COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 14th-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team steps onto the hardwood this weekend for its seventh consecutive trip to the Big Dance. As the No. 3 seed in the Raleigh Regional, A&M faces 14th-seeded Albany in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship held Saturday, March 17 at Reed Arena. Tipoff between the Aggies and the Great Danes is set for 5:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.
#3 TEXAS A&M (22-10) vs. #14 ALBANY (23-9)
Saturday, March 17, 2012 • 5:30 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,292)
College Station, Texas
Radio: Texas A&M Sports Network (KZNE 1150 AM)
Series History: First meeting
Internet: : ESPN3.com, Free Live Statistics and Live Audio at AggieAthletics.com
Record: 22-10 (11-7 Big 12)
Ranking: #22 (AP), #14 (Coaches)
Last Result: L, 53-70 vs. Baylor on March 10, 2012
Up Next: If win, NCAA Second Round on March 19, 2012
Head Coach: Gary Blair, Ninth Season
Texas A&M Record: 210-89 (.702)
Career Record: 618-252 (.710) 27th Season
Record: 23-9 (14-2 America East)
Ranking: NR (AP), NR (Coaches)
Last Result: W, 69-61 vs. UMBC on March 10, 2012
Up Next: If win, NCAA Second Round on March 19, 2012
Head Coach: Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, Second Season
Albany Record: 39-22 (.639)
Career Record: 118-70 (.628) Sixth Season
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ON TV
• ESPN networks will air all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Play-by-play announcer Carter Blackburn and color analyst Tamika Raymond will call first-and second-round action live from Reed Arena on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
• Saturday, Texas A&M will appear on the tube before a national television audience for the 15th time this season.
• The Aggies are 8-6 on national TV this season.
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 Mike Wright will call the action live from Reed Arena alongside color analyst Tap Bentz on KZNE 1150 AM. A live audio feed will also be available on RadioAggieland.com.
AGGIES IN NCAA TOURNAMENT PLAY
• The Aggies are 15-7 all-time in postseason play and are making their ninth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance next to 1994, 1996, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
• A&M is 6-2 all-time in the first round of the tournament will face a No. 14 seed for the first time in program history.
• Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair has now led 18 of his all-time squads at Stephen F. Austin (6-6), Arkansas (8-5) and A&M (13-5) combined to the Big Dance with a 27-16 career record in NCAA Tournament games.
TEXAS A&M ALL-TIME NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES (9)
2012 – TBA (No. 3 seed)
2011 – NCAA National Champion (No. 2 seed)
2010 – NCAA Second Round (No. 2 seed)*
2009 – NCAA Sweet 16 (No. 2 seed)
2008 – NCAA Elite Eight (No. 2 seed)*
2007 – NCAA Second Round (No. 4 seed)
2006 – NCAA First Round (No. 6 seed)
1996 – NCAA First Round (No. 7 seed)*
1994 – NCAA Sweet 16 (No. 13 seed)
* NCAA Automatic Bid
AGGIE NCAA TOURNAMENT TIDBITS
• Texas A&M is making a school-record seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to the streak, the Aggies had never played in consecutive NCAA Tournaments and had not been a part of March Madness since 1996.
• The Aggies are one of only four elite programs to be selected as a No. 4 seed or higher for six straight years. The other three teams include Connecticut, Stanford and Duke.
• For the past four years, A&M received four straight No. 2 seeds (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and is the only program in NCAA history to do so. Four other programs have earned just three consecutive No. 2 seeds including Texas Tech (1993, 1994, 1995) Purdue (2002, 2003, 2004), Stanford (2007, 2008, 2009) and Duke (2010, 2011, 2012).
• A&M received its first-ever No. 3 seed on this year’s Selection Monday.
• Texas A&M is the only site in the state of Texas to host the first and second rounds of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. The Aggies host for the first time since the 1994 NCAA Tournament, when the first round was held in G. Rollie White Coliseum.
• Texas A&M will also host first and second round games next season and is one of just four institutions in the nation to host those rounds in both 2012 and 2013. A&M will be one of three Southeastern Conference schools to host next year.
• Blair is one of only two Division I women’s basketball coaches next to C. Vivian Stringer (Cheyney State, Iowa and Rutgers) to take three teams to the NCAA Sweet 16.
• In addition, Blair is one of only three all-time NCAA DI women's basketball coaches to lead two different teams to the NCAA Women’s Final Four next to Marianne Stanley (Old Dominion and Stanford) and Stringer.
• Historically, only two No. 3 seeds have gone on to win a national championship title including Tennessee in 1997 and North Carolina in 1994.
• A&M’s roster has a combined 75 games of NCAA Tournament experience, but a majority of that has come off the bench or late in secured wins. The Aggies total 24 starts in NCAA play, all from seniors Carter, Elonu and White (8 each). White has the most career NCAA minutes (301), while Carter and Elonu are each over 225.
