COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The No. 12-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team will open its season against No. 9 Louisville at 6 p.m. (CDT) at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The Aggies open the season on the road for the first time since the 2007 season(at SMU) and will open with a ranked opponent for the first time since the 2009 season (No. 9 Duke).
A&M returns two starters from the 2012 Sweet 16 team and is led by Preseason All-SEC selection Kelsey Bone (Houston, Texas) who averaged 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last season. Sophomore Alexia Standish returns from a promising freshman season in which she averaged 5.8 points and two assists per game. Seniors Adrienne Pratcher (Memphis, Tenn.) and Kristi Bellock (St. Rose, La.) highlight the six letterwinners returning.
The Aggies add six true freshman, that compose the highest rating recruiting class in program history, and one medical redshirt. The newcomers will look to take advantage of the departure of three starters and two key contributors off of the 24-11 squad from one year ago. The Aggies will look to the newcomers to replace 39.9 points and 18 rebounds per game that were lost to graduation.
Friday night will be the third time the Aggies and the Cardinals have faced off, but the first time the matchup will occur in Louisville. The all-time series is tied 1-1, as Texas A&M won the early matchup of top-ten teams in College Station last season. The first meeting was during the 1992 season in the Illini Classic, where Louisville won 63-59.
The Cardinals posted a 23-10 record last season and made their sixth NCAA tournament appearance in the last seven years. The Cardinals are led by preseason All-Big East selection and junior Shoni Schimmel and return four starters overall from last year’s squad including Bria Smith, Sara Hammond and Shawnta’ Dyer.