Jan. 12, 2013
|Auburn (13-3, 2-1 SEC) at #20/21 Texas A&M (12-5, 2-1 SEC)|
|Date:||Sunday, Jan. 13||Tip:||2 p.m. CT|
|Where:||Reed Arena, College Station, Texas||Live Stats||AggieAthletics.com|
|Live Video:||12thMan.tv||Live Audio||All-Access|
|Radio:||96.7 FM WMXA, Andy Burcham (PBP) and Stephanie Follett (color)|
|Game Notes:||Auburn Notes | Texas A&M Notes | SEC Notes|
|Up Next:||Auburn will return home for a matchup with Tennessee at 8 p.m. CT, Thursday at Auburn Arena.|
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (13-3, 2-1 SEC) will return to the road this weekend to face Southeastern Conference-newcomer No. 20/21 Texas A&M (12-5, 2-1 SEC) in College Station, Texas. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT, Sunday at Texas A&M's Reed Arena.
The Tigers are coming off a 76-52 win over Ole Miss on Thursday. The victory was Auburn's 13th of the season, tying the team's win total from a year ago. After falling at Missouri last weekend, Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was happy with how her team responded.
"It was a good game, but more importantly it was a good comeback game," said Williams-Flournoy. "After a loss, it's always good to recover with a win. That was just great for Blanche to get her 1,000th point, and Najat distributing the ball. Fourteen assists is a lot of assists, and that just goes to show how much she's really looking for her teammates."
The win was also a standout game for seniors Blanche Alverson and Najat Ouardad. Alverson scored the 1,000th point of her career, becoming just the 27th Tiger all-time to reach the plateau. Ouardad, who has dished out double-digit assists in three of the last four games, tallied 14 on the night, a mark that ties for fifth all-time at Auburn and is the second-most in the country this season.
With the start of SEC play, the Tigers have continued their defensive roll, forcing 20 or more turnovers in all three league games. Williams-Flournoy is glad the team has embraced that identity, but is still continually looking for improvement.
"That's pretty much stayed pretty consistent, but it is just something that we've just got to get better at," said Williams-Flournoy. "Defensively, this is who we are, and this is what we do so we definitely want to get better at it really does not matter who the competition is. Actually, we want to look even better against the better competition because that's when you really know that your defense is really working."
Auburn will get to test its defense against some top competition Sunday as the Tigers take on the No. 20/21 Aggies, Auburn's second ranked opponent of the season.
After a tough 0-3 start to the season, Texas A&M won 10 of its next 11 non-conference games, including eight-straight, before opening SEC play. The 0-3 start came at the hands of three top-25 opponents in Louisville, Penn State and UConn. The Aggies also fell to then-No. 5 Notre Dame just before the holiday break.
Texas A&M opened conference play with impressive wins over Alabama at home and Arkansas on the road before losing a heartbreaker to No. 6 Kentucky, 65-62, Thursday in Lexington.
The Aggies are under the direction of head coach Gary Blair, now in his 10th season in College Station. Blair has helped Texas A&M to trips to the previous seven-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the program's first NCAA National Championship in 2011.
Kelsey Bone, who was named the 2010 SEC Freshman of the Year while at South Carolina, is the Aggies' leader, averaging a double-double with 18.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
"Texas A&M is a very good team and we have to defend Kelsey Bone inside," said Williams-Flournoy. "They have a very good point guard, and the whole team, they look to get the ball inside to her. She's definitely their go-to player for sure."
Fans can listen to the game on 96.7 FM in Auburn or on AuburnTigers.com with Andy Burcham and Stephanie Follett calling the action. The game will be Webcast on 12thMan.tv.Live stats can be found at AggieSports.com.