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Dominant second half propels A&M to NCAA's 2nd Round

March 23, 2013
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For further quotes and notes from Saturday's game and more from the weekend, click here.

COLLEGE STATION — Coming into the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, three-seeds were 76-0 against 14-seeds in the first round.

That trend continued on Saturday, when 7,215 fans watched the third-seeded Texas A&M women’s basketball team defeat the fourteenth-seeded Wichita State Shockers, 71-45, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

“I thought our team played well in spots,” said A&M head coach Gary Blair. “I thought we were pretty solid defensively. For the most part, we did a pretty good job."

Matt Sachs, TexAgs Even with Bone (pictured) sidelined by foul trouble, the Aggies weathered a slow start and were never challenged in the second half. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"right","Size":"large","Caption":"Even with Bone (pictured) sidelined by foul trouble, the Aggies weathered a slow start and were never challenged in the second half.","MediaItemID":30971}
Kristi Bellock finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds, and Courtney Williams added 11 more to lead the Aggies (25-9) in the victory.

“[Williams] has progressed a lot,” said A&M center Kelsey Bone. “She’s more aware, smarter about basketball plays. You could see a couple times in the game, instead of staying out for the three-point shot, she realized that she could go in and get the layup.”

The Shockers (24-10) were led by Michelle Price, who recorded 12 points in a losing effort.

A&M got off to a slow start, going 5-of-14 from the field through the first eight minutes of play, allowing Wichita State to hold an early 12-11 lead with 12:24 left in the first half.

“We knew we had to be aggressive with them,” said Shockers forward Alex Harden in regard to her team's hot start. “They weren’t going to give us anything. They had the length and the speed, so we just had to take it out of them and look to where we had openings.”

With 10:17 remaining before the break and the score tied at 16, Bone picked up her second foul of the half and was placed on the bench by Blair.

Wichita State appeared set to make a run with A&M’s leading scorer out of the game, but the Aggies instead rattled off a 16-2 run over the period’s final 6:30 of play to take a 35-22 lead into the locker room.

“I was definitely disappointed with myself,” said Bone. “Coach Blair tells me that I have to understand that teams are going to have game plans against me and that I help them by picking up silly fouls. It gives me a great sense of security knowing that there is always someone waiting in the wings to step up.”

The Aggies took complete control of the game early in the second half after an 18-4 run, earning their largest lead of the night, 60-33, with 8:10 left in the contest.

Pratcher was like an artist drawing on a canvas. She’s in a slump from three, so I said, 'Let's beat them with two’s and one’s.' Finally, she rattled off a three in the second half that made it a little bit better. - Gary Blair on Adrienne Pratcher's 6 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists {"Module":"quote","Alignment":"left","Quote":"Pratcher was like an artist drawing on a canvas. She’s in a slump from three, so I said, \u0027Let\u0027s beat them with two’s and one’s.\u0027 Finally, she rattled off a three in the second half that made it a little bit better.","Author":"Gary Blair on Adrienne Pratcher\u0027s 6 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists"}
During that span, A&M hit on 6-of-9 shots from the floor and also connected on 6-of-6 free throws.

Highlighted by the play of senior point-guard Adrienne Pratcher, the Aggies would record 22 assists on 26 field goals. Pratcher, who leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, dished out seven dimes and turned the ball over only once in the game. The senior also recorded six points and seven rebounds in the victory.

“Pratcher was like an artist drawing on a canvas,” stated Blair. “She’s in a slump from three, so I said, 'Let's beat them with two’s and one’s.' Finally, she rattled off a three in the second half that made it a little bit better.”

The Aggies also dominated on the glass, beating the Shockers 41-25 on the boards.

A&M now faces sixth-seeded Nebraska in the second round of the tournament, by virtue of the Cornhuskers' 73-59 defeat of the Chattanooga Lady Mocs in the second game of the College Station sub-regional.

“Look what both of us have done since we left the Big 12,” said Blair. “[Nebraska head coach] Connie [Yori] plays hard. I remember her as a player. She was an excellent, and she instills that in her kids.”
Discussion from...

Dominant second half propels A&M to NCAA's 2nd Round

5,212 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 8 yr ago by amc70
Ronnie Woodard
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Dominant second half propels A&M to NCAA 2nd Round
Beau Holder
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Special thanks to Mac Resource Computers for their sponsorship of all women's basketball content produced throughout the season at TexAgs.com! For the third consecutive year, all WBB content will be available to you for free!
rosstradamas70
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perhaps the dominant last four minutes of the first half when KB and KG were on the bench!!
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