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The Battalion

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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M to meet Auburn Thursday in SEC Tournament opener

Jena Floyd — THE BATTALION
Junior forward Courtney Williams leads a fast break in a Feb. 26 loss to Missouri.
Jena Floyd — THE BATTALION Junior forward Courtney Williams leads a fast break in a Feb. 26 loss to Missouri.

After a shaky season’s end and with NCAA Tournament seeding in play, big challenges await A&M in Arkansas.
The Texas A&M women’s basketball team will travel to Little Rock, Ark., Thursday to begin play in the SEC Tournament.
The Aggies will face the Auburn Tigers Thursday for the second time this season. The first time around, A&M handily defeated Auburn at home, putting up 78 points in a 33-point victory.
However, since that game early in February many things have changed. Most noteworthy would be how both teams finished the season — A&M finished on a two game losing streak while the Tigers rattled off three straight wins to head into postseason play, then beat Florida Wednesday to set up the A&M matchup.
Brandy Montgomery is Auburn’s leading scorer (11.9 PPG) and proved to be most effective the last time the two teams met, scoring a team-high 10 points against the Aggies.
Although A&M’s main focus has been on its upcoming game, the season-ending knee injury for Jordan Jones has been the subject of conversation this week. Head coach Gary Blair expressed his respect for his junior point guard.
“She’s not worried about herself right now as much as she is worried about our basketball team,” Blair said. “That’s what a leader does. A leader sits there and says, ‘Okay, I’m on crutches but I’ve still got a voice and my voice carries a lot of weight in the locker room [and] out of the locker room.’”
The Aggies enter the SEC tournament projected as a an NCAA 6-seed. Blair said A&M has a nothing-to-lose mentality.
“We know we’re in the NCAA Tournament, what seed we are going to have is going to depend on can we start playing well again with the people that we have,” Blair said. “We’ve got other players that need to step up and play a little bit harder for longer periods of time.”
The Aggies will rely heavily on the play of Courtney Williams and Courtney Walker, both of whom were honored as All-SEC players.
Because the Aggies’ season won’t end due to elimination from the SEC tournament, Blair said his mentality has not changed in the slightest bit.
“We’re going to Little Rock not for experience, but to go win the tournament, win a championship [and] cut down nets,” Blair said.
The Aggie head coach said he enters the tournament asking a simple question: “Why not A&M? Why not A&M?”

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