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Aggie Women Out to Cool Off Ole Miss on Thursday

Rebels and Aggies are unranked, but both have much at stake in terms of their standing in the SEC

Texas A&M got the win it sorely needed on Sunday against Auburn. But the Aggies’ women’s basketball team needs more of that.

Digging out of their current hole in the SEC won’t be easy for the Aggies (11-6, 1-4 in SEC), and they’ll host a surging Ole Miss squad (15-2, 3-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.

The Aggies finally fired on all cylinders against the Tigers, building a 44-18 halftime lead to ensure the game wasn’t in doubt.

The bench proved key for Texas A&M, and Sydnee Roby received a lot of play from head coach Gary Blair, scoring a team-high 20 points off the bench. With Kayla Wells adding 15 points and Jordan Nixon added 10 points, the Aggies had more than enough offense. The six points in 25 minutes that Texas A&M received from Destiny Pitts, in her first game back from COVID protocols, was a bonus.

With four days of rest, Blair and the Aggies are hopeful Pitts — who averages 11.1 points — is closer to 100 percent for the Rebels.

Wells remains the Aggies’ leadings scorer with 16.6 points, while Nixon averages 12.3 points. Qadashah Hoppie is the fourth Aggie averaging double figures with 10.5 points.

Roby’ contribution could be a trend to watch. She’s started 10 of her 17 games this season, and she pushed her scoring average to 6.2 points. The junior center is also the Aggies’ third-leading rebounder with 4.4 per game. Only Aaliyah Patty, with 7.2 rebounds, and Pitts, with 5.7 rebounds, have more.

Ole Miss is having an incredible season. It has already matched last season’s win total (15) but isn’t ranked in the AP Top 25, nor are the Rebels receiving votes. The Rebels lost their only matchup with the Aggies last season by 11 points. And while Ole Miss didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, it did reach the WNIT Championship game before losing to Rice.

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After absorbing a stunning season-opening loss to Belmont, the Rebels won 13 straight games, including a win over No. 18 USF. Ole Miss had its first two SEC games against Arkansas and South Carolina postponed, and its other loss came to Tennessee on Jan. 9, 70-59.

Ole Miss is coming off an 86-71 win over in-state rival Mississippi State.

Sharkira Adams is the one to watch for Ole Miss, as she averages 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds, both of which lead the team. Madison Scott averages 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, while Angel Baker averages 10 points and 3.2 rebounds. Mimi Reid doesn’t score much, but she averages a team-leading 3.5 assists per game.

The Aggies are at Missouri on Sunday at 5 p.m.

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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.