Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: Get to Know Texas A&M

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 03: Head coach Gary Blair of the Texas A
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 03: Head coach Gary Blair of the Texas A /

The Notre Dame women’ basketball team will take on Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 on Saturday in Spokane, WA.

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will make its ninth-straight Sweet 16 appearance this weekend in Spokane when it takes on Texas A&M. The 4th-seeded Aggies made their way to the Sweet 16 with an 89-76 win over Drake in the first round and a thrilling 80-79 win over Depaul in the second round.

Texas A&M comes into the game with a record of 26-9 and were the SEC Tournment runners-up. They’ve been a mainstay in the AP Top 25 all season.

Who coaches the Aggies?

Gary Blair is the Texas A&M head coach. He’s a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and coached the Aggies to the 2010-2011 National Championship with a win over Notre Dame in the final. He’s taken Texas A&M to 13-consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Blair is quite simply one of the greatest women’s college basketball coaches of all-time.

Statistical leaders

Scoring: Chennedy Carter, 22.4 ppg

Assists: Chennedy Carter, 170 total assists

Rebounds: Anriel Howard, 12.1 rpg

Blocks: Khaalia Hillsman, 53 total blocks

Steals: Chennedy Carter, 68 total steals

What should scare Notre Dame?

Chennedy Carter is one of the best freshmen — if not players — in the nation. She can score from anywhere and knows how to use her quickness to get tough points in the paint and get to the foul line. Additionally, 6’5″ center Khaalia Hillsman is a true rim protector who will challenge Notre Dame’s bigs in the paint on offense.

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Why shouldn’t the Irish be worried?

Notre Dame is deeper at nearly every position on the floor — even with injurys. The Irish have too many scoring threats for the Aggies to stop — as evident in the game against Villanova. Marina Mabrey had 15 points and yet was still at least nine points behind three other teammates in scoring. Notre Dame’s bigger guards will likely be a problem for Texas A&M as well. And though Hillsman is a rim protector, she’s nowhere near the rebounder that Jessica Shepard and Kathryn Westbeld both are. The Irish should be able to dominate the boards.