The #8 Oregon State Beavers Women’s basketball team takes on the Texas A&M Aggies in game ten of the season. Tip-off is slated for 9:30 PM PST on Saturday, December 15th. Check out the team’s Twitter page on how to follow along live. Let’s take a closer look at the Broncos.
Texas A&M (7-2 overall, 0-0 conference)
Last season: 26-10 overall, 11-5 in SEC (T-4th), lost in Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament
Texas A&M kicked off the Maui Classic with a seven point win over UC Riverside. Now don’t let that closer-than-it-should-have-been and their two losses fool you. One of those losses came in a tough matchup against 15th ranked Syracuse on a “neutral” floor (in New York). The other is more of a head scratcher as it came at home against a 5-4 Lamar team, but they were without their leading scorer, Chennedy Carter due a one game suspension. Still, I think that Lamar loss speaks to the composition of this young team. Their starting five is made entirely of sophomores, and only Carter was a starter on last year’s Sweet Sixteen squad.
Head Coach Gary Blair led the Aggies to a national title in 2011, and has taken the team to the NCAA tournament for 13 straight years. While he has one of the better players in the country in Carter, it’s going to take his magic to get this team back to the Sweet Sixteen considering the turnover from last year. One of last year’s regular starters was Anriel Howard who transferred from A&M as the program’s all time leading rebounder.
Who to watch
#3 - Chennedy Carter, Sophomore Guard
The returning National Freshman of the Year has nearly picked up where she left off a season ago. After averaging 23 points last year, Carter is leading the charge again at 20 points per game this year. She is coming off a season high 26 point performance to lead Texas A&M over UC Riverside.
#40 - Ciera Johnson, Sophomore Center
The former Louisville Cardinal has made her impact early in the year for the Aggies as she has scored double digits in seven of the Aggie’s nine games so far this season, including the last six.
#31 - N’dea Jones, Sophomore Forward
Jones is doing her best to make up for the loss of Howard by grabbing nine rebounds per game, leading the Aggies. So far she has nabbed double digit boards in five games in the season.
Will Chennedy Carter be too much for the Beavers to handle? She might be as she is the type of player that can completely take over a game. Oregon State will need to be focused on her to avoid that kind of scenario. Ultimately, I think the Beavers experience will ultimately be what prevails them to keep their undefeated streak alive as the host of the Maui Jim Maui Classic.