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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M welcomes Vanderbilt, LSU to Reed Arena for two-game homestand

Graduate+guard+Endyia+Rogers+leaps+for+a++ball+during+Texas+A%26Ms+game+against+Mississippi+State+on+Feb.+4%2C+2024%2C+at+Reed+Arena.+%28Adriano+Espinosa%2F+The+Battalion%29
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Graduate guard Endyia Rogers leaps for a ball during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Feb. 4, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Adriano Espinosa/ The Battalion)

After securing back-to-back SEC road wins against Ole Miss and Kentucky last week, Texas A&M women’s basketball has finally achieved a bit of consistency in conference play. Currently projected as a 10-seed in the NCAA Tournament by ESPN, A&M has a pair of games coming up that could significantly reduce the Aggies’ stress come Selection Sunday.

This is not an Aggie team searching for an identity. In those two road wins, A&M scored 74 of its combined 133 points in the paint and dominated the glass with an average rebounding margin of +15.

Its mission? Rule the paint — which makes for very different matchups this week against Vanderbilt and LSU.

Commodore Woes

Vanderbilt is on track to finish the year with a winning record for the first time since 2016, but it still makes for a matchup that will have the Aggies licking their chops.

The Commodores rank 11th in the SEC in rebounding, largely due to their small lineup. Senior guard Jordyn Cambridge leads Vanderbilt in scoring with 13.1 points per game. Junior forward Sacha Washington is the Commodores’ leading rebounder with 7.6 per game and adds 12.4 points per game of her own.

A&M will host the visitors from Nashville, Tennessee on Feb. 15 at Reed Arena, with tip-off set for 8 p.m.

The Aggies’ next opponent will not be as favorable of a matchup.

Enter the Tigers

On Feb. 19, A&M welcomes the defending national champions to town, hosting No. 13 LSU at 6 p.m.

The Tigers rank second in the SEC in rebounding — just ahead of A&M in third — and lead the conference in scoring, thanks to one of the biggest names in college basketball.

You can’t talk about LSU without talking about junior F Angel Reese. A unanimous All-American last season, Reese ranks fifth in the SEC in scoring and second in the country in rebounds per game, averaging 19.5 and 12.6, respectively.

Containing her will be a tough task for the Aggies, especially considering the Tigers average over 90 points a game. The last time A&M faced an offense that potent, it didn’t end so well for the Aggies — A&M fell 99-64 to No. 1 South Carolina on Jan. 21.

A Key to Victory

If A&M wants to push its win streak to three or four games, junior F Lauren Ware has to stay on the floor.

A&M’s leading rebounder has not only been dominant on the glass, but a consistent scoring presence as well, averaging 10.7 points a game. But Ware also forces teams to scheme around her, opening up the Aggie guards whenever she can’t score from the post herself.

In conference play, the Maroon & White have looked the most disjointed when Ware isn’t on the floor due to foul trouble — like when Ware headed to the bench after picking up her second foul late in the first quarter against Kentucky, and A&M proceeded to shoot 3-of-19 from the field in the second quarter.

These games will be fought and won in the paint, and A&M can’t afford to not have Ware available.

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and BCSball.com. 
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