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Aggies Win SEC Opener 91-52 over Alabama

January 03, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
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(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M Women's Basketball

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January 3, 2013

Aggies Win SEC Opener 91-52 over Alabama

COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M was victorious in its first ever SEC game by a score of 91-52 over Alabama at Reed Arena Thursday night in front of an impressive 7,191 fans. Once again the Aggies were led by Junior Kelsey Bone's remarkable play of 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Thursday's game was Bone's fourth double-double in the last five games and sixth of the season. Following Thursday's game Bone now leads the SEC in scoring (18.2), rebounds (9.7) per game and field goal percentage (.619). In the last eight contests Bone has scored at least 15 points and grabbed at least seven rebounds, averaging 23.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. In each of the last eight games Bone has outscored her season average entering the game, raising her per game scoring average nearly six points in less than a month.

"It's the same story on the inside with Kelsey Bone," Head Coach Gary Blair said. "We'll let her wear you out for 10-to-12 minutes then here comes our bench."

The Crimson Tide opened up the game making the first three shots the Tide attempted including a three pointer to take an early 7-3 lead. The Aggies answered with a 17-3 run of their own in just over five and a half minutes of game play to give the Aggies a 20-10 lead.  The Crimson Tide held Bone out of the scoring column for almost six minutes to start the game, but Bone responded with six points over the next four minutes of play to spark the Aggie run.

Texas A&M led 46-24 after twenty minutes of play, Freshman Peyton Little made a coast-to-coast buzzer beater to give the home side a then game-high 22 point advantage. The Aggies dominated the boards in the first half pulling down 25 rebounds including seven offensive rebounds leading to nine second chance points and limited the Crimson Tide to only two second chance points. A&M was effective at keeping Alabama off the offensive glass, not allowing a single offensive rebound over the first 12 minutes of play.

The second half continued in a similar fashion to how the first half ended, the Aggies outscored the Tide 15-6 over the first eight minutes to push the A&M lead out to 31 points for the first time in the game. Bone was once again the spark the ignited the Aggie fire, scoring six points in the run. Late in the second half Alabama cut the A&M lead to 29, but A&M answered with a 14-5 run to finish the game. On the night the Aggies out-rebounded the Crimson Tide 52-25, outscored the Tide 48-16 in the pain and 32-11 in bench points.

"I think people realize we have a lot of options off the bench," Blair added. "We had 32 points off our bench and four of them played in double figure minutes. That's just solid."

Junior Adrienne Pratcher continues to be in control of the Aggie offense tallying six assists versus zero turnovers, her sixth straight game with at least six assists to put her at first in the SEC in assist to turnover ratio (3.4) and fourth in assists per game (5.2). As a team Texas A&M has had 21 or more assists in four of the last five games. A&M's offense was too much for Alabama to handle as the Tide allowed a season high 91 points.

The Aggies set season highs in points scored (91) and rebounds (52) on Thursday night. Senior Kristi Bellock continued her solid play with her second career double-double scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Two other Aggies scored in double figures with Little scoring 13 and Junior Karla Gilbert adding 12 points, both off the bench. 

Next Texas A&M will travel to Fayetteville to face off with the University of Arkansas on Sunday January 6 at 2 p.m. The matchup will be a rematch of the NCAA Tournament Second Round game held in College Station, the Aggies were victorious 61-59 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

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