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Contrasting strengths face off in Indy

Kayla Pedersen talks about the versatility of Stanford's offense going against a tough Texas A&M defense.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas A&M associate head coach Vic Schaefer sat in the Aggies' locker room Saturday diagramming defensive schemes on a notepad. Texas A&M was able, on the fourth try, to successfully stifle Baylor's offense in the Dallas Regional final Tuesday. But will the Aggies be able to do the same -- or anything close to it -- against the big, versatile attack of Stanford in the NCAA semifinals?

That's what coach Gary Blair, Schaefer and the Aggies will be trying to accomplish Sunday (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) as Texas A&M faces the No. 1 seed from the Spokane Regional, a team that is averaging 79.8 points per game.

"We're not going to play 'hope you miss' defense," Blair said Saturday on the eve of the national semifinals at Conseco Fieldhouse. "We're going to hopefully play 'make you miss.'"

The Dallas No. 2 seed Aggies did that in the regional final, limiting Baylor to 46 points. For the season, A&M is allowing foes an average of 56.8. Stanford, though, also excels in that department, as the Cardinal are giving up an average of 55.3 points a game.

In contrast to Baylor and its one very big threat -- 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner -- Stanford has a lot of size and skill for the Aggies to deal with: 6-2 Nneka Ogwumike, 6-3 Chiney Ogwumike and 6-4 Kayla Pedersen are starters, and 6-3 Joslyn Tinkle, 6-5 Sarah Boothe and 6-3 Mikaela Ruef are available to come off the bench.

"We're fortunate that we do have a big wing player in Tyra, who will obviously get one of them," Schaefer said in regard to 6-foot A&M junior Tyra White. "Rebounding is a huge concern, probably our biggest concern going in."

Stanford is the top rebounding team at the women's Final Four, averaging 43.6 per game, led by Chiney Ogwumike (8.1), Pedersen (7.9) and Nneka Ogwumike (7.6). Texas A&M averages 39.7 rebounds, with 6-1 senior Danielle Adams the top Aggie on the boards at 8.6 per game.

Adams was named to the State Farm All-America team Saturday here in Indianapolis, as was Nneka Ogwumike.

"She's maybe not the most athletic-looking player," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said of Adams. "She's not that [tall] for a post player. She's old-school in the way that I think she is a great basketball player. She has great hands, great feet. She scores inside and is extremely powerful. She scores outside with her 3. And she has a great demeanor on the court."

Adams scored just six points against Baylor on Tuesday, but defensively, she and White combined to limit Griner to 20 points -- which was by far the bulk of the Lady Bears' inside offense. Destiny Williams and Brooklyn Pope, who combined for seven points, were the only other interior players who scored for Baylor.

Contrast that to Stanford's regional final against Gonzaga, in which the Ogwumike sisters and Pedersen combined for 49 points and 38 rebounds. Texas A&M has a more ferocious and physical defense than Gonzaga. But Stanford has a more multidimensional and experienced offense than Baylor.

Adams and White will be key factors for Texas A&M against Stanford's inside game, as will 6-1 junior Adaora Elonu and 6-5 freshman Karla Gilbert.

"We need Adaora to play well again; she finally did that against Baylor in the regional championship game," Schaefer said. "She had struggled against them and their [power forward] players in the past. She had 10 rebounds and really was aggressive and physical."

Blair tried to lure the Ogwumike sisters, who are from the greater Houston area, to come not far from their home to Texas A&M in College Station. He knows them well, as do the Aggies players, and vice versa.

"The posts -- we have our hands full," Elonu said. "We're going to rely on our help-side defense. Against Baylor, we all helped each other out, as well, but it was more focused on one player: Griner. With Stanford, there are a lot of contributors we have to be concerned with.

"Pedersen, we look at her as both a guard and a post. She's a very difficult matchup. We know they're talented, and we have to recognize mismatches."

For the Ogwumikes, this game is a chance to face opponents they went against in high school and AAU ball growing up in Texas.

"Players like Sydney Colson, Sydney Carter, Karla Gilbert, Adaora Elonu -- they are all very familiar to me," Chiney said. "They have come off a huge game against Baylor; they're excited to make it here; they're going to use that to fuel their defense. Hopefully, we'll take care of the ball and mitigate that as much as we can."

Mechelle Voepel, a regular contributor to ESPN.com, can be reached at mvoepel123@yahoo.com. Read her blog at http://voepel.wordpress.com.