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WBB: Texas A&M starts with a W

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The Women's Bouncy Ball team came away with a win over an overmatched Central Arkansas team

This is a Sugar Bear, aka a Sugar Glider. I'll try to remember to take out of focus iPhone pics next time.
This is a Sugar Bear, aka a Sugar Glider. I'll try to remember to take out of focus iPhone pics next time.
Wikimedia Commons

Central Arkansas, Scottie Pippen's alma mater, plays in the Southland Conference. Their men's teams are the Bears, while the women are known as Sugar Bears. This is somewhat odd, since Sugar Bear is used for

  • the animated Post Sugar Crisp advertising character, clearly male and modeled on Bing Crosby.
  • a couple of male athletes
  • the father of Honey Boo Boo
  • the Sugar glider, a small cute marsupial that is controversial as a pet (they're illegally traded in some areas, but bred in captivity in the US
In any case, the Sugar Bears arrived at Reed with a 1-0 record, having dispatched the Div III Hendrix College Warriors 71-39 on Friday night. Last year was a historic one for UCA WBB, as the Sugar Bears made the NCAA tourney as a 14 seed, and led Louisville after the first quarter before getting outscored by 20 in the second. UCA is picked to finish second in the Southland again this season.

The Ags started a lineup with Khaalia Hillsman, Anriel Howard, Taylor Cooper, Danni Williams, and Curtyce Knox. UCA countered with Brianna Mullins, Angel Williams, Taylor Baudoin, Taylor Strickland, and all-Conference guard Maggie Profitt. UCA's tallest starters were their two Taylors at 5-11. The other starters were 5-7, 5-7, and 5-6. If you guessed that this would give the Ags a big advantage inside, you would be right.

Central Arkansas scored first but couldn't get more than a 2 point lead before the Ags took over in the first quarter. A pair of FTs by Curtyce tied it at 6 with 7:39 to go in the first and half a minute later Danni Williams gave the Ags the lead for good with a jumper. Danni would go on to a career high 25 points in 34 minutes. She played every minute of the first 3 quarters. Danni finished shooting 10/17 from the field and 3/6 from 3 point distance. She was also a perfect 2 for 2 from the FT line.  Khaalia Hillsman had a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds), while Anriel Howard added 11 points. Khaalia added 4 blocks, while Lashes got her first career 3 pointer late in the game on a shot that bounced high off the rim and fell through.

Curtyce Knox had a solid night as the PG with 11 assists and only one turnover.

Despite dominating on the scoreboard (the lead was 34-18 at half and 51-34 going into the final quarter), the Ags did struggle to contain Maggie Profitt. The Sugar Bears star had 22 points on 9/20 shooting, making some acrobatic shots and showing a quick release on a lot of jumpers. UCA ran Profitt off of a lot of screens all over the offensive half court, and the Ags struggled to defend her. Taylor Cooper started on Profitt but drew 2 fouls before the end of the first quarter. Coach Blair brought in freshman Aaliyah Jackson with only 37 seconds left in the first and Jackson had a foul defending Profitt by the 19 second mark. Aaliyah picked up a second foul less than 2 minutes into the second quarter. Blair brought in a second freshman, Rakell Spencer, but switched Danni onto Profitt. Jasmine Lumpkin took her turn defending to start the second half and had some trouble avoiding fouls as well.

By the end of the game, Coach Blair was able to play everone on the roster, and only Rakell was shut out; Rakell only took one shot in 15 minutes of play, but grabbed a couple of rebounds. Jackson was 1/4, but the 1 bucket was a lovely buzzer beating move to end the third quarter. Even walk-on Alyssa Michalke was fouled going to the bucket and made 1 of 2 FTs.

In the end, the Ags won a game they were supposed to win, and played better than they did vs Oklahoma City in their exhibition game last weekend.

Up Next

  • Texas Tech
  • Thursday Nov 17, 7PM CST
  • Streaming on SECN+ Radio: 1150AM/102.7FM
Although Tech is an old foe and Coach Blair's alma mater, the Lady Raiders are under different leadership from the last time they came to Reed. Coach Candi Whitaker played point for Marsha Sharp in 200-2002. She went into coaching after that and got the Tech job in 2013 when Kristy Curry took the Bama job.

Tech blew out Midwestern State in their exhibition and then beat North Dakota 90-80 in Sunday afternoon. Former Ag Jada Terry sat out last season but started in the post for the Lady Raiders. Jada fouled out after only 13 minutes of floor time. Tech had another 6-4 front line player foul out in that game as well. Tech's leading scorer in their first game was 5-8 soph Recee' Caldwell, who dropped 28 on the Fighting Hawks.