Neomi Brown, Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M women’s basketball team fell to Ole Miss, 80-63, Thursday night inside Reed Arena.
Kayla Wells led the Aggies (11-7, 1-5 Southeastern Conference), scoring 14 points and going 3-for-5 from the field and nailing 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Qadashah Hoppie also contributed to the score, registering eight points. Jordan Nixon produced a season high in both rebounds (six) and assists (eight), leading A&M in both categories.
Eleven different players scored for the Maroon & White while shooting at 41.2% as a team. The Aggies led in free-throw percentage, draining 76.2% of their shots from the free-throw line while Ole Miss (16-2, 4-1 SEC) went 8-for-15 (53.3%).
Texas A&M and Ole Miss exchanged blows early in the game, resulting in an even 11-11 score with 4:23 left in the first period. After efforts from the Rebels to establish a lead, the Aggies came back behind a 3-pointer from Nixon to end the first period with the score tied at 19-19. The first five minutes of the second period were evenly contested, with the Aggies trailing 29-30 with 5:40 left in the half. Despite defensive efforts from the Aggies, the Rebels held a 47-34 advantage at halftime.
The Aggies could not stop the Rebels’ offensive attack as Ole Miss went on a 14-0 run midway through the third quarter. Going into the final period of regulation, Ole Miss held a 66-40 lead. Texas A&M was unable to overcome the deficit despite winning the fourth quarter 23-14. The Maroon & White would drop its fifth conference game, 80-63.
The Texas A&M women’s basketball team hits the road to play against Missouri on Sunday, January 23 at 5 p.m. CT inside Mizzou Arena.
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- Texas A&M falls to 11-7 overall this season and 1-5 in conference play.
- The Maroon & White is now 10-3 against Ole Miss all-time.
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Jordan Nixon, Qadashah Hoppie, Aaliyah Patty, Kayla Wells and Sydnee Roby for the fourth time this season (2-2).
- Kayla Wells has scored in double digits every game this year, after scoring 14 points against the Rebels. She has now scored 10-or-more points in 82 games throughout her career.
- Wells has played in 142 games for the Aggies, which is two games from breaking Karla Gilbert’s program record of 143.
- Destiny Pitts nailed the 300th 3-pointer of her career, dating back to her playing days at Minnesota.
- Jordan Nixon tied a season high in assists (eight) and rebounds (six).
- Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Famer Gary Blair falls to 849-340 in his career with a 441-177 record at Texas A&M.
Head Coach Gary Blair
“We got beat by a team that played with more purpose. We hung around as we usually do in the first quarter, but you can’t stay alive in the ball game just shooting threes. You have to have a balance and get to the free-throw line, have offensive rebounds and the most important thing is you have to get some stops. You get some stops, and it doesn’t matter what we tried, it wasn’t good enough. We finally forced a couple of turnovers. We had two at half while they ended up with six. The game is about possessions and unless we force some possessions, we are a half-court basketball team. We can be a transition basketball team against the press by making the correct passes like we did in practice and being able to score. Sometimes we were getting the ball with 15 seconds to go and by then your offense is away from you and you do not have enough time to run your sets. They were very prepared. Hopefully this will knock them in to the top 25. [Shakira] Austin is as good as advertised but the other guards that were shooting wide open jump shots became very important to them because not a whole lot of them were contested. We will take the blame as the coaching staff. We have got to get over who’s to blame, who can’t remember a play and just learn how to play when things broke down and how to make a simple basketball play or simple read. We have to have more organization, more delegation and more accountability. We will get there.”
On Ole Miss’s defense…
“The thing is, we are not near as quick as what we’ve been in the past years. It is showing up on the film and opponents are taking that and are going to either press us or they’re going to just play hard man-to-man defense on us. I don’t think we saw one possession of zone tonight. We saw all man and sometimes we would run down, and the wrong person would be handling the ball or not running the offense. I have to make up for our lack of athleticism to be able to put pressure on the ball.