• The University at Albany is located in Albany, N.Y., has an enrollment of 17,615 and was founded in 1844.
• The Great Danes return eight letterwinners and four starters from their 2010-11 squad that finished 16-13 overall and 9-7 (5th) in the America East Conference.
• Albany captured its first America East Championship in its first title game appearance to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Ebone Henry was named the America East Tournament’s
MVP and also picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors in the league.
• Albany makes its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament Saturday against Texas A&M.
• The Great Danes enter the championship on a 10-game winning streak.
• Albany is led by two-time all-conference selections Henry, with 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and Julie Forster with 8.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Cassandra Callaway also averages double figures at 11.2 points per game.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
No. Name 2011-12 Stats
10 Alexia Standish, G, 5-8, Fr. 5.2 ppg, 2.0 apg
04 Sydney Carter, G, 5-6, Sr. 11.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
20 Tyra White, G, 6-0, Sr. 13.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
21 Adaora Elonu, F, 6-1, Sr. 11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg
03 Kelsey Bone, C, 6-4, Jr. 12.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg
No. Name 2011-12 Stats
01 Cassandra Callaway, G, 5-7, Sr. 11.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
05 Ebone Henry, G, 5-10, Jr. 14.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg
10 Lindsey Lowrie, G, 5-6, Jr. 7.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg
11 Julie Forster, F, 6-0, Jr. 8.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg
24 Adrienne Jones, G, 5-7, Sr. 5.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg
2011-12 Category TAMU ALBANY
Overall Record 22-10 23-9
Conference Record 11-7 14-2
Points Per Game 67.8 58.7
Scoring Margin +8.0 +5.8
Rebounds Per Game 38.7 38.3
Rebounding Margin +4.2 +2.2
Field Goal Percentage 42.1 36.3
Field Goal% Defense 40.4 36.5
3-Point FG% 30.3 31.2
Free Throw Percentage 65.6 63.7
Turnovers Per Game 14.8 15.5
Assists Per Game 14.4 11.3
Blocks Per Game 4.5 3.1
Steals Per Game 9.3 11.1
INSIDE THE SERIES
• Saturday will be the first meeting between Texas A&M and Albany.
• Should the Aggies win their NCAA First Round game they will move on to the second round and meet either sixth-seeded Arkansas (23-8) or 11th-seeded Dayton (23-6) on Monday, March 19 at 8:30 p.m. (CT).
• The Aggies turned in their seventh consecutive 20-win season and their seventh straight 10-win season in Big 12 Conference play under head coach Gary Blair.
• The Aggies limited Iowa State (33) and Kansas State (36) to their lowest point totals of the season and are the only team in the Big 12 to have held two opponents to less than 40 points in conference play this year.
• Texas A&M finished the regular season tied for second place in the Big 12 standings with Oklahoma.
• The Aggies lead the Big 12 by forcing their opponents into an average of 20.2 turnovers per game, with a turnover margin of +5.3. The team also averages 9.3 steals, has a scoring margin of +8.0 and averages 16.3 offensive rebounds per game which are all second-best in the Big 12.
• As of March 11, the Aggies had the 14h-best turnover margin in the nation, while Kelsey Bone held the 13th-best field goal percentage in the country at 53.8.
• Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Bone is second-best in the conference with her 53.8 field goal percentage. Bone (3.1) and senior Adaora Elonu’s (3.0) offensive rebounds per game are fourth- and fifth-best in the league.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP REWIND
• Texas A&M became the first school in league history with its fifth straight appearances in the title game, but fell to top-ranked Baylor who earned its second straight Big 12 Postseason Championship.
• Kelsey Bone was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team. She averaged 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
• Carter and Standish each averaged 13.3 points per game in the championship. Carter added 4.7 assists per game and Standish shot 62 percent from beyond the arc.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RECAP
BAYLOR 73, TEXAS A&M 50
• For the first time this season, Texas A&M used the starting lineup of Alexia Standish, Sydney Carter, Skylar Collins, Adaora Elonu and Karla Gilbert. A&M has used a different starting lineup in each Big 12 Championship game.
• Texas A&M moves to 36-50 in the all-time series with Baylor and are 0-5 when playing Baylor in the Big 12 Championship.
• A&M moves to 2-3 all-time in the finals, 2-2 against the No. 1 seed and 15-14 overall in all Big 12 Championship games.
• The Aggies are 8-6 on national TV this season.
• A&M’s 27.9 shooting percentage and 50 points were each its second lowest this season.
• The Aggie bench outscored Baylor 28-9.
• A&M also outscored Baylor in second chance points 18-9 with a 17-14 edge in offensive boards.
• Blair is now 10-19 lifetime versus Baylor in his 27 years as a Division I head coach.
