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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 8, 2024

A&M women’s basketball travels to Hawaii for Tom Weston Invitational

Photo by File
Women Basketball

The Texas A&M women’s basketball team will change time zones to play two non-conference games for the second consecutive week as it travels to Laie, Hawaii, to compete in the Tom Weston Invitational at the campus of BYU-Hawaii this weekend.

The Aggies will play against the University of Hawai’i and Brigham Young University in the invitational. Last weekend the No. 12 Aggies split their two games in Las Vegas, beating No.16 California and then falling to No. 11 Ohio State. 

Senior Courtney Williams said the players are very excited to be playing in the tournament, and said she looks forward to being in Hawaii. 

“I’m excited — I’m ready to go to the beach and see the blue water that we don’t have in Galveston,” said Williams, who is tied with fellow senior Courtney Walker for the team lead in scoring. “Being able to see the fish when you step on the sand — that’s amazing.”

But while Williams said the scenery will undoubtedly be beautiful, the team will remain focused on basketball. She said the Aggies’ success so far will not distract the players from focusing on the invitational. 

Williams said playing BYU brings back memories of 2013 for her, when the Cougars were a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament and gave undefeated Connecticut a tough game. Williams said the Aggies have to prepare for the invitational just like any other contest.

“They kept it close with Connecticut,” Williams said. “Even though they might not have the same team, they’re going to have the same system, so we’ve got to come out there ready to play.”

Head coach Gary Blair, who will make his sixth trip to Hawaii as a coach, said playing against the University of Hawai’i may be difficult because their adversary will have a home-state advantage. 

“We’re playing Hawai’i in Hawaii,” Blair said. “It’s difficult, even though it’s not in their gym, it’s at BYU-Hawaii. It’s supposed to be a nice gym, but it’s still Hawaii. It still will be Hawaiian officials.”

Blair said the Warrior squad will not be the typical Hawai’i team the Aggies are accustomed to facing off against. Instead of a small, three-point shooting team that plays up-tempo, he expects more of a traditional approach.

“They’ve got a little bit of size about them,” Blair said. “They want it to be more of a half-court game, and we’ve got to turn it into a full-court game.”

The Aggies will play the University of Hawai’i at 9 p.m. Friday and BYU at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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