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WBB: Ags beat Jacksonville 73-53

Syracuse will provide a tougher test

aggiewbb vs jacksonville 2018
Chennedy Carter scores of an inbounds play
jimhu’s iphone

The Women’s Bouncy Ball team celebrated Veterans’ Day at Reed Arena by beating the Jacksonville Dolphins on Sunday 73-53.

A&M had the clear advantage in talent and size, but Jacksonville hung in until the Ags wore them out in the second half. The Ags started strong and took a 19-8 lead into the first break. But after Jada Walton scored first in the second quarter to make the lead 21-8 the Ags went into an offensive funk vs the Dolphins’ zone defense. Jacksonville would hold A&M scoreless until the 4:11 mark when N’dea Jones hit a FT. During the scoreless stretch A&M was playing different combinations off the bench and committed 3 turnovers and missed several forced shot. This allowed the visitors to cut the lead to 5 before A&M got going again and went into halftime up 27-18.

During the second half warmups we had a good view of Kayla Wells working on her corner 3 point shot. She also did this vs Rice, with Lauren Harrison feeding her passes and Kayla practicing catching and shooting without putting the ball on the floor. After going 0-1 in the first half, Wells would assert herself in the second.

Both teams increased the tempo in the third quarter. A&M started to exploit the size advantage, while Jacksonville found opportunities for Kiara Meeks driving in the lane. A&M increased the lead to 45-33 going into the final period.

Like the Ags, the Dolphins are breaking in a bunch of news starters. Coming into the game, I was interested to see how A&M would handle senior guard Jasmyn Brown, the only returning starter. For most of the game, the preseason all-conference pick was shadowed by Aaliyah Wilson, who held her scoreless until late in the second half. Brown would be in foul trouble by the fourth quarter.

The Ags would pull away in the final quarter. A pair of 3 pointers by Wells would make it a 20 point lead. N’dea Jones had been crashing the boards hard all game and would get her first career double-double late in the quarter. Cierra Johnson had a double-double of her own.

  • Chennedy Carter led the Ags with 22 points on 8-18 shooting
  • Kayla Wells had 12 points, all in the second half
  • As noted above, Jones and Johnson each had double doubles. Jones led the team with 14 rebounds.
  • Meeks led the Dolphins with 22 points.

The Ags will need to improve their zone offense. The man D has been fun to watch, but there are improvements needed in stopping penetration.

Up Next

  • Syracuse Orange
  • Wed Nov 14, 2018
  • Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY
  • Streaming: ACC Network Extra Radio KZNE 1150AM

The Ags play their first road game of the year at 18th ranked Syracuse. The Orange are coming off a very close road loss to #3 Oregon in Eugene. The Ducks got off to a fast start but were outscored in the last 3 quarters. Syracuse couldn’t hold a late 6 point lead at the end. A&M will need to improve the half-court zone offense a lot, as Syracuse is known for their 2-3 zone.

Although the game is in the State of NY, it’s a neutral site game in White Plains. That means it won’t be in the Carrier Dome. White Plains is about 250 miles from Syracuse. The location means Coach Blair will take the team into NYC for some tourism and shopping.

Probable starters

  • #04 5-6 Jr G Tiana Mangakahia leads the team in minutes, FGA and scoring (13 ppg). She’s an Aussie who played for their U19 team in 2013. She started in a JuCo and transferred to Syracuse for last season. She started all 31 games and averaged 17.5 ppg and 10.2 assists.
  • #22 6-4 So C Amaya Finkea-Guity averaged 24.6 min/g last year. She was a 5 star recruit out of HS in Boston.
  • #32 6-1 RS Sr F Miranda Drummond transferred from St. Bonaventure and sat out the 2016-17 season. She started every game for Cuse last year and is capable of having a big scoring night. She had 38 vs Florida State in January and averaged 14.9 ppg last season.
  • #11 5-10 Jr G Gabrielle Cooper played in all 31 games last season and averaged 9.8 ppg. She had 41 steals in 2017-18.
  • #45 6-2 So F Digna Strautmane played in every game last year, averaging 10.1 ppg. She also added 6.1 rebounds/g. She was a teammate of our Anna Dreimane on the 2016 Latvian U20 team.

This will be the first time the Ags play on the road and the first ranked opponent. We won’t have a size advantage. Of the first 3 players off the bench, 2 are 6-2. The third is 5-8. With each team only having 2 games of stats so far, it’s hard to know if there are trends. So far, Syracuse is only shooting .397 from the field and are 17/60 from 3 point distance.