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LSU to return to Reed

Game to benefit breast cancer nonprofits

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 23:02

Basketball

Tanner Garza

Junior forward Achiri Ade looks for an open teammate during a 76–55 loss against Tennessee.

Basket

Tanner Garza

Senior center Karla Gilbert attempts a shot against Tennessee. Gilbert is third on the team in scoring.

The No. 19 Texas A&M women’s basketball team will lace up against the No. 16 LSU Tigers at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Reed Arena.

A&M (17-6, 7-2 SEC) returns from a two-game road trip after splitting games against Auburn and Vanderbilt.

Sunday will mark the second meeting between A&M and LSU this season. The Aggies took the first contest 52-48 in January.

LSU (17-5, 6-3 SEC) is led by senior forward Theresa Plaisance, National Player of the Year candidate and reigning SEC Player of the Week. Plaisance leads the Tigers with 14.4 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game and has notched 12 consecutive games with 10 or more points. Plaisance averages 16.4 points in SEC play, ranking fifth in the conference.

In the last meeting against Vanderbilt, senior A&M center Karla Gilbert and junior forward Tavarsha Scott-Williams had career-high performances, scoring 26 and 14 points, respectively. Against the Commodores, the 6-foot-5 Gilbert was able to attack the basket and shoot 12-of-16 from behind the free throw line and shot 70 percent from the field over the last two games.

“I’m just pleased we have [Gilbert] on our side,” said Gary Blair, Texas A&M head coach.

Texas A&M assistant coach Bob Starkey is no stranger to the Tigers. After a 22-year coaching stint at LSU in various roles for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs, Starkey joined the A&M staff in 2012.

“It’s like any other week — it really is,” Starkey said when asked about preparing to face the school where he spent more than 20 years as a coach.

Sunday also marks the annual BTHO Breast Cancer game. Money raised will benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the Pink Alliance, a nonprofit in the Brazos Valley that advocates for breast cancer support.

“Hopefully people will come out to not just see us, but to support the cancer survivors, the cancer victims and what this week means for women’s basketball,” Blair said.

Starkey is not only familiar with the Tigers, but also with the struggles that breast cancer victims endure.

“My wife’s a breast cancer survivor,” Starkey said. “This game always means a little bit more to us. We know what it does in terms of bringing awareness and raising funds to something that’s incredibly important to a lot of people.”

Next, the Aggies will host the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Thursday in Reed Arena. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

 

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