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No. 22 Women Rally To Defeat LSU, 59-55

(Sam Craft/Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION- No. 22 Texas A&M rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to defeat LSU 59-55 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena Thursday.

The Aggies (19-5, 8-3 SEC) found themselves down 45-35 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter, but then went on a 15-4 run to take the lead with six minutes to play. The teams would then trade buckets, with A&M taking the lead for good on an N’dea Jones layup with 3:45 to play.

Kayla Wells led the Aggies with 16 points, including two gritty free throws with just over two minutes to play. Wells took a hard fall prior to heading to the line, but remained in the game to sink both attempts and extend the Aggie lead to three.

Chennedy Carter added 15 points, her 31st consecutive game of scoring in double figures. Carter’s fast-break layup gave A&M its first second half lead, then her jumper with a minute to play extended the lead back to three points.

Ciera Johnson added 12 points, while Jones had eight points and 15 rebounds.

LSU (14-9, 5-6 SEC) was led by Khayla Pointer, who scored 21 points.

The Aggies have won eight of their last nine games and remain in sole possession of third place in the Southeastern Conference standings. 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 host No. 5 Mississippi State, Sunday, February 17 at 1 p.m. on SEC Network.


NOTES

Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M is 19-5 on the season and 8-3 in SEC play, while LSU falls to 14-9 and 5-6 in SEC play
  • The Aggies clinch a top-10 seed and at least a single-bye in the upcoming SEC Tournament
  • Texas A&M has won eight of their last nine games and 15 of their last 18 games
  • Texas A&M is 11-2 at home this season. Texas A&M is 171-7 against unranked teams at home since February 2005.
  • The Aggies are 12-1 when hosting the BTHO Breast Cancer Game
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 375-157 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 783-320 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins

Chennedy Carter

  • Joins Danielle Adams as the only Texas A&M player to score 10+ points in 31 straight games. Adams scored 10+ points in 32 straight games during 2010-11.
  • Carter has 56 games of at least 10+ points in 57 career games. She scored eight in the other game.

Kayla Wells

  • Scored 10+ points for the seventh straight game and the 19th time this season

Ciera Johnson

  • Scored 10+ points for the eighth straight game and the 20th time this season.

N’dea Jones

  • Had 10+ rebounds for the third straight game and the 15th time this season

QUOTES

Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair 
Opening Statement…
“We have been a second half team at home all year. LSU played so well in the first half. Their guards were controlling, and they were not turning over. I thought we did a pretty good job defensively on their four and five. I thought we also did a good job near the end of the game by not letting Pointer get all the touches. She had a great first half, but I think we did a good job in holding her in the second half. First half, we just got killed on the boards. The ball bounced our way at the end, and that was because out half-court defense was good. We had to work hard.  That was the fifth time we played them in thirteen months and that is how even both teams are. Another great crowd tonight and I thought that they stayed with us.”

On Kayla Wells start in first half… “All of Wells’ baskets at half were layups, but we were able to get her that three in the corner that she had to have. That got her going a little bit, but we didn’t think they would play us as much man as they did.”

On resilience of team… “Our crowd wouldn’t give up on us, and that says a lot about this crowd. We kept fighting and I thought when we got it to four at the end of the quarter was huge. It was just scratch-and-claw in the fourth quarter. Our kids have had this too many times. We have been on the other end where we have lost 10-point leads, four times in conference play. We just refused to be denied in that tough situation.”

Texas A&M sophomore guard Chennedy Carter
On better second half performance…
“Honestly, I think it was just effort. We all knew who we were playing for and our coaches emphasized that we need to rebound the ball and get some defensive stops. That’s exactly what we did out there. We didn’t change anything we just played harder and added a little grit to us. We wanted to win this game, and not just for ourselves, but for everybody on the back of [our] jerseys. So it was just playing harder. We were making defensive mistakes. We were not where we were supposed to be. We just had to refocus and lock in. Coach made a great adjustment, told us where we need to be, and that’s what we went out and did.”

On struggling against LSU’s defense…
“It’s different because they play zone and it’s active. Tonight they put two on me, and it’s just different. It’s not really the SEC [style], because the SEC is tough man defense. I guess LSU is just a little different, but we stayed within our game plan and we finished the game out strong. That’s all that matters for me. I play hard for my sisters, and they play hard for me and we get wins. No knock to them; they’re a great defensive team. They do a lot of great things defensively. I like playing against them, they make is tougher, stronger, and better players overall. So I like playing against them.”

Texas A&M sophomore guard Kayla Wells
On slow start but getting in the game…
“They were beating us on the boards. They were beating us by six boards, and I feel like that’s a game changer. They were getting extra possessions that we weren’t. We talked about that in the practice before, how that’s what we needed. That’s why we lost against Missouri.  We need those extra possessions, because every possession matters. We missed some shots early that we knew that we could make. So we came back out and shot with confidence. We knew that we were playing for the people on the backs of our jerseys. So we had to make something happen.”

On clutch second half three…
“That was just a read. Chennedy and I have been playing together long enough so that we know where we like the ball, so she gave me a good pass and I made the shot. That was a game changer.”

LSU head coach Nikki Fargas

On offensive struggles late in the game…
“It definitely took a turn for us offensively. We had a lot of good looks inside, and we did a good job getting on the offensive glass. We didn’t convert on a lot of those offensive rebounds that we needed too. The ball just didn’t bounce our way down the stretch. I thought that we were playing pretty efficient offensively, but scoring only four baskets in one quarter against a team like Texas A&M, we knew they were going to make a run, and we never made our own run. That was the difference in the game.”

On their defensive game plan…
“Our defensive goal is to hold our opponents under 55 points. I felt like our defense did what it needed to do to get us to win. I’m really going to fault our lack on offensive execution in the 4th quarter. Chennedy Carter is a great basketball player, she can get great looks at any time. You have to scheme for her, and sometimes we tried to send two to get the ball out of her hand. Other players obviously stepped up. I thought we missed some defensive assignments with Wells in the 4th quarter. I thought she had a wide open look for a three, though we had pretty much eliminated the three ball for the most part. When our offense is struggling like that, our defense has to go to another level, and we didn’t do either one.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Feb 15 2019. Filed under Sports.
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