rest before taking on SMU, there was concern that the Ags would be flat. But the energy from more than 4,000 elementary and intermediate school students seemed to energize the team.

"I really appreciate the kids for coming out, it's one of my favorite games. Having them here uplifted us today with their energy, I don't think we could have pulled this one out today without them. They made us perform the way we did today." - Jordan Jones

It was a good thing, too, because SMU wanted to speed the Ags up. The Ags led by 4 after the first quarter and used a dominant second quarter to get out to a 13 point halftime lead. Khaalia Hillsman and Rachel Mitchell were able to get inside on SMU's zone D. Khaalia tied Courtney Walker for the halftime scoring lead with 9. It was a good performance against SMU's Collins and Froling. At the time it felt like they were more effective than the box score shows. Ashley Gibson's outside shooting accounted for half of SMU's points in the half.

It was especially nice that the lead was built and maintained with different mixes of starters and subs on the floor. Curtyce Knox and Shlonte Allen both gave Jones some rest in the first half. At one point Blair used one of his small lineups with Shlonte, CWill, CWalk, Danni, and Lumpkin. Earlier in the second we got the lineup designed to confuse sportscasters with two Courtneys and two Wiliamses on the floor together (accounting for only 3/5 players; if only Tori Scott and Tavarsha Scott-Williams hadn't been lost to graduation...).

The Ags shot 45.5% on 15-33 shooting, going 3-6 from 3. SMU edged A&M on the boards 22-21 and blocked 5 shots (to 2 for the Ags), but turned the ball over 11 times vs 5 for A&M.

Second Half

The Ags started the second half stretching the lead to 15 when Jasmine Lumpkin converted after an offensive board by CWill. The Ags seemed to be focused on getting the ball into the post with Khaalia getting Collins to commit her 4th foul at the 7:38 mark of the 3rd. The lead got up to 18 on a Hillsman FT after getting Alicia Froling to commit her 3rd foul. But then the Ags seemed to lose their edge.

"It was a battle of will because both teams were fatigued in the third quarter but they capitalized on our fatigue more than we did on theirs. They really just took advantage of the moment. We let our guard down and they took advantage of that, so that's on us. Credit to them because they sped the game up; they pushed the tempo and got transition baskets. Credit to them for coming out and executing against our fatigue." - Jordan Jones

SMU cut the lead to 13. A couple of buckets by Walker stretched it back to 17 at 3:35 in the 3rd. SMU got it down to 5 with 40 seconds to go in the third after the second of a pair of 3-pointers by McKenzie Adams. CWill ended the scoring in the 3rd quarter with a pair of FTs to make the score entering the final period 55-48

SMU got within 6 with just under 6 minutes to go on a fast break 3 pointer by Gibson. They had a chance to get closer but Jones stole the ball. After a substitution Rachel Mitchell hit a layup to make the lead 8 points at 61-53. That started a run where the Ags outscored the Mustangs 8-2. Neither team scored in the last 2 minutes as both were out of gas by then.

Final score: Ags 67 SMU 55

Overall

  • Neither team had a stellar day shooting. SMU finished at 20-63 (31.7%). The attempted 29 three pointers, making 7. The Ags weren't much better in terms of accuracy in going 25-67 (37.3%). The second half fatigue is reflected in the % dropping from 45.5% to 29.41% after the intermission. SMU outscored the Ags in second chance and fast break points. The Ags had a slight edge (22-20) in the paint and in points off turnovers.
  • Courtney Williams and Courtney Walker were back in double figures with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Hillsman added 12. SMU was led by Gibson with 17, followed by Froling with14 and Adams with 12.
  • The teams finished dead even in rebounds. The Ags had 16 assists to 12 turnovers. SMU's A/TO was underwater at 17/21.

Up Next

  • #18 DePaul Blue Demons
  • 2PM CST Saturday December 12, 2015. I think this is another double header with the Men, who are playing Kansas State at 4:30.
  • Reed Arena
  • SEC Network. KZNE 1150 AM/102.7 FM
This is the return leg of a home and home that started with last year's opener in Chicago. The Ags will have to step up their game on Saturday. DePaul is 6-2 as of this writing. It's a bit hard to evaluate them based on the record; their losses are to #4 Baylor in Waco and to #1 UConn (and they are likely to be underdogs on Wednesday vs Notre Dame). They've won handily in their wins. Their best opponents have probably been  6-2 St. Bonaventure, 5-2 Indiana, and 4-3 S. Illinois. The other three were against 1-7 Chicago State, 1-5 Colgate, and 1-6 Illinois State. But they will have played stronger opponents overall than the Ags, having seen Baylor, UConn, and the Irish before coming to Reed.  Probable starters:
  • #14 5-7 Jr G Jessica January (13.8 ppg). January had a huge game vs the Ags last year, scoring 24.
  • #13 5-5 Sr G Chanise Jenkins (12.3 ppg). Jenkins is likely to be looking for payback in this game after the Ags held her to 4 points last year on 2-15 shooting.
  • #30 6-2 Sr G/F Megan Podkowa (13.1 ppg). If Jenkins wants another shot at A&M, Podkowa probably wants it even more. The Ags held Podkowa scoreless from the field. Her only 2 points came on a couple of FTs.
  • #35 6-2 So F Mart'e Grays (8.4 ppg)
  • #22 5-9 Jr G Brooke Schulte (9.4 ppg)

Also, expect to see a lot of #1 5-8 So G Ashton Millender (9.8 ppg) off the bench. As you can see, the scoring is pretty balanced on for the Demons. Expect a lot of 3 pointers: DePaul is making 9 per game.


This will be the third time in as many years that the Ags have played the Demons. The first was in the S16, followed by last year at their place. The Ags won both, but the second game was a lot closer than the first.