Blair's Bombers Meet Frogs In Ft. Worth

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The 12th-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team (5-1) continues to renew old Southwest Conference rivalries with a much-anticipated rematch against TCU (3-3) on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. Tipoff between the Aggies and Lady Frogs is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the game televised regionally by The Mtn. TCU is the second former SWC foe that the Aggies will face in non-conference play this season next to SMU. A&M and TCU used to battle the likes of SWC powerhouses Texas, Texas Tech and SMU as conference underdogs, but since the SWC’s disbandment after the 1995-96 season, both programs have been resurrected into the national spotlight with success of their own. Last year, A&M claimed its first-ever Big 12 Conference title and made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, while TCU made its seventh-straight NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001. The Aggies will look to avenge a 69-65 first-round loss to the Lady Frogs in 2006.

SCOUTING THE LADY FROGS

TCU was picked to finish second in the Mountain West Conference after posting a 21-11 record a year ago. The Lady Frogs are the second A&M opponent to reach the NCAA Tournament last season next to Prairie View A&M. Senior guard Adrianne Ross is the top returning player in the MWC averaging a team-leading 13.7 points per game. The Lady Frogs are 0-2 this season against top 25 competition with a preseason WNIT loss to No. 5 LSU (73-54) on Nov. 11 and No. 12 Cal (74-55) on Nov. 23. TCU has posted an impressive 23-2 home court record in its last 24 games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum including a 75-63 victory over Fresno State on Nov. 28.

ON THE TUBE

A&M will appear on television a school-record six times during the 2007-08 season including Sunday’s matchup at TCU on the Mtn. Jeff Williams (play-by-play) and former Texas standout and WNBA player Andrea Lloyd (color analyst) will call the action live from Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Mtn. can be viewed in cable television markets of Mountain West Conference schools including Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and California. Check your local listings. A&M’s national television dates includes three games on FSN and two games on ESPN2 during Big 12 Conference play.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

TEXAS A&M

No. Name 2007-08 Stats

10 A’Quonesia Franklin, G, 5-3, Sr. 6.5 ppg, 4.7 apg

3 Takia Starks, G, 5-8, Jr. 16.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

55 Danielle Gant, G/F, 5-11, Jr. 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg

33 Ashlaa Horton, F, 6-1, So. 3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg

12 La Toya Micheaux, C, 6-3, Jr. 6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg

TCU

No. Name 2007-08 Stats

4 Helena Sverrisdottir, G, 6-2, Fr. 8.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg

15 Emily Carter, G, 6-1, RS-Fr. 2.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg

21 Shayla Moore, G, 5-6, So. 3.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg

40 Jenna Lohse, F, 6-2, Sr. 5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg

55 Micaela Younger, F, 6-3, Jr. 3.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

2007-08 Category TAMU TCU

Overall Record 5-1 3-3

Conference Record 0-0 0-0

Points Per Game 63.3 64.2

Scoring Margin +15.2 +1.7

Rebounds Per Game 39.5 39.8

Rebounding Margin +7.3 +2.3

Field Goal Percentage 39.3 36.6

Field Goal% Defense 37.1 40.5

Three-Point FG% 29.4 25.0

Free Throw Percentage 64.9 62.3

Turnovers Per Game 19.3 18.5

Assists Per Game 12.2 13.5

Blocks Per Game 4.0 2.3

Steals Per Game 11.8 10.3

SERIES HISTORY

Texas A&M holds a 27-3 advantage in the all-time series versus TCU. The Aggies previously held a 13-game winning streak in the series, prior to a 69-65 loss to the Lady Frogs in the NCAA First Round in 2006. Both team’s will meet for the first time in regular season play since A&M became a member of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. A&M’s three losses in the series have come twice on the road in 1989 (81-68) and 1990 (55-51) and once on a neutral site. The Aggies are 11-2 all-time when playing at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the TCU campus.

