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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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Women’s basketball to host Alabama in ‘BTHO Breast Cancer Night’

Senior+guard+Curtyce+Knox+leads+the+nation+in+assists%2C+averaging+9.3+assists+per+game.
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Senior guard Curtyce Knox leads the nation in assists, averaging 9.3 assists per game.

Playing with a purpose greater than winning a basketball game, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team will host a fundraiser to raise awareness for breast cancer research as they take on Alabama Thursday night at Reed Arena.
Thursday night’s game is the annual “BTHO Breast Cancer Night” and A&M will donate all proceeds from the game to the Kay Yow Foundation and the Pink Alliance. The maroon and white’s assistant coach Bob Starkey, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, also pledged to donate $1 for every student in attendance. 
A&M (17-6, 7-3 SEC) will face the Tide coming off a 66-61 win over Auburn at home in which the team’s offensive leaders — guard Danni Williams and center Khaalia Hillsman — led the scoring attack 25 and 17 respectively. 
The two head coaches know each other well — A&M head coach Gary Blair helped Alabama head coach Kristy Curry get her start coaching college hoops. The two even faced off when she was Texas Tech’s head coach and A&M was still part of the Big 12 conference. Blair said Alabama cannot be overlooked, and given the head coaches’ history, he said he enjoys coaching against Alabama. 
“They’re one of those scrappy-type teams,” Blair said. “They play extremely hard, they rebound the ball very well … They’re not the best shooting team in the league, but what they do they make up for on a lot of effort.”
Alabama (15-8, 3-7 SEC) travels to College Station coming off a 48-41 loss against LSU on the road. Alabama is currently in 10th place in the conference with the SEC Tournament less than a month away.  
Alabama is led on offense by guard Hannah Cook, who averages 11.9 points per game and is leading the conference in three-point percentage at 38.1 percent. Guard Meoshonti Knight is second on the team on offense at 11.7 points per contest.
The Aggies will have to account for Alabama forward Ashley Knight, who leads the conference in blocks per game at 2.5.
A&M forward Taylor Cooper, who is coming off a 10-point game against Auburn, said getting off to a fast start against Alabama will be key to winning the team’s 12th home game. 
“I think it’ll be just as important as the Auburn game,” Cooper said. “They’re kind of similar in how they do things and what they do. So, for us, getting off to a good start and not turning the ball over at the beginning of the game, that’ll be important for us.”
Cooper said the magnitude of the game and the fundraiser they will be playing for Thursday night cannot be overstated. 
“It’s always a big game for us especially with the history and coach Starkey and his wife,” Cooper said. “It’s always an important game. We always want to come out and play hard and just try to represent for all those women out there who are struggling with that and try to give them some hope and something to enjoy.”
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Reed Arena and the game can be seen on the SEC Network+.

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