BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The tandem of Sahara Jones and Janiah Barker recorded career highs with 17 points apiece, leading the Texas A&M women’s basketball team to Sunday afternoon’s 67-54 victory over the Texas Southern Tigers inside Reed Arena.
Jones hit 7-of-15 from the field and notched team highs with nine rebounds and three steals. The junior stuffed the stat sheet with three assists and two blocks. Barker made 7-of-16 from the field and the freshman added eight rebounds and two blocks.
Freshman guard Sydney Bowles tacked on 10 points, four rebounds and four assists as the Aggies (3-1) remained perfect inside Reed Arena on the season.
The Aggies outscored Texas Southern 17-6 down the stretch to close out win. Texas Southern’s (0-5) Micah Gray hit back-to-back 3-point field goals early in the fourth quarter to trim the Aggies’ lead to 50-48 at the 7:59 mark, but Texas A&M responded with an 11-2 run to take a 61-50 advantage with 3:21 remaining.
After a sluggish start, the Aggies went on a 12-0 run over a span of 4:41 in the first quarter to stake claim to a 14-5 lead at the 3:13 mark. Texas A&M led 16-9 after the first period with Barker leading the way on six points and three rebounds.
The Tigers used a 12-5 rebounding edge in the second quarter to stay in striking distance. The Aggies led 33-27 at the intermission. Jones powered the Maroon & White in the first half with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
The Aggies opened a 13-point lead at the 7:30 mark of the third quarter with Bowles hitting a 3-pointer and layup to key a 9-0 run.
Texas Southern remained resilient and chipped away, closing the gap to 45-40 at the 1:37 mark. The period closed out with Texas A&M clinging to a 48-42 advantage.
The Aggie defense held Texas Southern to 33.8% (22-of-65) shooting from the field and forced 26 Tiger turnovers. Texas A&M owned large margins in points in the paint (42-22), points off turnovers (25-9) and fast-break points (18-2).
Texas A&M continues play at Reed Arena when it hosts Rice on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
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RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
Texas A&M advances to 3-1 in the 2022-23 regular season.
The Aggies are now 11-3 all-time against the Tigers.
Joni Taylor advances her record to 143-76 all-time and to 3-1 in her first season with the Aggies.
- Three Aggies scored in double digits, including Sydney Bowles (10), Janiah Barker (17) and Sahara Jones (17) for the fourth time this year.
- Texas A&M held its opponent to single digits in the first quarter for the second time this season.
- The Maroon & White prevailed 18-2 in fast break points. A&M is 3-0 when winning the category.
- The Aggies had the advantage in points off turnovers 25-11.
- Texas A&M edged Texas Southern in blocks (6-5), steals (12-10) and assists (12-11).
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Sydney Bowles, Janiah Barker, McKinzie Green, Sahara Jones and Aaliyah Patty for the fourth time this season (3-1).
Totaled a career-high 17 points for the Aggies with her previous high being 12 points against Southern Nov. 11, 2021.
This marks the fifth time Jones has scored double-digits in her collegiate career.
Recorded a career high number of both rebounds and assists, earning four in each.
Scored 10-or-more points for the third time in her four career games.
Tacked on another game with multiple 3-pointers, draining two-or-more in all four games this season.
Matched her career high of 17 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 10, 2022.
Scored 10-or-more points for the third-consecutive game.
Registered eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Tallied 8 points to match her career best, which she has accomplished three times in her career.
Head Coach Joni Taylor
On today’s performance…
“I think it is disappointing. After Duke, we talked about our corrections, and to come out and not have everyone do that is disappointing. We have to play five that have effort and energy and know what we are doing.”
On correcting the mistakes…
“What we are asking them to do is what they consider to be hard, but we can do hard things. We are at a point where that is what we need to do and be.”
Junior Sahara Jones
On the first half performance…
“We were getting into our sets really slow, and not doing what we are supposed to do which was staying disciplined, running the court, sprinting hard, rebounding, the intangibles we need to do all the time and in the second half we picked it up.”
Freshman Janiah Barker
On winning the game…
“I am glad that we won but for our expectations as a team, we believe that we should have beaten them by more.”
Story by Thomas Dick, Athletics Communications