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No. 20 Women’s Basketball Advances To WNIT Semifinals With 83-62 Win

COLLEGE STATION- No. 20 Texas A&M advanced to the Preseason WNIT Semifinals with an 83-62 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena on Sunday.

The Aggies (2-0) only led 33-30 at halftime, but received back-to-back 3-pointers from Danni Williams and Lulu McKinney to start a 21-6 run to close the third quarter and put away the Ragin’ Cajuns (1-1)

Chennedy Carter continued the impressive start to her career, scoring a team-leading 18 points. Carter joins Sydney Colson as the only Aggie freshmen in the Gary Blair Era to score 10+ points in each of their first two games.

Khaalia Hillsman and Anriel Howard each added a double-double for the second game in a row. Hillsman had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Howard had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Danni Williams scored 15.

Texas A&M hosts No. 11 Oregon in the WNIT Semifinal on Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena. The game is broadcast on SEC Network +.


  • Texas A&M advances to the semifinal of the Preseason WNIT, where the Aggies host No. 11 Oregon on Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m.
  • The Aggies have started 2-0 for the 12th time in 13 seasons and the fifth straight year
  • Texas A&M is 148-5 against unranked teams at home since February 2005
  • Texas A&M is 56-10 in Reed Arena against all teams since the start of the 2013-14 season
  • The Aggies are 92-6 against non-conference opponents at home since 2004-05
  • The Aggies had two players with double doubles for the second straight game, and third straight home game, dating back to last season’s home finale.
  • Chennedy Carter joins Sydney Colson (2007-08) as the only freshmen under Gary Blair to score 10+ points in each of their first two games as an Aggie.
  • Anriel Howard had a double-double for the second straight game. She has 15 career double-doubles, which ranks sixth at Texas A&M
    • She hit a 3-pointer for the second consecutive game. She had made only one 3-pointer in her previous two seasons combined
    • She scored in double figures for the 22nd time of her career
    • She had 10+ rebounds for the 30th time in her career
  • Danni Williams scored in double figures for the seventh straight game, dating back to last season. She has 33 career double-digit scoring games
  • Khaalia Hillsman had a double-double for the second straight game. She has 17 career double-doubles, which ranks fourth at Texas A&M
    • She has scored 10+ points for the 45th time in her career
    • She had 10+ rebounds for the 22nd time in her career
    • She needs 15 to become the 29th Aggie with 1,000 points in her career
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is now 741-304 in his Hall of Fame career and 332-141 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M. He ranks 12thall-time in career victories among Division I coaches.

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
Opening Statement…
“One of our goals on the board was to get 30 free throw attempts after we got 36 the last time. We hit it on the nose. I think we are doing a great job of driving the basketball and not just being a jump shooting team, which is what we have been in the past. [Khaalia] Hillsman is a load inside, but they were doing a great job on her early. We didn’t have any turnovers in the second half. Khaalia opens it up for everybody else because that is who they are going in to stop first. I thought [Anriel] Howard had a solid game. Lulu McKinney was the story of the game. She changed the atmosphere. Lulu is not that quick, but she goes hard, and she can follow a game plan. We were running our stuff pretty good in the second quarter, so I left her in the third quarter. With our small lineup, it was pretty effective because we were scoring. Our rebounding was good the whole game, and our press was in-and-out good. We were trying to make them play faster than they wanted to play. We are going to take it as a win. Danni [Williams] has given me two very, very good ballgames. I have been pleased with her in her first two ballgames.”

On Anriel Howard
“She put more time in the gym than even Williams did this summer, and that is hard to do. She really said, I want to be more than one dimensional. She really worked on the drive and her outside game. It gives us a threat [on the outside] because they are sagging in. If she has her feet, she has the green light to shoot that [three]. She has to learn how to drive and pass when they take that away. She has to realize there are other options in the offense.”

On what changed after halftime…
“I think we kept them in front of us on the drive a little bit better. Coach [Bob] Starkey gave his sermon. We just decided they are going to have to stop us inside first. Then, let’s get into transition. We have to be a running team to keep people from sagging and taking a lot of our set plays.”

On next game…
“I hope next Thursday that people realize more than likely we are bringing in a top 10 team to play. I hope everybody comes out because you’re going to see a Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight type of game on Thursday. Let’s get the students out and the town people out. They are going to see a great game on Thursday.”

Texas A&M Junior Forward Anriel Howard
On start of game…
“I just think we came out not fully ready to play. We kind of underestimated them, and they gave us their all and did really well, so once it clicked for us we turned the game around.”

Improvement on offensive game… 
“I think I still have to improve on finishing. I have also been working all summer on my three’s, midrange, and finishing with contact, so I just have to keep improving on that, but definitely finishing is something that I am aiming for.”

Texas A&M Freshman Guard Chennedy Carter
Offensive game tonight…
“I feel like I played with a little more sense of urgency. I feel like my teammates kept me involved and kept me pushing. They pretty much told me to just keep shooting and don’t worry about last game. I feel like I focused on this game and just went out there to compete and it made a difference from last week’s game to this week’s game.”

Louisiana-Lafayette Head Coach Garry Brodhead
Opening Statement…
“It’s always enjoyable to come to A&M. They have great fans, great coaching and a great team. It’s the second game of year and we’re playing a top-20 team. We started off the game really well, had control of it. We started to play a little bit fast and got out of control. We got into foul trouble and that was part of it. I was pleased with our effort. We aren’t always going to be able to put it together but we need to be more consistent. It’s always good to play against A&M. They have a great team. Hopefully we can meet down the road.”

On the quick start…
“I think it’s hard for a lot of people to understand how we play basketball. I’ve been doing this for 30 years now and we play what we call smallball. They think Golden State invented it but I’ve been doing that for many years going on down the line. We aren’t trying to put up a lot of shots. It looks like we might be because we are pretty quick but we aren’t trying to get more than 50-60 possessions from either team. When you look at what A&M did to Houston, they scored 30 in the first quarter, so we need to limit their possessions. If you noticed, our defense was man-to-man and we never play sagging, we call it down. We were playing within the 3-point line other than on [Danni Williams]. I thought we confused them. They didn’t see the gaps and had a little bit of problems with our defense. They looked uncomfortable in the first quarter and it allowed us to take our time on offense. We are trying to move the ball and make them guard us. They have a young team and with a young team defense isn’t always the best.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Nov 13 2017. Filed under Sports.
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