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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M women host No. 3 Texas

 
 

After playing three of its last four games against teams ranked in the top 25, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team’s competition will go from hard to harder this week as the Aggies face No. 3 Texas at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Reed Arena, and co-No. 3 Texas Tech on Wednesday in Lubbock.
A&M coach Gary Blair said he looks forward to the opportunity to face such highly ranked teams.
“This is why I am here (at A&M),” Blair said. “I want to play teams in the top 25.”
Blair said although his team plays several top-25 teams, Texas (16-2, 4-1 Big 12) has the best chance at winning the National Championship.
“The nine-player rotation (Texas) has is just tremendous,” Blair said.
“They just don’t miss a beat.”
Texas is led by center Stacy Stephens who averages almost 55 percent from the floor and has season high of 26 points. Blair said Stephens’ attitude makes her such a strong player.
“(Stephens) doesn’t take any crap,” Blair said.
Blair said that along with Stephens, Texas’ Tiffany Jackson motivates the team, but only because the freshmen can take the place of any player who may be slacking.
Overall, the Longhorns’ team scoring percentage is 47.4 percent with an average of 77.4 points per game.
Blair said the Aggies (7-9, 0-5) have a chance against Texas because of the rivalry that exists between the two schools.
“It is not always decided by who has the best team,” Blair said. “It is whoever plays the best that particular day. Who can get their team to rise above, whatever the talent level.”
Blair said Texas is more talented but says that he plans on keeping the game across the entire court and playing like a mosquito, not getting caught and keeping the pressure on.
Aggie top scorer Toccara Williams is expected to have another outstanding game and is one of three players who was on the team that beat Texas four years ago.
Blair, whose encouragement helped motivate record attendance for Aggie women’s basketball during Christmas break, looks forward to student support at the game.
“A rivalry game, what a difference the home court makes … it is a difference; it is huge,” Blair said. “And that is why you see the student bodies milling down onto the floor. It is not to get onto TV, it is to feel a part, that they had something to do with the outcome of the game.”
Texas head coach Jody Conradt said that she knows how hard it is to play on the road in the Big 12, especially at A&M.
“Everyone knows that it is hard to go to A&M and play,” Conradt said. “A&M has a new coach in Gary Blair, and he’s really inspired them. They are playing with a lot of energy and fire, and you know that A&M would rather beat Texas than any other team in the league. We’ve got to be ready to play Sunday. or else.”
To further encourage attendance at Sunday’s game, 500 bobble heads of coach Blair will be given out. The first 1,500 fans to arrive will receive a ticket making them eligible for a contest to be held at halftime.
Blair, who will guarantee an exciting game, gives an incentive to come to the game.
“(If we win) I will personally lead the parade to the Chicken,” he said.

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