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WBB:Ags fall to WVU 70-56

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Ugly loss at Reed to #11

Jimbo Fisher showed up at halftime
jimhu’s iPhone

The Women's Bouncy Ball Team hosted the #11 Mountaineers of West Virginia on Sunday night. It was a white out game and I wore my #wafflesforAgs Good Bull Hunting shirt. For those who did not coordinate their outfits, there were white Gig 'Em Aggies Tees draped over most of the seats. After getting beaten badly at home by #10 Oregon, the Ags had a chance to show that they were improving and the 4 game win streak was not just a reflection of weaker opponents. During the week, Danni Williams was named to the Naismith Award Watch List. A special newcomer to Aggieland showed up to watch them at Reed Arena.

Unfortunately, the Ags were not up to the challenge, falling for the second time at home to a higher ranked team. Although the end result was similar, this felt different from the Oregon game to me.

A&M started well and was shooting 50% early in the first quarter. The Ags and 'Neers were close despite Coach Blair pulling Chennedy Carter again about halfway through the opening quarter after it seemed like she was playing a bit out of control. Both teams ramped up the D and with Lulu McKinney running point, the lead went back and forth. Kristina King's jumper with 1:25 left gave the visitors a 1 point lead after the first quarter.

Carter returned to start the second period. The Ags went cold and WVU stretched the lead to 8 with 4:06 left in the first half. But with neither team shooting well, A&M cut it to 2 on a steal by Danni and a layup by Jasmine Lumpkin with 1:51 left. Jas was fouled but couldn't convert the free throw. Neither team could score after that although there was some frantic action and near misses. Halftime came with WVU up 30-28. The two teams combined to miss 31 shots in that quarter. After starting hot, the Ags shot 35.3% from the floor for the half… and that was with Lumpkin going 4 for 5 to lead A&M with 9 points. Teana Muldrow led WVU with 10 at the break. Overall the Mountaineers shot 38.9% for the half and had two starters with 2 fouls. A&M didn't exploit the foul advantage and was only 4/9 from the FT line, while WVU didn't get to the FT line at all before the break.

At halftime, I was optimistic. We hadn't played well, but we were close. Surely we could get Danni going after the break, right? And WVU isn't deep, so get them in foul trouble. For the first part of the third quarter it looked like the Ags could do it. After Muldrew hit the first shot of the second half, fouls and turnovers allowed Carter to tie the game at 33 with a pair of FTs just 2 minutes into the third quarter. Defense, turnovers and FTs let the Ags take a 36-33 lead just over a minute later (it would have been more if we didn't miss 3 from the charity stripe in that run). When Lumpkin got a steal on the next WVU possession it looked like things would be great.

Then the wheels fell off.

Anriel Howard turned it over on the fast break leading to a Muldrow fast break the other way. Carter turned it over; fast break layup. Failure to get back after a missed putback led to a fast break 3 pointer by Chiana Ray. A turnover by Lumpkin turned into a layup by King. After the momentum change WVU outscored A&M 15-2 to take a 10 point lead into the final quarter.

WVU stretched the lead to 19 before some late 3 pointers made the final a 14 point loss. 70-56.

If I ever thought a team was ready to play, it was tonight, but I was wrong. - Gary Blair

  • All of WVUs points came from their starters. 4 out of 5 were in double figures, led by Teana Muldrow with 24 on 11/19 shooting.
  • Chennedy Carter led the Ags in scoring with 20, but it was a case of having a lot of points in a bad night. She had 4 assists and 5 turnovers. A couple of her assists were beauties, but overall the offense stagnated as she didn't see open players and often drove into traffic. The 20 points came on 7-22 shooting. I chalk this up to the continuing education of a freshman PG
  • Danni Williams doesn't have that excuse. She got named to the Naismith watch list and then she had what had to be the worst game of her A&M career. 2 points were FTs. She was 0-8 shooting from the field, had 2 assists and 5 turnovers. She was clearly a focus of the WVU man D. When she went out they went zone.
  • Anriel Howard had her usual double digit rebounds with 12, but held to 7 points.
  • Khaalia Hillsman was a relative bright spot for me. Double double (13 points 10 boards) on 5-10 shooting. 3 blocked shots and only 1 turnover. But it's relative to bad play overall. The coaches seem to be yelling at her a lot to go to the right spots.
  • Jasmine Lumpkin was important in the first half, but was 0-5 in the second.

You know, I don't think both teams played well. It was a kind of sloppy game, but I told our team in there that I would rather win sloppy than lose pretty. - WVU Coach Mike Carey

The Ags have now lost twice at home to higher ranked teams. Although both times the 3rd quarter was decisive, the way we lost was very different. Oregon executed their offense and the Ags couldn't adjust. WVU played badly enough to lose, but the Ags played worse. Credit has to go to the Mountaineers defense, but the A&M offense should not be that out of sync.

Up Next

  • TCU Horned Frogs
  • Wed Dec 6, 2017 11AM CST - Elementary School Day
  • Reed Arena
  • TV: SECN Streaming: SECN+ Radio 1150AM/102.7FM

This is the annual "Fill Reed Arena with screaming children" game. Many season ticket holders hate it because it's hard to attend during a work day, but the kids and the team love it.

The TCU-A&M game has also been designated to be part of the Maggie Dixon Classic for this season, in honor of the Army WBB coach who died at age 28 in 2006 of a heart problem. The Maggie Dixon Classic was played in Madison Square Garden or several years. DePaul hosted a 4-team tourney as the Maggie Dixon Classic in November; Dixon worked with DePaul WBB Coach Doug Bruno before taking the Army job. I think this game is added as a Maggie Dixon event based on her brother Jaime Dixon being the TCU MBB coach.

TCU Coach Reagan Pebley is in her 4th year in Fort Worth. Last year they finished below .500 at 12-18 (4-14 in conference; lost in the first round of the B12 tourney to Texas Tech). The previous year they were 18-15 with an appearance in the WNIT. The Frogs are replacing two of their top players from last season, when the Ags handled them 75-67. TCU is 6-1 with a win in the B12-SEC challenger over Alabama, and a mysterious loss at home to Yale.

Likely starters:

  • 22 6-3 Jr C Jordan Moore had 16 points in 22 minutes off the bench in last year's game. That's close to her average this year of 15.7 ppg. She also averages 6.1 rebounds and a bit over 3 blocked shots per game.
  • 04 5-8 So G Amber Ramirez started vs the Ags last year and scored 12 and blocked 4 shots. She's averaging 13 ppg this year and leads the Frogs in assists.
  • 01 5-10 Sr G Toree Thompson averages 12 ppg. She's 50% from 3 pt range (13/26). She came off the bench in last year's game but only registered an assist and a turnover.
  • 24 6-0 Jr G Dakota Vann is a JuCo transfer who averages 5.4 ppg.
  • 15 6-1 So G Jayde Woods was a midseason transfer from Oregon last year. She sat out the spring but is eligible this season, having only played 10 games for the Ducks. She came out of HS in California as a top 100 prospect. She's averaging 5.3 ppg so far.

Expect to see significant minutes from players off the bench, including Amy Okonwo and Kianna Ray, who both started vs the Ags last season.

Reload and BTHO TCU, Ags!