• Bone scored in double figures for the 24th time this season and Carter for the 20th.
FIVE AGGIES EARN BIG 12 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ACCOLADES
• Kelsey Bone was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Tyra White was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team. Sydney Carter was voted to the All-Big 12 Second Team and the Big 12 All-Defensive Team, and both Bone and Adaora Elonu were named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Alexia Standish earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
A&M’S LAST SIX
• Over the last six games, Texas A&M has gone just 3-3, but has shot over 45 percent from the floor and nearly 43 percent from beyond the arc. The Aggies are led by Karla Gilbert’s 81 percent shooting, while Standish has been lighting it up from 3-point range shooting 65 percent.
• Adrienne Pratcher and Sydney Carter are approaching the 100-assist mark for the season. With 95 assists, Pratcher leads the team and is on the verge of her first 100-assist season. Carter is second on the team with 92 and is looking for her third consecutive 100-assist season.
STANDISH STARTING FRESH
• Alexia Standish is only the fifth true freshman to start at point guard in Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair’s nine seasons in Aggieland and she has the second-most starts of that impressive group.
Name Starts Year
Adrienne Pratcher 1 2009-10
Sydney Carter 1 2008-09
Sydney Colson 2 2007-08
Alexia Standish 18 2011-12
A’Quonesia Franklin 28 2004-05
• Texas A&M finished its 2011-12 regular season averaging a program-best 6,592 fans at each home game, which ranked fifth-best in the Big 12 and 12th-best in the country in attendance. A&M has been in the top 25 in national attendance for the past four seasons.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
• White is six field goals away (589) from moving into fourth place on the all-time list.
• Against Missouri on Feb. 14, White moved into seventh place on A&M’s career points list and currently has 1,454 career points. She is 52 points away from moving into sixth place.
• Against Missouri on Jan. 18, White became the 24th A&M player to join the 500-rebound club. She is just four rebounds away (578) from moving into A&M’s top 10 list.
• Against Oklahoma March 9, Elonu (84 career blocks, including an individual season-best 35 this season) moved into ninth place in career block shots. She is two blocks away from moving into the eighth place on the all-time list.
• Against Baylor on March 10, Elonu moved into seventh place on the career rebounds list with 712 boards.
• Against Oklahoma State on Jan. 24, Elonu became 25th A&M player to pass over 1,000 career points and currently has 1,154.
• Against OU on Feb. 21, Carter moved into the top 10 in career steals. She is just one steal away (198) from moving into ninth place on the all-time list.
• Against Kansas on Jan. 21, Carter became the 24th A&M player to pass over 1,000 career points and currently has 1,152.
• Carter holds the best career free-throw percentage (81.5).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
• All but four of A&M’s losses have come by just 9 points or less. Three of the four losses were against the No.1 (Baylor twice) and the No. 2 (UConn) teams in the nation.
• All but three of the Aggies’ wins (USC, Iowa State, and at Missouri) have come by 10 points or more.
• In two of the three wins decided by less than 10 points, Sydney Carter provided the game-winning heroics versus USC (3-pointer) and Iowa State (pair of free throws).
• In all but three of A&M’s losses (at Kansas State, Baylor and at Texas), the team has shot less than 40 percent.
• In all but three of A&M’s wins (McNeese State, at Iowa State and Oklahoma State), the team has shot 40 percent or better.
• The Aggies have trailed at the half 11 times this season, seven of which ended in a loss and four of which A&M won.
• In all but one of A&M’s wins (at Kansas), the team has outscored its opponent in the second half.
• In all but one of A&M’s losses (at Oklahoma State), the team has been outscored in the second half.
• Here is a comparison of key statistics in A&M’s wins vs. losses:
Team Stat Wins Losses
Points per game 72.5 57.4
Opp points per game 55.2 70.1
Scoring margin +17.4 -12.7
FG Percentage 45.3 35.1
Opp FG Percentage 37.4 46.6
Free-Throw Percentage 67.4 61.2
Assists 15.9 11.0
Turnovers per game 14.5 16.5
Turnover Margin +7.0 +1.8
Steals per game 10.3 7.0
BLAIR INDUCTED INTO TSHOF
• Head Coach Gary Blair officially became the 24th TSHOF Inductee from Texas A&M on Feb. 29. He joined the ranks of Aggie inductees like John David Crow, Gene Stallings and R.C Slocum. Also inducted in the Class of 2011 were Aggie Shawn Andaya, Mack Brown, Fred Couples, G.A. Moore, Jr., Dave Parks, Tobin Rote, Bubba Smith, Lovie Smith and Andre Ware.
AGGIES IN THE POLLS
• A&M has been ranked in the AP Poll for 83 consecutive weeks and 55 all-time in the top 10
• A&M has been ranked in the Coaches Poll for 119 consecutive weeks and 60 all-time in the top 10.