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Women’s Basketball Falls 66-62 To USC On Elementary School Day

COLLEGE STATION- Sadie Edwards hit a go-ahead jumper with 31.8 to play, giving USC a 66-62 victory over Texas A&M in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena on Elementary School Day.

USC (6-1) closed the game on an 11-4 run, the final charge in a game that featured 11 lead changes and six ties.

Texas A&M (5-1) was led by Khaalia Hillsman, who scored 20+ points for the second straight game, posting a season-high 21. Danni Williams added 11 points, marking her sixth straight double-digit game, and Anriel Howard posted her third straight double double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.

The game was Texas A&M’s annual Elementary School Day game, with over 5,000 schoolchildren from across the Brazos Valley making up the 7,488 in attendance. Texas A&M’s Elementary School Day is the fifth largest event of its kind in Division I.

Texas A&M returns to action on Dec. 5, at SMU with a 7 p.m. tip. The Aggies return home on Dec. 10 to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 2 p.m.

QUICKIE NOTES

  • USC improves to 6-1 on the season and Texas A&M falls to 5-1.
  • Texas A&M is now 3-1 on Elementary School Day and has averaged 7,598 fans per game, which ranks fifth in the nation.
  • The attendance of 7,488 is the 13th largest all-time at Reed Arena and the fourth-largest regular season non-conference crowd at Reed Arena
  • Khaalia Hillsman scored a season-high 21 points, her second straight game of 20+ points
    • She has scored in double figures in all six games this season.
    • She has 19 games of 10+ points in her career
  • Danni Williams has scored in double figures in all six games this season.
    • She has seven games of 10+ points in her career
  • Curtyce Knox had a career-high 12 assists, marking her fourth game this season with 10+ assists. She leads the nation in assists per game.
  • Anriel Howard had her third straight double-double and her fourth double double of the season.
    • She had a season-high 17 rebounds o She had 10+ rebounds for the fifth straight game and the 10th time in her career
    • She had 10+ points for the third straight game and fifth time this season o She had a career-high four steals.
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 722-293 in his Hall of Fame career, and 314-130 in 14 seasons at Texas A&M. He is eighth among active coaches and 14th all-time in career wins.

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
Opening Statement…
“I think a lot of it, right before the half, if you go back and look at 1:36 on the clock, we got a nine-point lead. Curtyce (Knox) had just made a great play. They (USC) miss a three-pointer, get the board, miss a layup, miss a rebound, miss another three-pointer, make a foul, and we miss two free throws. Instead of stretching that lead to 11, I think that was big. Then we made a mistake, and then there was a turnover by Curtyce (Knox) right at the end that gave them another chance, but it isn’t that they didn’t score at the end of that last possession; it was they could see the fear in us against pressure. We didn’t handle pressure very well at the end of the first half where it should have been an 11-point lead and it wasn’t. They cut it to seven.”

On USC’s play…
“What (Sadie) Edwards did for them (USC) coming off the bench was outstanding and Minyon Moore and Courtney Jaco put a lot of pressure on Curtyce. That’s where we got the five turnovers. Give them credit because they outplayed us in the second half. When (Kristen) Simon got the ball in the second half I thought she made some tough shots. She’s the best post player we’ve gone against this year, and I thought she did a good job. I thought our guard play would be able to handle pressure better than it did, so we’ll go back to the drawing board, work on it better, try to get better.”

On sophomore guard Danni Williams…
“She’s going to see that type of defense from the SEC on. When you get an athlete on her like that girl that was chasing her around, other people have got to step up and be able to score. They couldn’t stop us inside unless it was a lot of help or we turned it over. Danni has got to learn to be more physical and move about the ball more, then knock down the shots when she is open. I think she scored one time on taking it to the elbow on a play and made a nice little three-point play on that one. Danni is going to see SEC defense the rest of the way.”

Texas A&M Senior Guard Curtyce Knox
On being forced to take shots she didn’t want to take…
“In the fourth quarter, I think we were rushing because we saw the press and people weren’t in the right spots. We had a lot of turnovers and bad shots.”

On the difference between the USC’s first and second half… 
“The second half they came out playing hard. Our coaches told us they would come out strong. They put a lot of pressure on me. I think we need to play harder and make the right decisions when adversity hits.”

USC Junior Forward Kristen Simon
On hitting all of her free throws today… 
“I’m constantly keeping my focus. Free throws aren’t expected. Their crowd was loud so it just took a little extra focus to knock them down but I was comfortable and confident.”

USC Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
Opening Statement…
“What a fantastic women’s basketball game tonight in front of an incredible crowd. They were active all game long so it was fantastic to play in this atmosphere. I just want to give a shout out to Texas A&M for providing this atmosphere. Coach Blair does such a fantastic job and it took everything we had to come out, stay focused, stay close, and finish strong throughout this game. Hats off to every player on our team that stepped on the court and contributed in one way or another. It’s a fantastic victory for us to come out here to Texas and come home with a victory.”

On a young team and how much better can they get… 
“I didn’t think we played like a great game for three quarters. We settled and did some things we need to get better at. This team is young, ambitious and works hard. We have five freshmen, one redshirt and four true, plus we have a fifth year transfer, so six of our now 13 players are underclassmen, young, or new to our system, so we have a lot of room for growth. The thing for us is we have to continue to get better one game, one practice, one moment at a time and not get ahead of ourselves or skip steps so today was a huge step for us.”

On Kristen Simon’s performance today…
“I thought Kristen played a great third and fourth quarter. She led us but got in early foul trouble so I had to sit her. Then she knocked down huge free throws and shots and took it off the dribble and played with her back to the basket. She did everything we needed her to do tonight in order for us to come away with a victory.”

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USC head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke & Forward Kristen Simon

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Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair & Guard Curtyce Knox

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Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Nov 30 2016. Filed under Featured Stories.

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