No. 24 AP / No. 20 Coaches’ Texas A&M Aggies (6-2, 0-0 SEC) at
No. 12 AP / No. 11 Coaches’ Penn State Lady Lions (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
State College, Pa. • Bryce Jordan Center (15,261)
The defending SEC Tournament Champion, No. 24 Texas A&M, travels to Happy Valley to take on two-time defending Big Ten Champion, No. 12 Penn State, on Sunday, Dec. 15, in one of this week’s biggest women’s basketball contests.
The Aggies (6-2) and Lady Lions (6-3) meet for one of just two contests nation-wide between ranked teams this weekend, and the nation’s only ranked matchup on Sunday. It is also one of just seven non-conference matchups between defending champions of power conferences scheduled for this season.
This is Texas A&M’s first trip to State College, Pa., but the two sides met last year, as Penn State used a 12-2 run over the game’s final 6:24 to win 63-58 in Reed Arena. Maggie Lucas, who scored 18 points against the Aggies last season, returns for Penn State, and is leading the Lady Lions with 21.1 points per game. A&M senior center Karla Gilbert, who had 10 points in last season’s game, is averaging 11.3 points and 9.6 rebounds.
Texas A&M enters this game having won its last three, and five of their last six, games against ranked opponents away from home, and its last three games against teams ranked exactly 12th in the AP Poll. This season, A&M has a 6-2 start, and have won their last two contests with double-figure scoring contributions from Karla Gilbert, Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams in both of those wins.
Penn State is 6-3 after dropping a contest Wednesday at South Dakota State, 83-79. Penn State’s other two setbacks have come to No. 1 Connecticut and No. 4 Notre Dame, but both of those ranked losses have come at the Bryce Jordan Center.
While Texas A&M Hall of Fame Coach Gary Blair has never coached at Penn State as a head coach, he made a trip to Happy Valley as an assistant on the 1983-84 Louisiana Tech squad. The No. 1 Lady Techsters defeated Penn State 86-61, but Co-Head Coach Leon Barmore refused to get back on the small plane that took the team from Pittsburgh to State College, insisting that the team bus the two and a half hours to Pittsburgh after the game.
The game tips at 1 p.m. CT and 2 p.m. ET, and can be listened to for free, locally on KZNE 1150 AM or worldwide on AggieAthletics.com. Fans can also subscribe to watch online via the Big Ten Digital Network or follow along for updates from @AggieWBB on twitter.