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WBB: Ags a 4 seed in the Women’s NCAAs

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Wright State faces the Ags on Friday Afternoon

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Texas A&M vs Louisiana State
Carter’s finger is healing nicely and she’s ready to play
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Women’s Bouncy Ball team will host the first 2 rounds of the 2019 NCAA tournament in Reed Arena, starting on Friday afternoon. The first game will be at 1 PM with 12 seed Rice taking on 5 seed Marquette. At approximately 3PM, the 4 seed Ags will face 13 seed Wright State.

The team hosted their annual Selection Show party on Monday evening but it was a strange day in NCAA WBB as ESPN screwed up and revealed the bracket several hours ahead of schedule on an ESPNU show that was discussing the men’s tournament. Some teams cancelled their selection show parties, but A&M went ahead with ours. After all, the catered wings, brisket empanadas and pulled pork sliders had already been ordered. ESPN went ahead with their 6PM broadcast, but didn’t pretend there was any suspense. In fact, as we walked into the Cox-McFerrin center, the TVs in the lobby were showing commentators discussing matchups before the show began. The bracket had already been filled in in the room where the party was happening.

Nevertheless, we were urged to fake surprise and yell loudly when the Ags showed up in the brackets. As it turned out, College Station was in the last regional to be covered and the crowd shots weren’t even used. But it was still fun to go to the celebration and the best moment was perhaps at the end when Coach Blair brought Chennedy Carter up to assure the crowd that she would be ready to play. There was a big cheer when Carter held up her shooting hand and flexed the finger that had been broken in the regular season finale.

As the 4 seed in the Chicago regional A&M has to take care of Wright State on Friday and the winner of Marquette-Rice on Sunday to reach the S16. If that happens, the likely opponent would be #1 seed and defending National Champs Notre Dame. This would be a rematch of last year’s S16 game.

The Wright State Raiders

Wright State is located in Dayton, OH and won the regular season and tournament in the Horizon league with a 27-6 record (16-2 in conference). It’s the second time the Raiders have made the NCAA tournament. The HC, Katrina Merriweather is in her third year and was an assistant on the team that made the Dance the previous time in 2014. Merriweather took over after the previous HC, Mike Bradbury was hired by New Mexico. Merriweather’s Associate Head Coach, Tennile Adams played for Gary Blair’s 1998 Arkansas team that made the Final Four. The following year, Adams and Aggie assistant coach Amy Wright played together.

In winning the Horizon Tourney 55-52 over Green Bay, the Raiders avenged a regular season loss to a team that had won the Horizon bid in the years after Wright took it in 2014. Wright only shot 31.6% in the game but outrebounded the Phoenix 46-28 (Green Bay shot 37%).

Wright State is averaging 70.6 ppg and giving up 61.5 ppg. Their season FGA is 38.7% They make 6.1 3 pointers per game.

Likely starters

  • #33 6-4 So C Tyler Frierson is averaging just shy of a double double at 9 ppg and 10 rpg
  • #24 5-7 Jr G Michal Miller is second in scoring at 11.6 ppg
  • #03 5-8 Sr G Emily Vogelpohl averages 9.2 ppg
  • #12 5-6 Sr G Mackenzie Taylor leads the team in scoring at 11.8 ppg
  • #23 5-10 Sr G Symone Simmons is tied for the lead in rebounding at 10/game

The game will be on ESPN2 with the dreaded whip-around coverage. Which means if you want to be sure to see the whole game, you should come to Reed and watch it live (or stream it).