Women Face Tough Test to Close Out Year

The Aggie women are off to an 11-0 start and a #3 ranking in the nation, but it doesn't get any easier for Blair's crew as they face three high calibur teams before taking on the best division in the Big 12.

The Aggie women's basketball team continues to extend their record setting year by each game, but the road does not get any easier for Coach Blair and his squad. To close out 2008 undefeated, they must first battle New Mexico tonight, who is ranked #25 in the nation. New Mexico (11-1, 0-0 MWC) makes their first appearance in the polls since January of 2007, but have made seven straight NCAA tournament appearances under 14th year Head Coach Don Flanagan.

New Mexico's only loss has come at the hands of Stanford, then ranked #8, in Palo Alto. They are led by junior guard Amy Beggin, who averages 15.8ppg and 4.1 apg. This New Mexico squad may indeed prove better than their ranking, as they have already knocked off two Big 12 foes, besting Texas Tech 63-54 and Nebraska 62-51. Coach Blair also has much respect for the team as well.

"New Mexico has beaten some good teams," Blair said. "They are well coached and are extremely disciplined in running their offense. They have some pretty good offensive weapons. We will have to take them out of their comfort zone. It will be a similar matchup like TCU. Amy Beggin can shoot the ball and her stats are almost identical to the TCU player from Iceland (Helen Sverrisdottir). She is a complete player. New Mexico was picked to finish fourth in their league and we were picked fifth in ours. We are 10-0 and they are 11-1 which shows how good both of our leagues are. The Mountain West is the best non-BCS conference in the country. They have six teams who have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament. New Mexico always ranks among the top 5 in the country in attendance, so they are used to playing in front of large crowds. I hope we can draw the same crowd as we did against TCU. This game will go down to the wire and we hope our fans can come out and support us. "

In addition to New Mexico, A&M will close out its non conference schedule with George Washington and Florida State, both of whom went to the NCAA tournament last year as well. If the Aggies can enter the Big 12 undefeated, they will be in a great position to battle through undoubtedly the toughest division is basketball. Currently, the Big 12 South has an astounding 4 teams ranked in the top 7 of the nation. Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor share a combined record of 41-3 and all have Big 12 and national title aspirations.

"We have three monster games coming up, before we go to Missouri to open up Big 12 Conference play," Blair said. "We can't lose sight of any one of them. You are setting yourself up for an NCAA run, if you can play these last three games and get better by playing them. Whether we win all three or not, we want to get better each ballgame."

Tonight's game will be hosted at Reed Arena at 7:00 pm.




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