COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 22 Texas A&M will begin SEC play with the first ever match up against the Alabama Crimson Tide Thursday night at 8 p.m. The game will be the second part of a double-header held in conjunction with the Texas A&M men’s basketball game against Houston Baptist at 5:30 p.m. Both contests will be televised by FSN with Ron Thulin (play-by-play) and Brenda VanLengen (commentary) calling the women’s game. Check with your cable provider for availability in your area or log on to AggieAthletics.com for live audio from the contest.
The Aggies enter conference play as winners of 10 of their last 11 games, in the victories they are out-scoring their opponents by 25.4 points per game. Junior Kelsey Bone is leading the charge with an amazing run of play over the last seven games having scored at least 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in each game averaging 23.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game over the seven game stretch. A large part of Bone’s success has been stellar point guard play from Senior Adrienne Pratcher. Pratcher has had at least six assists in each of the last five games averaging 8.4 assists per game during the stretch, including a career high 12 against Old Dominion on Dec 20. Pratcher’s play has been contagious to the rest of the offense as the Aggies have had an impressive stretch of sharing the basketball with at least 18 assists in each the last five games, averaging 21.4 assists per game in the stretch.
Against Rice on New Year’s Day the Aggies’ inside play was just too much for Rice to handle, the Aggies held a 58-30 advantage on points in the paint. A&M post players combined for 48 points led by Bone with a game-high 24 points. Senior Kristi Bellock and Junior Karla Gilbert had 12 points apiece and Pratcher pitched in 10 points on the night. Texas A&M’s defense forced 21 Owl turnovers that translated to an impressive 33 points off turnovers.
Alabama returns to the mainland after winning the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Invitational with wins over Cincinnati (58-47), LIU Brooklyn (80-58) and Hawaii (44-43). Junior Shafontaye Myers was named Tournament MVP after averaging 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds off the bench while Senior Alicia Mitcham earned all-tournament team honors. On the season Alabama ranks second in the nation in turnover margin at -11.54 and fourth in the nation in steals per game at 14.5. Individually Alabama has two players in the top-40 in national categories, Sophomore Daisha Simmons ranks 29th at 3.2 steals per game and Myers ranks 38th at 2.69 three-point field goals made per game.
Tickets for Thursday’s game are available online at tickets.12thmanfoundation.com or in person at the Reed Arena box office. The Alabama game will continue the half-price Holiday Hoops promotion.
Season tickets are also on sale and fans are encouraged to make sure they have a seat for all the exciting Aggie basketball action by visiting the 12th Man Foundation’s Ticket Center or calling 1-(888)-992-4443.
Aggie Women’s Basketball Game #15:
Texas A&M (10-4; 0-0 SEC) vs. Alabama (10-3; 0-0 SEC)
January 2, 2013 · 8:00 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989)
College Station, Texas
Ron Thulin, Play-by-Play
Brenda VanLengen, Commentary
-Check with your cable provider for channel number/availability in your area
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Mike Wright, Play-by-Play
Tap Benz, Commentary
Local: KZNE-AM 1150 (College Station/Bryan)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
TICKETS: Available at the door or online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com