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January 24, 2013

Schaefer falls to former team

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Vic Schaefer spent nine successful seasons as an assistannt coach at Texas A&M.

That was the allure for Mississippi State director of athletics Scott Stricklin to hire Schaefer when the Lady Bulldogs had a vacancy last spring. Stricklin wants Schaefer to build the same type of program in Starkville.

Thursday night Schafer and his players found out just how much work needs to be done. The 16th ranked Aggies handed MSU the second worst home loss in school history 81-33.

"That's the blueprint," Schaefer said. "Those kids play hard, play well together, have great chemistry and can create. I'm pretty sure that's why Scott hired us and that's the blue print. That's the only way I know to do it. We've got to continue to work with these young ladies and teach them a level of expectation in how hard we want to play. As you can see we've got to go get some help as well. We've signed five young ladies and I'm excited about them."

Schaefer shared the bench with Aggies head coach Gary Blair for 15 seasons at both A&M and Arkansas. The two shared some time together prior to Thursday's game and Blair had nothing but praise for his former assistant.

"If ya'll will be patient, you're going to have a heck of a team," Blair said. "This team (at Mississippi State) is very similar to my first team at A&M. You've got to be patient and take the baby steps. I'm so proud of what this school has done to this basketball arena. I haven't been here in 10 years and now this is as good an 11,000 seat arena as there is in the country. If people will get on board, the SEC could be as good a basketball conference as it is in football."

The Aggies shot 60.4-percent from the floor on the evening improving to 5-1 in the league and 15-5 overall. Texas A&M forced 23 turnovers and outscored the Lady Bulldogs 32-0 off turnovers alone.

Kristi Bellock scored a career-high 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting for the Aggies.

"I just took my mid-range jumpers," Bellock said. "I just stick to what I'm good at. I don't go to my weaknesses, I stick to my strengths. I just kept shooting it and it just kept falling."

Adrienne Pratcher added 15 points including 3-of-5 behind the arc while Kelsey Bone chipped in 15 points for the A&M victory.

The Aggies went on a 20-0 run from the 2:17 mark of the first half that carried until the 14:36 mark of the second. Texas A&M led 39-19 at halftime and held the Bulldogs without a field goal for the first 8:23 of the second half.

State shot just 26.7-percent from the field and were outscored 28-12 in the paint. The 23 turnovers did not help their cause either.

"I felt like we were too anxious and antsy if we saw somebody open and tried to quickly get it to them," said MSU sophomore guard Kendra Grant. "We just need to calm down and take it down a notch sometimes and not be soo anxious to get rid of the ball."

Martha Alwal led the Lady Dogs with a double-double performance of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jerica James added 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench while Grant and Carnecia Williams both chipped in four points.

The loss dropped Mississippi State's conference mark to 0-6 and overall record to 8-11 on the year. The Lady Bulldogs will host instate rival Ole Miss at 2 p.m. on Sunday.


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