The Women’s Bouncy Ball team went down to Houston to play the 4-5 Cougars. After fighting through the post Bush 41 ceremony traffic, I made it home to catch the game on ESPN2.
Chennedy Carter was back to make up the regular starting five along with Aaliyah Wilson, Kayla Wells, N’dea Jones, and Cierra Johnson. The Ags wore gray road uniforms with a new 41 patch that A&M teams will add to their uniforms to honor the late POTUS.
Chennedy started off cold, allowing the Cougars to limit the damage of starting the game with 3 straight turnovers before the Ags scored. Cold shooting meant that although Houston started the game scoreless after missing something like their first 10 possessions, it was only 8-3 when they got on the scoreboard with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
The A&M lead fluctuated through the first half with the Ags stretching it to 7-8 and Houston clawing back. UH has been a come from behind team so far this season and pretty much everyone on the team has the green light to shoot 3s. 11 turnovers in the first half didn’t help. So when Octavia Barnes drained trey with 8 seconds left in the 2nd quarter it meant that the Ags would go into the break up just by 3, 26-23.
The Ags were still up 3 with 7:55 to go in the 3rd at 30-27. Then A&M went on a 15-0 run. Houston would get the lead to single digits a couple of times in the 4th, but A&M would pull away each time. The only minor concerns were some foul trouble, but only Kayla Wells would finish with as many as 4. By the end, Coach Blair cleared the bench.
- Carter scored a season high 24 points and had 6 assists and 4 turnovers.
- Wilson added 18 points. Johnson scored 11.
- Jones had another double-double (10 pts + 13 rebounds)
- Both teams had 18 turnovers. A&M won the rebounding battle 41-29. Oddly, this did not translate into an advantage in second-chance points.
- The Cougars were led by Jasmine Harris (17 pts) and Barnes (13 pts)
The starters played the majority of the minutes, with only Wells not getting more than 30. The bench only took one shot attempt, which missed. Not surprisingly, the Ags are a different team with Carter. Houston leads the nation in turnovers forced and while they got 18, trapping Carter in the press was hard for the Cougs.
After getting upset by Lamar, A&M predictably fell out of the top 25 in the polls. Getting back in won’t happen anytime soon unless the Ags get an upset win in Hawaii vs Oregon State after finals.
- Central Arkansas Sugar Bears
- Saturday Dec 8, 2018 2PM
- Reed Arena
- Streaming SECN+ Radio: 1150 AM/102.7 FM
Last year, Coach Sandra Rushing brought her team to Reed and only lost 72-61 despite being down two starters who had been suspended for violations of team rules. This season, Central Arkansas is 4-3 with wins over schools you probably haven’t heard of. They’re coming off a 65-52 loss to Oklahoma in Norman. This could be another exercise in working on taking care of the ball as the Sooners turned it over 24 times in that game. Probable starters:
- #2 5-6 Sr G Kamry Orr didn’t play in last year’s game (see above). She’s leading the Sugar Bears in scoring with a 13.1 ppg average, and had 17 vs the Sooners. Orr was at Sam Houston State and then Northeastern Oklahoma A&M before getting to Central Arkansas.
- #11 6-0 So F Mekaylan Hicks came off the bench last year at Reed and played 28 minutes, getting 9 points and 6 boards. She had 12 pts vs OU. Last year she started 8 games and averaged 4.2 ppg.
- #5 5-7 Jr G Maddie Goodner started but only played 10 minutes last year and was held scoreless. This season she’s started 2 out of 5 games. She’s averaging 2.6 ppg. She’s averaging 0.8 steals/game.
- #4 5-7 Jr G Taylor Sells played all 40 minutes vs the Ags in 2017 and had 15 pots and 6 rebounds. She’s averaging 5.9 ppg and leads the team in assists.
- #24 5-8 Sr G Alanie Fisher averages 6.3 ppg. She was a Juco transfer before playing in 12 games last year.
As a team Central Arkansas is giving up 48.7 ppg while averaging 61.9. Their scoring and rebounding margins are undoubtedly inflated by who they’ve played. They don’t shoot a very high percentage overall (.369) and are not a big 3-point shooting team (1.6 made per game, .133 from 3). Their game appears to be based on defense and scoring off turnovers: they’re averaging 22.9 ppg off turnover. They got 16 off turnovers vs OU.