A&M to face off against struggling Ole Miss
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 17:02
Despite a devastating four-point home loss to Kentucky on Monday, Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair warmly thanked the 12th man for the support provided to his basketball team during the high-profile matchup.
“I would like to thank you for making a difference in the A&M vs. Kentucky women’s basketball game on Monday night,” Blair said in his Letter to the 12th Man. “Kentucky may have won the battle, but last night was a tribute to things that we do right at Texas A&M. Texas A&M is so much more than winning or losing an athletic event. It is made up of champions in the classroom, professors who teach us, teammates who push us, and friendships made at A&M that will last a lifetime.”
Following the Wildcats termination of their conference-high eight-game win streak, the Texas A&M women's basketball team is seeking to recover well and resurface as a league powerhouse.
After falling 70-66 at Reed Arena, No. 10 Texas Aggies will travel to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday.
University of Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell said despite earning the win, A&M is a dangerous squad.
"We were fortunate to win," Mitchell said. "We have a long respect for Texas A&M and their program. They are a very talented team."
The Aggies will put the loss behind them though, as they host the Rebels at Reed Arena. Ole Miss — 9-16 overall and 2-10 in the conference —is coming off of a 62-47 loss against South Carolina. The Rebels, who are in the process of transitioning head coaches, hold last place in the Southeastern Conference as they enter the game with A&M.
The Rebels are under first-time head coach Brett Frank and have failed to find a rhythm this season. Even though the Rebels appear not to be as good other teams the Aggies have faced, Blair said they will play them as hard as any other team.
"We'll show up Thursday and we'll bust it," Blair said. "We will play Ole Miss just like we play Kentucky or Tennessee. "
Despite the Aggies recent loss to Kentucky, they are still 10-2 in the SEC, good for third in the league. Freshman guard Courtney Walker had an impressive performance against the Wildcats, putting up the final 10 points for the Aggies.
A&M has proved they can hang with the best teams in the SEC but senior forward Kristi Bellock noted that she can still see room for improvement.
"We need to be more focused, more aggressive," Bellock said. "I think our turnovers are just a lack of concentration, being too lackadaisical with the ball. Turning the ball over is something we definitely need to get better on."
The Aggies tipoff at home against Ole Miss at 7 p.m. on Thursday, hoping to improve to 21-6 overall and 11-2 in the SEC.