The Ags returned from their Xmas break to face the Prairie View Panthers on Tuesday afternoon.
Coach Blair stayed with the starting lineup he used against UALR, with Jasmine Hillsman in the variable position along with Khaalia Hillsman, Courtney Williams, Courtney Walker, and Jordan Jones. Jasmine took advantage of her start by getting two steals in the opening quarter, converting the second into a fast break layup and a FT opportunity. Before that, CWalk and Khaalia had scored all 14 of the A&M points.
It was 18-4 when Jones stole the ball from Bryan's Lamaria Cole and raced down the court for a layup. A hard foul by Alexus Parker knocked JJ to the floor with 1:26 remaining in the quarter, where she stayed down while the crowd held its breath and trainer Radar Ricke came out to check on her. Radar worked on Jones at the end of the bench for a bit and then they disappeared into the locker room.
Neither team scored in the final minute and a half, but the game was basically over. The Ags held Prairie View to 1-12 shooting from the floor in the quarter.
Jones had a large bag of ice on her knee when she came out at the start of the second quarter.
The Ags continued to dominate on both ends of the floor, while Coach Blair used everyone who was dressed for the game (Darienne Serna has been in street clothes for the last few games; otherwise I would have expected to see her play).
At one point in the game, the lead was so large that the people behind me lost interest in and were discussing cheesecake recipes (to bake with or without a Bain Marie?).
The Ags continued to hustle to the end. The best example was a highlight play made with A&M leading 79-30 with just under 3 minutes left. Shlonte Allen threw a bullet entry pass from the left side of the 3 point arc to Khaalia under the right side of the basket. Prairie View's Monique Abbs made a nice defensive play to knock the ball loose, and it looked like the ball would go out of bounds in the left corner. But Anriel Howard ran the ball down and made an off-balance save while falling out of bounds to Allen. Allen made a tough leaping catch as a defender flew by. Shlonte then drove the baseline, drawing the defense, and made a nice pass to Khaalia for a wide open layup.
That bucket gave Khaalia a career-high 22 points. Anriel also had a career high with 14.
Final Score: Ags win 88-30
- The Ags outscored PVAMU in the paint by 46-10, and outrebounded them by 50-31.
- Hillsman led all scorers with her 22. Howard had 14. Everyone except Rachel Mitchell scored. Walker and WIlliams were also in double figures in scoring, and both had 5 assists.
- The Ags were 5-11 from 3 point range, with CWill going a perfect 2-2. Danni Williams was 2-4 from behind the arc, while Taylor Cooper was 1-4. Chelsea Jennings was doing something off the bench to celebrate when her teammates hit 3s; Jones joined her in the 4th quarter.
- Prairie View was led by Cole with 9 points on 3-19 shooting and 3 FTs in 4 attempts. Overall the Panthers were held to 22.6% shooting.
- Jones has a sprained knee and is day to day.
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Sunday Jan 3, 2016 4PM CST
- Reed Arena
- TV: SEC Network, Radio KZNE (I think)
SEC play starts in the New Year with Georgia. The Ags look to avenge last year's loss in Athens, which is the only time A&M has lost to the Dawgs. This season is the first for Georgia;s Coach Joni Taylor as Head Coach, but she has been with the team since 2011, serving as Associate Head Coach to Hall of Famer Andy Landers since 2012. Landers has been doing studio commentary for the SEC Network this year.
Coach Taylor has the Lady Dawgs off to a great start at 12-1, with the only loss coming to #23 Michigan State. Georgia hasn't played a particularly strong OOC schedule (#231 vs #17 for A&M in Sagarin), but they do have a win vs the BYU team that dominated the Ags in Hawaii, and a win vs Seton Hall (#23 in the Coaches poll). Like the Ags, Georgia has several key seniors in their starting lineup.
- #03 5-7 Sr G Tiaria Griffin leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 14.6 ppg. She did not play in Monday's blowout win vs Tennessee Tech, as she was resting an ankle injury. She's expected to be back for the Ags. While she was out, her replacement, 5-11 RS Jr Pachis Roberts, a 2013 transfer from Syracuse, scored 25.
- #20 5-10 Sr G/F Shacobia Barbee is coming back from a broken leg that cut her season short last year. Her recovery looks good in the stats: She's scoring 12.8 per game and leads Georgia in assists, rebounding, and steals.
- #13 6-3 Sr F Merritt Hempe (12.9 ppg) is second on the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
- #24 5-8 Sr G Marjorie Butler (4.5 ppg) is second in assists. I think she's the actual point guard.
- #33 6-2 So F Mackenzie Engram (9.5 ppg) had a breakout game vs the Ags last year, leading all scorers with 16 and grabbing 7 boards off the bench.
I haven't watched Georgia at all this season, so it will be interesting to see whether Coach Taylor has changed much. Last year, Georgia played zone the whole game.
This game will still be part of the Holiday Hoops promotion where tickets will be $4.