The Women’s Bouncy Ball team hosted the depleted Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday night. The Rebs had already lost one of their leading scorers - Shandricka Sessom, who was leading scorer in last year’s game in Oxford, in January to an ACL injury, and a reserve to another knee before the season even started. Then current leading scorer Madinah Muhammad suffered a head injury vs Vandy on Feb 1, and was not cleared of concussion protocol against the next two ranked opponents: Georgia on Sunday and A&M on Thursday. Even with Muhammad, Ole Miss was 1-9 in SEC play coming into Reed Arena.
But the Ags had revenge on their minds for last year’s loss in the final game of the regular season. It was 7-2 A&M when Coach Matt Insell called an early timeout with just 2 minutes played in the first quarter. Ole Miss got a turnover and a layup after regrouping … and then they didn’t score again for the rest of the quarter. That’s right, the Ags held an SEC opponent to 4 points in a quarter to lead 21-4.
To get a sense of how bad things were for Ole Miss, with 2:54 left in the quarter, Danni hit a pair of FTs to make it 17-4. Blair called on the Ags to press off the made FT. Alissa Alston took the inbounds pass. Carter challenges and Alston tries to pass back to the inbounder. Carter tips the pass and the deflection goes through the basket. Nothing but net too. You can see it by clicking through to the linked video (can’t embed directly from ESPN here).
Was the second quarter an improvement for Ole Miss. On the one hand they more than doubled their scoring output from the first quarter. On the other hand, that only gave them 9 points in the second quarter while the Ags, giving the bench lots of playing time, increased the lead from +17 to +35.
Chennedy Carter led the Ags at halftime with 20 points. Anriel Howard had assured herself of another double digit rebounding game with 10 and was just 2 points shy of another double-double. The brightest spot for Ole Miss was probably backup post Promise Taylor blocking 5 shots.
Ole Miss came out of halftime looking like they were mad about being embarrassed while the Ag came out looking like a team that was already thinking about other things. Alissa Alston hit a pair of 3s and Taylor got an inside layup for an 8-0 run to start the second half. But then the Ags reasserted themselves and rebuilt the 35 point lead by the middle of the period. It fluctuated around that. Kayla Wells hit a baseline buzzer beater off a nice pass from Danni Williams to end the third quarter with the Aggies up by 33 at 68-35.
The bench got even more PT in the final period. A lot of the period was 1 or 2 starters with 3 or 4 subs. N’Dea Jones got in the scoring column to get the lead to 36 with 6:45 remaining. On the next possession, Danni Williams gave the Ags the largest lead of the night at 77-39. When Emer Nichols entered the game, a total of 11 players had seen the floor. When Lulu McKinney found Nichols in the paint after a steal and Emer put in a contested layup it meant 10 of the 11 had scored.
- Carter led the Ags in scoring with 26 points. She also had 7 assists and no turnovers. Khaalia had 16, Danni 13, and Anriel 11 to complete her 25th career double-double.
- The win was number 350 for Blair at A&M. His career W-L totals are 758-310.
- Alissa Alston led Ole Miss with17. Four Rebels were in double figures but they were the only ones who scored at all. Promise Taylor ended up with a double-double: 14 points and 10 blocked shots.
At the end of the game the team went into the stands to saw ‘em off with the Corps, who made it loud on both ends.
The win improved the A&M record to 19-6 overall (8-3 in the SEC). Ole Miss fell to 11-13 (1-10).
- LSU Tigers
- Sunday Feb 11, 2018 2PM CST
- Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge LA
- Streaming SECN+ Radio 1150 AM/102.7 FM
The LSU Tigers had been creating some buzz in the SEC recently. Their loss at Reed was followed by a 3 game win streak that included upset wins against Tennessee and Georgia. The win over Tennessee was so dominant that it rejuvenated the Fire Holly crowd and provided extra motivation for our rematch in Knoxville. LSU won on the road at Kentucky and went to Auburn on Thursday looking to keep up with the other teams tied for 3rd place behind Miss State and Georgia. Auburn was coming off two blowout losses to UK and TAMU.
So, of course Auburn won in convincing fashion. It took a 4th quarter run to get to the final margin of 70-62. Auburn averages only 62.9 ppg, worst in the SEC. Some of this reflects that LSU is much better at home (8-1) vs on the road (6-5). Sunday’s game is at their place, so the Ags will need to overcome that.
A bunch of fans are organizing a road trip to this game. I can’t go but if any of you are reading this and want to contribute a photo (or text) to the next recap, leave a comment and we’ll figure out how to make it happen.