COLLEGE STATION-Adrienne Pratcher and Peyton Little
led a devastating three-point barrage by Texas A&M, leading the 16th-ranked
Aggies to a 77-58 win over Missouri Sunday afternoon before 5,785 fans at Reed
Little and Pratcher combined to go 11-of-17 from behind the
arc and scored a combined 35 points on the day, while All-America candidate
Kelsey Bone registered her SEC-leading 10th double-double of the
year with 16 points and 10 boards.
"Pratcher's been on a roll since
conference started," Head Coach Gary Blair said following the win. "It was good
to see Peyton come in and hit multiple threes. She usually hits one a game.
It's good to see her be able to get into the flow. That's what we're going to
have to have."
A&M (16-5, 6-1 SEC) won its fourth straight overall, 10th
in a row at home and maintained hold on second place in the league standings.
Overall, the Aggies set an arena record and tied a school record with 12 threes
on the afternoon.
Texas A&M set the tone for the day very early, racing
out to an 8-0 lead in the first 80 seconds of the game behind two Pratcher
threes, forcing a Missouri timeout.
The Tigers (13-8, 2-5) clawed back into the game, pulling
within one with 13:36 to go before halftime, but the Aggies responded with a
26-2 run over the next eight and a half minutes-a run which included five treys
and forced Mizzou to burn three timeouts.
In perhaps the strongest team showing of the year, the
Aggies registered a season-high 26 assists on 29 made buckets.
Missouri, who entered the game as the nation's second-best
three-point shooting team, were stifled by the Aggie defensive effort, going
1-for-9 from behind the arc in the first half and shot just 29 percent from
long distance for the game.
"I think we were switching again,
Coach Starkey had a very good game plan," Blair added when asked about the
defensive effort today. "It's not that we are forcing turnovers off of the
press, it's we want to set the tempo and make them play faster than they want
Kristi Bellock was the fourth Texas A&M player in double
figures, scoring 10 on 4-of-6 shooting.
Mizzou was led by Bri Kulas' 12 point, 4-rebound day.
The victory was another dominating one in league play for
Texas A&M, which has beaten opponents by an average of 26 points in its six
The Aggies return to the court Thursday night when the
Aggies host Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity
to take pictures with the 2012 Heisman Trophy, won by Johnny Manziel. The game
will be televised by FOX Sports South/Southwest.
HEAD COACH GARY BLAIR
"The kids played very well. That's about as well as we've
shot the ball in the first half. We're seeing more and more zone. If you're
going to take Kelsey away we have other players that can score. Pratcher's been
on a roll since conference started. It was good to see Peyton come in and hit
multiple threes. She usually hits one a game. It's good to see her be able to
get into the flow. That's what we're going to have to have. We have to have a
zone buster in there. I thought we played extremely well in the first half.
It's tough when we have parents day because I get about three minutes with them
at the half. Sometimes it's not us. It's what Missouri was doing. Missouri
played very well in the second half. Give them a lot of credit. This is about
the sixth game in a row that we have shot over 50%. The second half wasn't
pretty but I got a lot of kids some playing time. Those kids have worked hard
and in the last two games I've been able to get all of them playing time
because it's going to tighten up the rotation for when Vanderbilt comes in
here. I'm happy with my team."
On the defense:
"I think we were switching again. Coach Starkey had a very
good gameplan. It's not that we are
forcing turnovers off of the press, it's we want to set the tempo and make them
play faster than they want to. That little point guard of theirs was pretty
dog-gone quick. I thought she did an outstanding job for them. We contested
shots. They didn't get that many open looks until the second half. In the
second half, everyone was open. When you play 13 players in the second half
that's what you're going to get on the defensive end. They lead the SEC in
three point percentage. I thought our defense was good. In the first half I
think they had one offensive board. That says a lot about our defense."
"Missouri is not one of those top-20 teams. We're going to
see some better zones and some better man. Missouri has a lot of young kids out
there. They graduated both of their post players from last year. Missouri is going
to be better next year than they are this year. We'll go on the road and find
out how good we are. We've won three out of four on the road due to the
tremendous schedule we've inherited. Our goal is to go out and win every game
and Vanderbilt coming in scares me like Kansas State scared me when they used
to come in here. They're a team full of shooters."
GUARD PEYTON LITTLE
On the three point
"Kelsey draws a lot of attention on the inside. I was
camping out on the outside waiting for her if there's a double team. She was
able to find me and I was able to knock down the shots."
On playing with
"It's very nice. I've never played with a big time post
player like Kelsey. She draws a lot of attention especially when they're playing
zone. The outside tends to be more open. She does a good job of kicking it to a
perimeter player and we're able to hit shots."
GUARD ADRIENNE PRATCHER
On the three point
"The three point shooting was good tonight. I'm not sure of
our percentage but once we got going with the three I think we started looking
for them more in our offensive sets. They were playing zone and sinking in on
the post players. The post players did a good job of finding the perimeter
players and the perimeter players did a good job of knocking those threes down.
On the zone:
"This is the most zone we've faced since coming from the
Big 12 and I think a big part of that is our post play. Our post play this
season has been outstanding. The purpose of the zone is to shut down the inside
but when we have perimeter players knocking down shots I don't know how teams
will try and defend us."
COACH ROBIN PINGETON
On the gameplan:
"We talked a lot about a game of percentages about the way
we were going to defend A&M. I certainly have so much respect for the
program and for Gary. Bone is such a special player so she was attracting a lot
of our attention. The gameplan was not to give up so many threes. We knew they
had a couple of kids who could shoot the three ball very well. I felt like it
was more of a breakdown on communication and our rotations. I didn't think we
had the sense of urgency to find their shooters. I think Bone takes up so much
attention. We just had breakdowns in our rotations."
"I thought we had a tough time knocking down shots in
general. A&M plays such good defense and really pressured us. Anytime you
have 17 turnovers it's going to be a tough night for you. I felt like we made
some adjustments in the second half. Our kids got a little more aggressive. I
was pleased with Darian Saunders our freshman post player. She came in and went
against one of, if not the best post player in the league. It wasn't perfect
but she competed. She wasn't playing on here heels. She played pretty
aggressive. It's been a challenge for us when playing against these top caliber
teams, to understand the poise you have to take the court with. We had some
open shots early but I thought we rushed them. That's a credit to the
competition that we're playing, no doubt about it."
On Texas A&M:
"I have a ton of respect for Gary and Texas A&M. You
guys are first class. I love the support that women's basketball gets. Your
program is two years removed from winning a national championship and last year
you advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. You guys have it going on here. This is what
we hope to build our program to in the future. You guys do it the right way."