LAST TIME OUT

Ashley Davis had 20 points and 12 rebounds as 11th-seeded TCU beat sixth-seeded Texas A&M, 69-65, in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J. Moneka Knight scored 11 of her 14 points in the final eight and a half minutes to help TCU hold on after leading by 16 in the first half. Takia Starks had 18 points and Morenike Atunrase added 14 for the Aggies who made their first tournament appearance since 1996 and third overall. Atunrase brought A&M within three points twice in the final three minutes, the second pulling it to 62-59 with 2:05 remaining. However, Lorie Butler-Rayford and Knight both hit three free throws in the final minute for TCU. Butler-Rayford finished with 11 rebounds. Neither team shot well in the first half, as TCU was 11-for-28 (39 percent) and A&M was 6-for-30 (20 percent). The Aggies were just 1-for-12 on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, but 7-for-20 in the second half. Vanessa Clementino made consecutive baskets to give TCU a 26-10 lead with 4:47 left in the first half, before A&M started coming back. A’Quonesia Franklin made two free throws with just over 11 seconds left in the half to cut the Aggies’ deficit to 33-25, but Davis hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send TCU into the break with an 11-point lead.

DID YOU KNOW?

? Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 4-2 all-time against TCU in 23 years as a Division I coach. Sunday’s meeting will mark only the second time a Blair-coached A&M squad will face the Lady Frogs.

? Sophomore Katrina Limbaha (Riga, Latvia) attended nearby Lake Country Christian High School. Her host family, John and Michal Dedwyler, are both A&M graduates. Limbaha moved to the Fort Worth area in the middle of her junior year and will have former classmates and teammates in attendance Sunday at TCU. She led Lake Country Christian to a state championship title with a 28-10 record and was named Class 3A Newcomer of the Year as a junior.

? TCU is one of eight schools from the Lone Star State on A&M’s 2007-08 slate. The Aggies are 2-0 this season against in-state rivals with victories over SMU (62-57) on Nov. 9 and Prairie View A&M (73-54) on Nov. 15.

? A&M and TCU were long-time members of the former Southwest Conference until the league was disbanded after the 1995-96 season with the formation of the Big 12 Conference. Since then, TCU has been a member of three different conferences joining the Western Athletic Conference in 1997, Conference USA in 2001 and the Mountain West Conference in 2005.

COACHING FRATERNITY

Friendships will be put aside as Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair will take on longtime coaching friends in three of A&M’s next five contests of the season. TCU head coach Jeff Mittie and George Washington head coach Joe McKeown are both golfing buddies of Coach Blair’s in the offseason and the trio talk on the phone regularly. In addition, Auburn head coach and former U.S. Olympic coach Nell Fortner served as a graduate assistant and assistant coach under Blair at Stephen F. Austin from 1987-90.

MICHIGAN RECAP

Junior Takia Starks poured in a season-high 23 points to lead Texas A&M to a 69-41 victory over Michigan Thursday night at Reed Arena. Starks went 9-of-15 from the floor draining three of the team’s six three-pointers of the game. In the first half of play, A&M jolted out to a 20-6 run with 22 of the team’s first-half points coming off 18 U-M turnovers. The Wolverines later cut the lead down to seven with 2:33 remaining, but it wasn’t enough as the Aggies built up a 35-22 halftime advantage. The A&M defense held the entire Michigan lineup to under double-figure scoring as the Wolverines managed just nine points each from Janelle Cooper and Ta’Shia Walker. Junior Danielle Gant and senior A’Quonesia Franklin also reached double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively against the Wolverines. A&M shot a season-high 47.5 percent (29-of-61) from the floor and outrebounded Michigan, 33-31.

AGGIES ON THE RADIO

All Texas A&M women’s basketball games can be heard via a radio broadcast on the Texas A&M Sports Network. Play-by-play announcer Tom Turbiville will call the action live from Daniel-Meyer Coliseum alongside color analyst Jennifer Wilks on KZNE 1150 AM. A live audio feed will also be available on www.AggieAthletics.com.

-www.AggieAthletics.com-