A Women's tripleheader comes to the FCS networks on Saturday February 6th. The coverage starts at 1pm ET on FCS Pacific with #12 Texas A&M visiting the undefeated #4 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Another Big 12 matchup will follow on FCS Central, as the great Bedlam Series rivalry continues with Oklahoma visiting Oklahoma State at 3pm ET. With both Oklahoma schools ranked in the top 15 nationally, there is more than just pride at stake in this rivalry game. The tripleheader concludes on FCS Atlantic at 5pm ET as the Troy Trojans travel north to Western Kentucky in a critical Sun-Belt conference clash.
Nebraska (20-0, 7-0) has been enjoying a historic season in 2009/10, and they filled the record books further on Monday when they climbed to as high as #4 in the AP poll. The #4 ranking is the highest in school history and their 20-0 start is not only the best in Cornhusker history, but also the best in Big-12 history. Nebraska has been led by their 'Big 4' of Kelsey Griffin (19.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg), Cory Montgomery (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Yvonne Turner (12.4 pgg, 3.9 rpg), and Dominique Kelley (12.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg). All four upperclassmen average over 12 points per game and complement each other well on the court. Griffin, a 6'2" senior forward from Alaska has been touted for National Player of the Year honors. Her ten double-doubles and team leading 36 steals have her Nebraska team in the National title discussion.
Nebraska has been dominant on the boards all season, ranking 13th nationally in rebound margin. The Texas A&M Aggies (16-4, 4-3) must compete on the offensive and defensive glass if they are to win their first true road game since January 9th. The Aggies are also considerably younger than the Huskers, and will rely on senior Tanisha Smith and junior Danielle Adams to keep the team grounded in the hostile Lincoln environment. Smith and Adams will start alongside 3 sophomores for A&M in the two teams first meeting since February 2009. Almost a year ago to the day, that result favored the Aggies 86-43 in a blowout. Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair knows what his team must do, "Are they beatable?" he asked, "You betcha. At the same time, we have to play our game and do a little bit better on the road than what we did at Baylor and Oklahoma"
The Big 12 has proved itself as one of the nation's deepest leagues this year with 5 teams currently ranked in the top 15. The Oklahoma Sooners (15-6, 5-3) have lost two of their last three in conference, but look to regain momentum as they travel to Stillwater on Saturday to visit Oklahoma State (18-4, 6-2). This is the first of two Bedlam Series matchups this season and the rivals will be playing for tournament seedings as much as they will be playing for pride. The Cowgirls sit at 6-2 and second in the Big 12 with the Sooners just one game back at 5-3. With eight games remaining for each squad in conference play, Oklahoma State will try to gain a little separation from their in-state rivals.
Senior Andrea Riley is the player to watch for the Cowgirls. She has filled the role of Miss Everything this year as she comes into the game averaging 25.8 points per game, 7.1 assists per game and 2.2 steals per game. She stands just seven points shy of 2,500 for her career and needs one more steal to move into sixth on the school's all-time steals list. The Sooners will start a lineup of all upperclassmen, and will hope senior Amanda Thompson can dominate inside against the slightly smaller lineup of Oklahoma State. Bedlam ensues at 3pm ET on Saturday and then the teams will need to wait a month before they square off again in Norman for the season finale on March 7th.
FCS Atlantic hosts the third and final game of the day, which will see the women of Troy travel to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky (14-8, 8-3) will try to earn their 800th all-time victory on Saturday. It is fitting that while the Hilltopper women will try to make school history on the court, Hall of Fame coach Paul Sanderford will be watching from the stands. Sanderford won a total of 365 games coaching the WKU women's program and will have his jersey retired at halftime. He will hope the 2009/10 Hilltoppers can keep up their hot streak which has seen them win seven of their last eight. Troy (11-10, 4-8) enters the game going the opposite direction, having lost five of their last six. Western Kentucky leads the all-time series 7-1 and won 63-56 when the teams last met on January 20th.