On Sunday, the Aggie women's team notched their 10th win of the season, and their second against top 25 teams in a 64-50 blowout of #24 TCU. With this latest dominating victory, Texas A&M women's basketball may have finally showed the nation that they are here to stay on the national stage.
TCU is no stranger to tough opponents. The Horned Frogs opened up their season hosting #3 ranked Maryland, and promptly pulled off the upset 80-68. Later, in December, the Frogs traveled again to a team ranked #3 in the California Golden Bears, and again came away victorious, 82-73. However, Sunday at Reed Arena they could find no answer for the depth, speed, and athleticism that Gary Blair's ladies exhibit on a daily basis.
Blair's Aggies utilize a smothering defense and deep bench to wear their opponents down while staying fresh with substitutions. TCU's head coach, Jeff Mittie, commented on this after giving up 23 turnovers against A&M. "It's the best pressure we've seen," he said. "They are the deepest team we've played."
Because of this depth, the Lady Aggies do not have to rely solely on one or two players for production, saving players from never being able to have subpar performances. For example, A&M cruised on Sunday despite guard Sydney Colson being 1-11 from the field and 0-6 from the 3-point line. This was countered by Takia Starks who had another huge day for Blair with 21 points and only 1 turnover.
The Aggies finish the non conference games with New Mexico and George Washington and home before traveling to Florida State, and will likely be 13-0 in what is already a season-best start for the Women's program. They face the daunting task of the most difficult division in all of Women's Basketball, with 3 other teams in the top 10 in #4 Texas, #5 Oklahoma, and #7 Baylor, but look every day more like the team to beat for the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
Coach Blair has also taken significant steps to ensure that the Aggies' recent success will continue its upward momentum. Coach Blair has signed 4 players ranked in the top 100 per ESPN (forward Kristi Bellock, center Diamond Ashmore, and guards Adrienne Pratcher and Cierra Windham) to replace the three contributing Seniors, Takia Starks, La Toya Micheaux, and Danielle Gant. This class virtually ensures Blair a top 10 class around the nation, and yet he still stands to add the icing on the cake with the #2 player in the nation Kelsey Bone, who will be deciding between A&M and Texas.
Kelsey was at Reed on Sunday to watch the Aggies, and would instantly garner talks for A&M of a national championship in 2009. Luckily for the Aggies, whichever way she decides, there is still plenty of talk about 2008.
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