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UConn, A&M meet: women’s Final Four trip on line
Question of the Day
“They’ve got five future WNBA first-round choices in their starting lineup. That’s how good they are,” Blair said Sunday. “But for 40 minutes Monday night, why not? Why not? … I like my team, I like our chances.”
Blair said the situation reminds him of 2010-11. Brittney Griner and Baylor beat his team three times that season before the Aggies upset the Lady Bears 58-46 in the Elite Eight on their way to the national championship.
“Don’t count Aggies out,” Blair said. “OK, we might be undermanned. I’ve got a nice team. They’ve got a great team. But the difference is it’s a 40-minute game. It’s not a season series. If it was a series, best out of seven, I wouldn’t like my chances.”
UConn (37-0), which defeated BYU in the regional semifinals, has won 43 straight games and is trying to make the Final Four for the seventh straight year. Texas A&M (27-8), coming off a win over DePaul, has made its deepest tournament run since 2011.
The Huskies and A&M have met twice previously. UConn won 81-51 in Hartford in November 2011. Last season the Huskies traveled to College Station and won 81-50 in the Aggies’ worst home loss since Blair took over in 2003.
“The fact we won by a lot down there, I don’t think that has a lot of significance this time,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “Really good players have short memories. If you ask them what the score was of our game last year, they probably wouldn’t remember.”
A&M’s Courtney Walker said the Aggies learned from the experience.
“We looked at what we did and what we did wrong and we moved on from it,” she said. “This is a whole new season, a whole new team.”
The last two times they played UConn, the Aggies ran their offense through Kelsey Bone in the post. Walker and Jordan Jones lead a guard-oriented system that has helped the Aggies to three tournament wins, all by at least 15 points.
“We have to make sure we do a good job containing dribble penetration and make it difficult to get into the lane,” UConn’s Stefanie Dolson said. “Even though they are different than BYU, they have Karla Gilbert. They’re extremely physical. We have to be ready for that.”
MORE THAN A LONE STAR: The state of Texas has produced a bevy of point guards. Three alums of the same AAU club, DFW Elite, are still playing in the tournament - sophomores Jordan Jones of Texas A&M and Moriah Jefferson of UConn and senior Odyssey Sims of Baylor.
Jefferson said she’s had no communication with Jones in Lincoln. “It’s strictly business now,” said Jefferson, the only Texan to ever play for the Huskies.
By Michael Widlanski
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