FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Attempting to extend its conference winning streak to four games, the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team takes to the road for a Thursday night matchup against No. 15/16 Texas A&M in Reed Arena. The Razorbacks will look to avenge a Jan. 4 loss at home to the Aggies, which saw Texas A&M bank in the game-winning shot as time expired. Arkansas’ defense has been the catalyst during the team’s three-game winning streak, holding three-straight SEC opponents under 50 points – the first time in program history such a feat has been accomplished.
Here is a look ahead to the Razorbacks’ next opponent:
SCOUTING No. 15/16 TEXAS A&M
• Texas A&M enters Thursday’s matchup ranked No. 15/13, owning a record of 18-6 and 6-4 SEC. The Aggies lost to Mississippi State in overtime in its last game, Feb. 8.
• Courtney Walker and Courtney Williams lead the team in scoring, averaging 14.8 and 14.2 per game, respectively
• Achiri Ade is the team’s leading rebounder with 8.3 per game
• Jordan Jones leads the team and conference in assists per game (6.7)
• Texas A&M ranks sixth in the SEC in both scoring offense (67.1) and scoring defense (56.1)
• The Aggies are second in the SEC in field goal percentage defense at 34.4 percent
• Gary Blair (Texas Tech, ’72) is in his 12th season as head coach of A&M with a record of 281-115. In his 30th season overall as a collegiate head coach, Blair is 689-278. Blair has significant ties to the Arkansas women’s basketball program, as he was the head coach of the Razorbacks from 1993-2003. During his 10 seasons in Fayetteville, Blair piloted the team to a 198-120 record and five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the program’s only Final Four appearance in 1998. Current Arkansas assistant coach Christy Smith played for Blair when she was a guard for the Razorbacks from 1994-98. Current director of basketball operations Amber (Nicholas) Shirey served on Blair’s coaching staff during the entire 10 years, as Shirey has been with the Razorbacks ever since her graduation from the university in 1992.
• Aggies assistant coach Amy Wright played for Blair at Arkansas from 1998-2002 and is the school’s all-time assists leader with 717.
• Arkansas leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 20-6, including an 8-3 mark in games played in College Station. Since A&M joined the SEC in 2012-13, Arkansas is 0-3 against the Aggies
LAST MEETING: Jan. 4, 2015 – No. 5/8 TEXAS A&M 52, ARKANSAS 50
Arkansas lost its second consecutive SEC game Jan. 4, 2015, inside Bud Walton Arena in heartbreaking fashion, falling 52-50 to No. 5/8 Texas A&M. Arkansas battled the Aggies to a 50-50 tie with just seconds to go, until Achiri Ade converted a putback layup as time expired to give Texas A&M the win. A back-and-forth affair for the entire 40 minutes, the game featured 13 ties and 17 lead changes and neither team held a lead of more than five points. Neither team was able to get their offenses fully flowing, as the teams combined for 26 turnovers and 35 made field goals. Arkansas shot 29.1 percent from the field while A&M shot 33.9 percent. Sophomore Jessica Jackson registered her second double-double of the season and seventh of her career, scoring a game-high 18 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Sophomore Kelsey Brooks scored 15 points and junior Melissa Wolff chipped in eight. Senior Calli Berna tallied seven assists and committed only one turnover against A&M’s active defense.