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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Georgia first of two ranked SEC foes for women’s hoops road trip

Junior+guard+Courtney+Walker+leads+the+Aggies+with+14.7+points+per+game.

Junior guard Courtney Walker leads the Aggies with 14.7 points per game.

Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair started his Tuesday press conference with a reference to a classic Ray Charles hit. “Georgia’s on my mind,” Blair said, appropriate as he and his Aggies prepare for No. 22 Georgia.
The No. 10 Aggies (16-3, 4-1 in the SEC) have gone 5-3 in their last eight games after winning their first eleven. They now face the daunting task of consecutive conference road games against top-25 opponents, beginning 6 p.m. Thursday in the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The Aggies then take on No. 1 South Carolina on Monday.
Fortunately, though, Blair already has a good idea of how to prepare for the first game of the two-game stretch due to his familiarity with Georgia’s head coach, Andy Landers.
“Like I always do, I prepare for the jockey first, the team second,” he said. “And I’ve prepared for coach Landers for years and years and years all the way back when I was an assistant at Louisiana Tech and he had real black hair back then. The preparation for him is you’ve just got to play hard. He’s going to coach hard. I mean, I don’t know if there is anybody that coaches as hard as he does, up and down the sidelines, he rarely sits down, he’s jawing at the officials, his team, he’s motivating, and he’s just one of the pioneers, one of the hall of famers that are in our game.”
Landers’ Bulldogs (16-3, 4-2) also opened their 2014-15 campaign on a long winning streak, knocking off their first 12 opponents. They boast the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense, which only surrenders an average of 50.7 points per game. However, they have lost three of their last seven, including a 55-52 defeat to University of Mississippi, a team the Aggies beat 58-49 this past Sunday
However, Blair refuses to overlook this SEC foe.
“We cannot even look past Georgia,” Blair said. “You can tell by how we’ve played, home and away, in conference. Every game is going to be a nail biter. And so what we’ve got to do is just throw the whole kitchen sink at Georgia and go out and buy a new kitchen sink before we go to the next one.”
The Aggies will lean on their leading scorers, juniors Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams, who average 14.7 and 14.3 points per game, respectively, as they look to exploit the Bulldogs suffocating defense. Williams also contributes six rebounds per game, which ranks second on the team. Senior Achiri Ade leads the Aggies with 8.6 boards per game.
Blair likes where his teams stands, but knows that ultimately it is not where you start that counts, but rather where you finish.
“Our first goal is to win the SEC, the next goal is to win the SEC tournament, the next goal is to go as deep as we can in the playoffs,” Blair said. “But to do that, like I got a text from a couple of coaches today, ‘Hey, you’re peaking at the right time, just like you always do.’ Certain teams start having problems and start losing either due to injuries or poor play or an easy schedule and now they run into the wall. I think my teams, over the years, have always played well once February starts, and what we want to do is make sure it starts in January.”

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