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No. 20 Women Win Sixth Straight, Defeat Vanderbilt 69-53

COLLEGE STATION- No. 20 Texas A&M never trailed, extending their winning streak to six by defeating Vanderbilt 69-53 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena Thursday.

Texas A&M (17-4, 6-2 SEC) took control of the game early, scoring the contests’ first 11 points and forcing Vanderbilt to call timeout less than three minutes into the game.

Vanderbilt (6-15, 1-7 SEC) had no answer for Ciera Johnson, who recorded her seventh double double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds by halftime, helping the Aggies to a 33-18 lead at the break.

Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter scored over 20 points for the fourth consecutive game, pouring in a team-high 21. Kayla Wells added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Shambria Washington added six assists.

The win moves Texas A&M into sole possession of third place in the SEC standings as league play reached its midway point Thursday. The top four teams in the league standings receive a double-bye at the SEC Tournament, held March 6-10 in Greenville, S.C.

The Aggies have now won six straight games in the series against Vanderbilt, dating back to 2015. No player on the active roster has lost to Vanderbilt in their Texas A&M career.

Brinae Alexander led the Commodores with 24 points.

Texas A&M embarks on a two-game road swing, traveling to Ole Miss Sunday, February 3 at 2 p.m. with coverage on SEC Network +.


NOTES

Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M is 17-4 on the season and 6-2 in SEC play. Vanderbilt falls to 6-15 overall and 1-7 in conference play
  • The Aggies’ 17-4 record matches the program’s second-best record through 21 games—and is Texas A&M’s best record through 21 games since 2010-11
  • At the midway point of the conference season, Texas A&M is alone in third place in the league standings. The top four teams receive a double-bye at the SEC Tournament, held March 6-10 in Greenville, S.C.
  • The Aggies have won six straight games, matching the Aggies’ longest SEC win streak since Feb. 7-25, 2016. It matches the second-longest SEC win streak in program history
  • The Aggies have won 12 of their last 14 games
  • The win gives Texas A&M six straight wins in the series against Vanderbilt. No player on the active roster has lost to Vanderbilt while at Texas A&M
  • Texas A&M is 10-2 at home this season, and is 21-3 in their last 24 home games
  • The Aggies are 170-7 against unranked teams at home since February 2005
  • Texas A&M is 17-1 this season and 72-6 all-time when leading after three quarters
  • Texas A&M has not trailed since a layup by N’dea Jones at the 2:24 mark of the third quarter against Auburn—a span of 92:24 of being ahead or tied
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 374-155 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 782-318 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins
  • Blair ties former Kentucky and Mississippi State head coach Sharon Fannning for sixth in SEC history with his 125th career SEC win. Blair is the conference’s active leader in SEC wins.

Chennedy Carter

  • Scored 20+ points for the fourth consecutive game and the 13th time this season. She extends her school record with her 37th career game of 20+ points
  • Scored 10+ points for the 28th consecutive game and the 53rd time in 54 career games
  • Moved into a tie for 10th place on Texas A&M’s career 3-pointers made list with 101, tying Lana Tucker (1993-97, 102 3-pointers)

Kayla Wells

  • Scored 10+ points for the fourth straight game and the 16th time this season

Ciera Johnson

  • Had her seventh double-double of the season and her third in SEC play
  • Scored 10+ points for the fifth straight game and the 17th time this season. She has scored 10+ points in nine of her last 10 games.
  • Grabbed 10+ rebounds for the seventh time this season

 


QUOTES

Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair 
Opening Statement…
“We were really ready to play this game. You can tell by the 11-0 start. Then our two best shooters go 1-14 in the first half. When things are not going well, we get to the free throw line. It is allowing my post players to play longer minutes, stop the game a little, and it puts them [Vanderbilt] in foul trouble. We did a great job tonight with [Mariella] Fasoula and that starts with Ciera [Johnson]. We just didn’t close out. It wasn’t our night from the perimeter, but it was our night for getting the ball inside. Our press speed them up. It didn’t create steals, but it made them speed up their offense. It was a good win, we are going to take it and get ready for Ole Miss.”

On how they are getting better play out of the guards… “We are making better decisions. The zone press has been giving us problems in conference. That is what they run. Coach Bond does a good job of teaching our press breaker. We did well. However, it has been nice being here for a week, and we are fixing to have to go on the road to two tough places to play.”

On preparing for road games…“I think we need to keep up our efficiency and not settling. We had a lot of open shots. You can go from good to great shots by sharing the ball. Sometimes, making 4-5 passes and getting that great shot makes everybody feels like they are involved in the play. I think that is what we all look for on the team.”

Texas A&M sophomore center Ciera Johnson
On going with the press early… 
“We watched their game against South Carolina, and South Carolina had great pressure, and so we thought we could turn them over a bit with our pressure, so that’s what we decided to go with.”

On not hitting some shots, so got them out of pressure defense…  
“No, I don’t think that’s why we got out of it, because we were shooting bad, I just think we were just trying to get back. When we were shooting bad, they started to go on a run, and so we decided to fall back and play principle defense.”

On high percentage shots … 
“The team did a great job of finding me today. I smoked [the layup on] that one pass that she gave me, I was too happy. I knew I had two points and I got too happy and I missed it. They did great job of finding me, just believing that I was continue to finish inside.”

Texas A&M sophomore guard Chennedy Carter
On how important it was to get to the free throw line and get back her rhythm … 
“It was big for us, we knew we had not been the shooting the best from the free throw line, but that is just something that we work on every day in practice. We just got to learn to focus in and keep our eyes on the rim, we will get better and finally get going and knock down some free throws. It is just us building our confidence at the line and staying consistent with it. We just got to get to the free throw line a little more, getting hit a lot but we will eventually get those calls.”

On mentality going into the 2nd half after having a rough time shooting… 
“I just play to win, if I am not shooting the best game, my team will continue to find me and eventfully the shots will fall down. That’s what I did, I continued to look for Ciera Johnson and look for whoever is open and move the ball on offense to get some easy points. ”

On how big the win was and keep the winning streak…  
“Of course it is definitely big, but coach just told us to see the bigger picture. We know that we are playing for a better seed, an SEC championship, and this win is important to us. It is one game at a time, we got this win and now we are on to the next game, where we are just trying to pick it up and go one game at a time.”

On what the team has done well…
“We have just stayed composed and calm, sometimes teams make a run on us and our team just stays calm in situations. We know that if we play together and use each other, we can fight back and get a win. We have been down in a couple games and we have had a couple close games, but we stayed together, these are my sisters and we work hard and play hard. We are going to find a way to win.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Feb 1 2019. Filed under Sports.
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