Bone's 21 nets road win, top spot in SEC
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 01:02
With a chance to move into a tie atop the SEC standings at stake, the No. 14 A&M women’s basketball team roared to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in a 74-57 win over LSU in Baton Rouge.
Losses by No. 8 Kentucky and No. 9 Tennessee opened the door for head coach Gary Blair’s team in the Big Monday game. Junior center Kelsey Bone asserted herself once more in conference play, notching a game-high 21 points in only 24 minutes.
Senior forward Kristi Bellock, a Louisiana native, was active in her homecoming as her 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals stuffed the stat sheet.
Prior to the game, Bellock said she hoped to keep the team’s winning streak rolling in her return to Louisiana.
“It's a big game for me because I'm from New Orleans, so I'm really excited,” Bellock said.
Freshman guard Courtney Walker — a game removed from a career-high 21 points against Vanderbilt — showed efficiency with her jumper, making 8-of-10 shots for 16 points.
Despite the fast start and a slew of early LSU turnovers, A&M led just 32-27 at halftime as an LSU run bit into the Aggie lead. Walker said before the game that a quick opening pace would be crucial.
“LSU is a great team, so we need to take it to them from the get-go,” Walker said.
At 8-1 in the SEC (18-5 overall), A&M ended the night knotted with Tennessee for first place in the conference even after dropping its first three games of the season. Since then, A&M is 18-2 and rides a six-game winning streak into its next game. A roster that includes seven freshmen has grown increasingly comfortable with one another behind the leadership of the play of Bone, who was named early Monday to the Wade Trophy Watch List. Bone’s 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game ranked inside the Top 3 individually among the conference entering Monday.
Blair said after a home win against Vanderbilt that his team must stay focused on the top SEC teams.
“We cannot lose sight of where Kentucky and Tennessee are if we want a chance to win this thing,” Blair said. “I just want to hang around and let the chips fall, as we get better.”
Senior guard Adrienne Webb led three Tigers in double figure scoring with 17 points. Junior forward Theresa Plaisance ranked in the Top 7 among SEC players in scoring and rebounding but was held to 3-of-13 shooting for 11 points.