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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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June 16, 2024

A&M travels to battle-tested Alabama

Ciera+Johnson+spins+around+a+defender+to+go+up+for+a+shot.
Photo by Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Ciera Johnson spins around a defender to go up for a shot.

Texas A&M will go back on the road to face Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Thursday.
The Crimson Tide is coming off a last-second 65-63 loss at No. 23 Tennessee on Monday. A&M coach Gary Blair said Alabama will be coming into Thursday’s game ready to get back in the win column.
“That was a dagger in the heart of Alabama [with] how well they played and hit the three,” Blair said.
Alabama was 7-of-20 from behind the arc against Tennessee, with junior guard Jordan Lewis hitting three of her nine attempts for a game total of 17 points.
Blair said the Aggies’ focus heading into the game will be on limiting Lewis’ production.
“We’re going to have to have consistency, stay out of foul trouble,” Blair said. “We’ve got to identify Walker and Jordan, and we can’t let Jordan go for 21 points.”
With a roster that boasts seven upperclassmen, the Crimson Tide provides a different look than A&M has seen as of recent.
“Alabama is a complete package, a veteran team, just like ourselves where Florida was a young team,” Blair said. “They’re at home. Any time you go on the road in the SEC, like we experienced at Arkansas and Kentucky, now we’ll go to Alabama.”
On Jan. 9, junior guard Chennedy Carter sustained an ankle sprain in the second half of the Aggies’ loss to LSU, and has missed the Aggies’ last two games. Carter’s status for Alabama is a gametime decision, Blair said, but she has not practiced since her injury.
Losing Carter, who is the second-highest scorer in the SEC, has forced A&M to rely on its other strengths, Blair said.
“I don’t think we have one individual player who can beat you off the bounce and score at will unless it’s Carter,” Blair said. “We’ve got to have help through our screens and ball movement and ball reversal and hitting the open shot. That’s our strength, and we’ve got a lot of players that can do that.”
The Aggies have gone 1-2 since Carter’s injury, with a 69-42 win over Florida providing a boost to A&M’s confidence. Blair said the win was a result of everyone, from the coaching staff to the players, stepping up.
“Knowing that any person at any time can step up,” Blair said. “We took ownership of who we were individually, and as a coaching staff, we had to do our job better.”
Tipoff for Thursday’s game is slated for 7 p.m., with the game being broadcast on the SEC Network+.

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