Aggies travel to Tennessee, face tough road test
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 09:02
The state of Tennessee has not been welcoming to the Aggies this season as they were defeated by the Vanderbilt Commodores this past Sunday 61-51. For Texas A&M, the loss stood as its first of the season to an unranked opponent.
In a return trip, however, the No. 13 Texas A&M women’s basketball team will revisit Tennessee as they face the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn on Thursday.
The Volunteers have won all of their conference games save one, helping them to the No. 1 seed in the conference. Tennessee is coming off of a five game win streak, one of which came against Vanderbilt. Tennessee’s future hall of fame and former head coach Pat Summitt has stepped down and now head coach Holly Warlick has taken over. Warlick has been with Tennessee for 28 years but this is her first year as head coach.
Although the Volunteers have beat Vanderbilt and the Aggies just suffered a loss to them, A&M assistant head coach Amy Wright says Tennessee is a better match up for them.
“It’s going to be another tough one.” Wright said. "They’re a solid team. But what we are looking forward to is the fact that they’re a team that is athletic like us. They’re very different from Vanderbilt. We feel like we have a better match up with Tennessee.”
On Sunday, Vanderbilt held junior All-American candidate Kelsey Bone to shooting only 2-7 in the first half. With the Aggies’ toughest road test of the season coming up, Bone hopes to resurface as a power down low for A&M.
Bone said she knew going into it that these last few games would not be easy.
“When you start talking about the last three games, they are not easy games.” Bone said. “We are talking about tournament teams that we are getting ready to face three games in a row. We just have to focus on what we are doing and the rest will take care of itself.”
The Aggies will face Tennessee for the first team this season and the third time in history. The Volunteers won both of the previous matchups but A&M will seek a different outcome this year.
The Aggies are 11-3 in conference play and at one point were on an eight game win streak, the longest in the conference this year. They will look to bounce back from Sunday’s loss and hope Tennessee will be more welcoming this time around.
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair said he always enjoys his time in Tennessee.
“The best thing about Tennessee is it’s good food, it’s a good city,” Blair said. “I like to relax and go hear some good country music on a Saturday night after I have done all my work.”