No. 6 Texas A&M women’s basketball will face its first ranked opponent of the season on Sunday, but a matchup with Prairie View A&M separates the undefeated Aggies from No. 12 Florida State.
Prairie View A&M holds a season record of 2-4 and is coming off a 75-42 win over Wiley College.
A&M coach Gary Blair said this game will give the Aggies a chance to let more of his players see increased time on the court.
“I’ve got some kids that have worked awfully hard that haven’t been in to get their minutes,” Blair said. “Against Prairie View, regardless of the score, we’re going to play 11 kids. They better be ready to play; we’re not underestimating Prairie View because they always come in and give us their best effort. But at the same time, I have to play some other kids and Prairie View will be a great chance to do that.”
The Aggies are coming off a two-game road slate that they capped off with a 74-64 win over the University of Southern California on Saturday. While the Aggies kept a double-digit lead over the Trojans for much of the second half, Blair said USC is not to be taken lightly, especially as the NCAA Tournament gets closer.
“I’m glad I played USC in November,” Blair said. “USC is going to get better and better. I was impressed with USC, but I was impressed with how we handled adversity.”
In the game, junior guard Chennedy Carter led the Aggies with 26 points.
“Chennedy could of course get whatever she wanted off of the bounce; she didn’t hit all her shots, but she created a lot of opportunities for other kids,” Blair said.
While the team was in Los Angeles, the Aggies got the chance to watch an NBA game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets, which Blair said was a good lesson for them.
“Our kids were mesmerized, not on how large those guys were, but how important the little things are in the game of basketball — sharing the ball, pocket passes, being a good teammate, being able to come off the bench,” Blair said. “We learned as much by watching an NBA game as we did by my pregame speech or my after-game speech.”
“I like being on the road. When you’re at home, you have a whole lot of distractions. We’ve always been a good road team. I like to balance everything.
Following the Aggies’ matchup with Prairie View, they will face No. 12 Florida State on Sunday in the Maggie Dixon Classic. Blair said the Seminoles will present a challenge to the Aggies.
“Florida State will be the best team that we’ve played all year by far, and the most athletic team we’ve played so far,” Blair said.
The Aggies will host Prairie View A&M on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.