The Women’s Bouncy Ball Team hosted the Vanderbilt Commodores at Reed Arena on Thursday night, and there was another good turnout from the Corps.
The new uniforms were called part of Adidas “Harlem Renaissance” Collection and looked very sharp. They had a retro-baseball quality with pinstripes and maroon trim. In front, TEXAS and AGGIES were in gold letters above and below the numbers in maroon. On the back a larger maroon number was above the player’s name in gold. The 41 shield honoring the late President Bush was still there under the Adidas logo on the left front and the other side had an SEC logo and a CBC logo for “Celebrate Black Culture”. The CBC logo was also on the T-shirts the players wore during warmups.
The Ags started very strong from the start with N’dea Jones getting a layup on the first possession. The A&M D had an aggressive plan of double teaming post Mariella Fasoula when Vandy tried to get the ball inside to her, and A&M forced 3 Commodore turnovers and were up 11-0 before the visitors go on the board on a layup by LeaLea Carter with 4:04 left in the first. The Ags would let Vandy close the gap as the offense went into one of those stretches when the guards, especially Carter, were taking too many shots and missing instead of working the ball inside where Ciera Johnson was having a great game. This meant that in the final 4 minutes, Vandy outscored A&M 7-2 to end the first period at 13-9.
The second quarter saw Fasula pick up her second foul with 6:32 left. A&M would stretch the lead, Vandy would fight back. With 4:01 left in the first half, Carter got her second foul on a charge and went to the bench. Jada Walton came in (not for the first time). On the first Vandy possession after the substitution, Walton stole the ball for a solo layup. Kayla Wells made aggressive moves to draw fouls and scored 4 straight from the FT line to make it 29-18. The quarter ended after a Cheah Real Whitsett steal became another Walton layup with 20 seconds left.
Halftime score: Ags 33, Commodores 18
At the break, Johnson was leading all scorers with 10 and had 9 rebounds. Wells had 7, all from the FT line; she was 0-6 from the floor. Carter had 6 points on 1-8 shooting from the field and 4-6 in FTs.
In the third quarter A&M would go up by as much as 19. Vandy would cut it to 11 as their Carter started scoring to add to the production from Brinae Alexander. By the end of the period it was 54-38.
The 4th quarter saw more of the bench get in. Lauren Harrison came in for Chennedy Carter with 2:13 remaining. After a Jasmine Williams steal, Harrison would get an assist to Caylinne Martin on the last Aggie basket of the game.
Final score: Ags 69, Commodores 53
- Vandy’s Brenae Alexander would lead all scorers with 24 points. She was 9-19 overall and 4-8 on 3 pointers. She was 2-14 from the FT line. The Ags held Fasoula to just 2 points, which came late in the third quarter.
- Carter led the Ags with 21 points. Johnson finished with a 15pt-12rebound double double. Johnson is getting better and better at positioning without the ball in the paint. There were several times when you could see a play develop by how she pinned the defender on her hip and called for an entry pass.
- Sham Washington had 6 assists and no turnovers.
- Jada Walton got the most minutes and points but she wasn’t the only one off the bench to play well. Her two baskets off turnovers did get the crowd excited.
- The win was Blair’s 125th in the SEC, which makes him the active leader and 6th overall.
- In the post-game radio interviews it seemed that everyone, from players to Coach Kelly Bond-White was happy with the win but felt it wasn’t good enough to beat better teams.
The Ags are now 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the SEC. This is good for sole possession of 3rd place in the conference after Arkansas fell to Georgia.
The Ags get to spend Super Bowl Sunday on the road
- Ole Miss Rebel Land Shark Bears of whatever they are now
- Sunday Feb 3, 2019 2PM CST
- The Pavilion at Ole Miss
- SEC Network 1150AM/102.7FM
Ole Miss is in their first year with Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, aka Coach Yo. McCuin came from Jacksonville where she was HC for 5 seasons after working as an assistant at increasingly strong programs. Her last Assistant Coach job was at Clemson, where she also coordinated recruiting. McCuin is the daughter of a famous Bahamanian basketball coach, Moon McPhee. Coach Yo is also the coach of the Bahamanian WBB National Team.
The coaching change led to a lot of roster turnover. Last year the Rebs had only one Senior, Shandricka Sessom, who got a medical redshirt for this year after a December injury. 4 of the top 5 scorers left, along with most of Matt Insell’s recruiting class.
- #05 5-9 RS Sr Tr Crystal Allen lead the team in scoring at 18.1 ppg. About half of her shot attempts are 3s (181/339). Allen came from UT-Arlington. She’s a native of Ft. Worth but played a season at Seattle before transferring to be closer to home.
- #23 Shandricka Sessom scores 10.2 ppg and is the leading rebounder. Sessom was preseason Second-team All SEC last year before the injury.
- #02 5-8 RS Fr G Mimi Reid is one of the other few Insell holdovers. She redshirted last year after a preseason Achilles injury. She adds 5.4 ppg and leads in assists, which I assume means she’s the PG.
- #33 6-1 RS Sr F La’Karis Salter scores 8 ppg. She followed Coach Yo from Jacksonville as a grad transfer. The RS was from Jacksonville; Salter had been at Miss State for 2 seasons before transferring.
- #21 5-8 Fr G Taylor Smith scores 2.8 ppg