The Ags started with a 10-0 run, but it was 12-3 before we got to our seats in Reed, thanks a combination of leaving later than we should and the driver ahead of us who apparently didn't have the $5 needed to get into the parking lot.
Coach Blair started the season with a lineup of soph Khaalia Hillsman, newcomer Jasmine Lumpkin, Courtney Williams, Courtney Walker, and Jordan Jones. Between early fouls for Khaalia and CWill and a big early lead that was never threatened, the starters only played between 15 (Jones) and 28 (Walker) minutes for the whole game. This meant it was the kind of game spent getting excited about new faces coming off the bench, and worrying about how the team will look against stronger opponents.
- Posts: Hillsman led all scorers with 17 points on 7-9 shooting in just 18 minutes. She added 6 boards 2 blocks and a steal. After 2 fouls in the first quarter led my group to worry about depth in the post, she played without fouling again. Rachel Mitchell had a pretty good game off the bench, leading the team in rebounds with 9 rebounds, blocking 2 shots, and intimidating more. Rachel added 7 points.
- CW network: Walker had a quiet 16 points, scoring in double figures for the 75th time as an Ag. Walker was 5-8 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the FT line. She added 4 steals to her stat line as well. CWalk's scoring felt lime a combination of draining baseline jumpers from inside the arc and getting fouled while taking it to the basket. I thought that she sometimes might have been getting too far under the basket before going up in crowds on the latter. But she's just a great solid player. Courtney Williams jumper wasn't as deadly as it should be later in the year, but she still reached double figures for the 58th time as an Ag. She's on an 11 game streak going back to last season. Williams scores tended to be strong moves into the lane.
- Point guards: Jones only played 15 minutes, and banged up her shoulder at some point in the game. She still managed to dish out 7 assists against 3 turnovers. Two of those were on incompletions that would have been spectacular highlights if the posts they were intended for were able to grab them. The game marked the first appearance of new mother Curtyce Knox, who was not expected to be back so soon. Shlonte Allen had some great drives to the basket.
- Power forwards: This spot has the least returning experience. Jasmin Lumpkin had a solid game 4 points, 8 boards, 2 assists and a block in her first real game as an Ag. The Michigan State transfer plays D, sets picks, and seems to be in the right place at the right time on rebounding. 4 of freshman Anriel Howard's 5 boards in 13 minutes off the bench were offensive rebounds, leading to 3 putbacks. If I recall correctly, Anriel got at least 2 of her offensive rebounds by outhustling Texas State defenders on missed A&M free throws. That kind of energy is making Anriel a crowd favorite.
- Danni Williams didn't enter the game until the second quarter, and her 19 minutes seemed to be concentrated in the even numbered quarters. But even though 5 players were subbed in before she saw the floor, it was interesting that Coach Bond in the post-game talked about her as being one of the starters. Danni had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Her points included going 3-4 on three pointers.
- The Ags won the turnover battle 24-3. A&M got 13 steals.
- Texas State had two players tied at 7 for their scoring lead.
- During the week, CWalk and CWill were named to the preseason first team all-SEC, while JJ was picked for the second team. For reasons that I'm not sure I understand, the first team has 9 players while the second team has 8. When Darienne Serna entered the game with 1:52 left in the game, it meant that Coach Blair had used all eligible players on the roster (transfer Carly Truesdale has to sit until next year)
- Southern University Jaguars
- 4PM Sunday November 15
- Reed Arena
- #4 5-7 Fr G Skylar O'Bear
- #22 5-11 So F Brianna Green,
- #23 5-7 Jr G Kadesha Barry,
- #30 6-0 Jr G Cortnei Purnell,
- #32 6-2 Jr P Miaya Crowder