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WBB: Coach Gary Blair gets his 700th win in a 75-58 romp over Cal

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The Women's Bouncy Ball team helped Coach Gary Blair reach another milestone by blowing out a young Cal team in Las Vegas.

Coach Blair gets win number 700
Coach Blair gets win number 700
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was a busy day for Aggie spherical ball sports.  The Men's Bouncy Ball team was in a hotel ballroom the Bahamas for the finals of the Battle for Atlantis. The women were in an even more peculiar venue: a converted equestrian site. The soccer team was at FSU for an Elite 8 game. And although this is a WBB post, I just want to take a moment to say that having some kind of video stream should be a requirement to host the Elite 8. There wasn't one today.

OK, with that off my chest... on to WBB...

First Quarter

With only PPV streaming I decided to just follow the game on the radio. Live stats from both ESPN and 12thman.com did not start when the game started. And then, apparently the host site announced at game time that there would be no live streaming and money would be refunded. The Ags started Chelsea Jennings at the 4 while going with the rest of the regular lineup (Jones, Hillsman, CWalk, CWill).

Cal's size advantage got both Hillsman and Mitchell in foul trouble by halfway through the quarter. The teams played close and it was 10-10 at the first media timeout. The Ags committed 6 fouls to put Cal into the bonus quickly after the break. Coach Blair went to a smaller lineup.

Courtney Williams kept the Ags in the game on the offensive end. 18-17 Ags at the end of the first.

Second Quarter

The Ags pulled out to a 24-17 lead by a mid-quarter media timeout. Curtyce Knox got some time in the quarter, giving JJ some rest about halfway through the quarter. Curtyce got some good minutes, scoring couple of buckets. CWill continued to be on fire.

Midway through the quarter Bret Dark and Steve Miller pointed out that the pathetic South Point rodeo arena didn't have replay capability. And then the shot clock malfunctioned.

Halftime score 38-24 Ags. Williams had 22 points. Nobody else had more than 4. Kristine Anigwe led the way for Cal with 12 and added 9 rebounds. Cal outrebounded the Ags 22-13. But the Ags held Cal to 29.6% shooting. Cal turned it over 11 times.

Third Quarter

The Ags got the ball to start the quarter. Both teams struggled to score at first but the Ags warmed up and stretched the lead starting off on a 9-0 run. By halfway through the quarter, CWill was still matching Cal's total score at 28 each. CWill's 28th at 4:30 to go in the 3rd quarter made it a career high for her.

End of the 3rd 59-36 Ags.

Fourth Quarter

The Ags started the quarter with only Hillsman and Walker in from the starters. Knox, Taylor Cooper, and Anriel Howard opened the quarter on the floor. The Ags went small soon after with Lumpkin, Anriel Howard, Cooper, Walker, and Knox. JJ came back in for Curtyce and quickly contributed a 3 point play on a drive and foul.

Cal went to the bench with a mass substitution at 7:45. The Ags let the Bears cut a 29 point lead to 17 with under 4 minutes left. Cal sub KC Waters made the most of her garbage time minutes by scoring 9 on 4-4 shooting plus a FT. Not sure why Gary had as many starters in at the end as he did.

Final score Ags win 75-58.

Overall

  • Courtney Williams scored 32 for a career high.
  • Courtney Walker had an overshadowed 18.
  • It was good to hear Curtyce Knox played well enough to give JJ some rest.
  • 700 wins for Coach Blair. CWill teased Blair by saying that he's only 300 behind Coach K.
  • The Ags shot 50.8% from the floor for the game. Cal shot much better after the break, finishing at 42%. The Ags closed the rebounding gap, ending down 36-27 on the boards. Cal turned the ball over 22 times an dhad only 10 assists.
  • In the post-game Amy Wright talked about how the Ags decided to help off of Anigwe and dare one of the Cal guards to shoot.
The team is having a good time in Vegas, but I hope the NCAA permabans this host for the subpar on and off-site support for the games.

Up Next

Unfortunately, the game is still part of the pathetic South Point Shootout, so it's going to be radio only. Live stats may or may not work. They came up late on a hard to find link for our game, but tOSU-Liberty is working on ESPN.com.

Ohio State is going to be a tough test for the Ags.  Coach Wright decribed them as TCU on steroids in terms of the expectation of high pressure D. The Buckeyes entered the tourney 2-2, but the two losses were at #2 S. Carolina and against #1 UConn. So the Ags will be the third top 10 opponent for the Buckeyes in 6 games. Probable starters:
  • #3 5-8 So G Kelsey Mitchell. Mitchell is a preseason All-American and was last years national Freshman of the year. Going into Friday's game vs. Liberty, Mitchell was averaging 23.3 points per game.
  • #32 6-2 Jr F Shayla Cooper (9.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg)
  • #14 5-9 Sr G Ameryst Alston (19.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Alston, like Mitchell, is a preseason Wooden Award Watch list player.
  • #22 6-3 So F Alexa Hart (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg). Hart has blocked a shot in 24 straight games.
  • #20 5-7 So G Asia Doss (4.5 ppg) or #13 5-8 Sr G Cait Craft (7.7 ppg). Doss got the start vs Wagner, but Craft started the other 4 games.
Unlike Cal, the Buckeyes return all of their starters. Returning players scored all but 32 of their 2,836 points last year and snagged all but 36 of their 1,420 rebounds (from tOSU's pre-tourney press release). A&M and Ohio State have never played before in WBB. Ohio State is coached by Kevin McGuff, who made a name for himself at Xavier and then spent a couple of years at the Univ. of Washington before being poached by tOSU.

BTHO Ohio State!