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WBB: Ags rout overmatched Ole Miss

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Defense dominates

Cierra Johnson takes a contested entry pass during the Ags win vs Ole Miss
jimhu’s iphone

The Ole Miss Rebels came into Reed Arena as heavy underdogs to the Aggie Women, who gained a spot in the AP rankings to #10 after the Florida State Seminoles dropped to #11 after being upset in OT by Syracuse. So we’re ahead of the Noles by one spot despite losing to them head to head on a neutral court. Still, unlikely upsets occur at some frequency and if told ahead of the tip that Chennedy Carter would be scoreless until late in the second quarter and that she would finish with 13 points, I might have been worried.

But in fact the Ags took control early. After going inside Ole Miss did get within 1 on a 3 pointer by DePaul transfer Deja Cage to make it 6-5 in the first quarter. But then Shambria Washington took advantage of being left wide open to score 8 of the points in an 11-0 run over the next 3 minutes. Since 11 was more than Ole Miss could score in any quarter …

A&M led by 37-19 at halftime. By then only a couple of players on the bench had not yet gotten floor time. The Ags kept up the pace while playing subs in the second half. A 3 pointer by Kayla Wells made it 57-26 after 3. In the 4th quarter, Blair kept one or two starters or key subs in to allow them to keep up personal records. Carter played long enough to get to double figures in points but then was pulled with 13, ending her 20+ point streak. N’dea Jones came back in to ensure a double double. Aaliyah Wilson, who finished 5-6 from the field, came in long enough to give the Ags 5 players in double figures. Blair left Wells out long enough to get to 9 but then pulled her.

  • Ciera Johnson led the Ags with 17 points. Five Ags overall finished in double figures: Carter with 13, Washington with 12, Jones with 10, and Wilson off the bench with 10.
  • The blowout was because of defense and rebounding. A&M held Ole Miss to single digits in each of the last 3 quarters, and outrebounded the visitors 44-23. Ole Miss committed 19 turnovers for the game and there were many instances of either shot clock violations or desperate heaves to beat the shot clock.
  • Coach Blair commented on something that the group around me discussed as well: Carter had an off night shooting, but she had 8 assists. It was striking how there were at least a couple of times where she passed the ball in transition to a teammate on a play where we’ve seen her score herself many times.

Up Next

  • LSU Tigers
  • Thu Jan 9, 2020 8PM CST
  • Reed Arena
  • TV: SEC Network Streaming SECN+ Radio 1150AM/93.7FM

LSU comes into Reed with an overall 11-3 record including wins over a Michigan State team that was ranked at the time, Florida Gulf Coast, and Rutgers which are receiving votes. But they lost to a weak Oklahoma team and their 1-1 SEC record consists of a win over Bama and a loss on Sunday in a wild game at Mizzou. LSU allowed a rebuilding Mizzou team to take a 23-13 lead after 1 quarter and dug further to the point where they trailed 31-17 at one point in the second quarter. It was a 21 point deficit at halftime (42-21). Then LSU mounted a comeback and Mizzou did their best to give the win away. I caught the end of this game after seeing the score. LSU was outrebounded in the first half and only forced 7 turnovers while allowing Mizzou to shoot 53.6% from the field. In the second half, Mizzou’s FG% was still a respectable 47.4% but they turned it over 15 times and were outrebounded 21-14. Still, that couldn’t complete the comeback despite Mizzou doing things like committing bad turnovers out of a timeout. LSU missed 5 FTs in the final 1:04 and lost 65-69.

was good enough to be up 10 with less than 4 minutes left. Then LSU’s Khayla Pointer went on an 8-0 run helped by turnovers to cut the lead to 60-62 with 1:46 remaining. But LSU

How the lessons of that loss will affect the Bayou Bengals coming into Reed is hard to say. LSU and A&M games tend to be hard-fought even without extra motivation, and the matchups are very different from what they saw in Missouri. Likely starters:

  • 03 5-7 Jr G Khayla Pointer leads the team in scoring at 15.9 ppg and leads in assists and steals.
  • 05 6-0 Sr F Ayana Mitchell is probably viewed as the most talented player on the roster. She was all-SEC last season and can be a strong scorer in the paint. She’s averaging 14.4 ppg and 8.6 rpg.
  • 24 6-5 Jr C Faustine Aifuwa is also averaging double figures in scoring at 10.4 ppg. She’s a shot blocker with 18 rejections in 14 games. But she only pulls down 6.8 rpg.
  • 12 5-11 Sr G/F Mercedes Brooks. Pointer, Mitchell, and Aifuwa have started every game. Brooks and Cherry started against Mizzou but have only 4 starts this season and are averaging less than 15 min/game.
  • 01 5-8 Jr G Jailyn Cherry. Played 12 minutes vs Mizzou after starting.

Freshman G Tiara Young had 18 points vs Mizzou and has started a few games. We should see her whether it’s in the starting lineup or off the bench.