COLLEGE STATION – The No. 16 Texas A&M women’s basketball team bounced back in a big way, running away with a 74-53 win over Vanderbilt at Reed Arena Thursday night. Junior forward N’dea Jones recorded her 12th consecutive double-double to help lead the Aggies with 17 points and 12 boards.
A&M (19-5, 7-4 SEC) used a 15-2 run midway through the first quarter to go up by double figures, and held a dominant, 28-10, lead after the opening 10 minutes of play. All seven Aggies that saw the floor in the first quarter scored.
The Aggies put up seven of the first 10 points in the second period to push its lead to 22. Junior guard Chennedy Carter, who returned to action after missing seven games with an ankle injury, hit a jumper with six minutes to play before the half, and it was the last field goal for either team until the 2:29 mark.
Vanderbilt (13-11, 3-8 SEC) was able to string together an 11-2 run, mainly from the free throw line, during the lull, but only got as close as 13 before A&M took a 42-27 lead into the break.
Neither team was able to get hot in a close third quarter, but A&M controlled play in the fourth and was able to keep the difference at 20-plus points nearly the rest of the way.
- Texas A&M saw five players score in double figures for the third time this season.
- The Aggies shot 84.6-percent from the field in the first quarter and finished the game shooting over 50-percent for the sixth time this year.
- A&M held its opponent to shoot below 40-percent from the field for the 14th time this season, as Vanderbilt shot just 31.7-percent in the game.
- A&M used a starting lineup of Aaliyah Wilson, Shambria Washington, Kayla Wells, N’dea Jones and Ciera Johnson for the eighth time this season.
- Junior forward N’dea Jones remains the only player in the SEC to record a double-double in every conference game as she made it 12 straight with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
- Jones’ 24 career double-doubles moves her into a tie for second with Khaalia Hillsman (2014-18) on A&M’s all-time list.
- Junior guard Chennedy Carter returned to action and extended her double-figure scoring streak to 56 games, as she led the way 18 points.
- Junior guard Aaliyah Wilson made it three straight games scoring in double figures as she added 10 points in the win.
- Junior guard Kayla Wells made it eight straight games scoring in double figures, putting up 12 against the Commodores.
- Senior guard Shambria Washington dished out seven assists in the win, tallying five-or-more assists in a game for the 13th time this season.
Texas A&M will hit the road this weekend to take on No. 25 Tennessee on Sunday. Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.
Post Game Quotes
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
On the team’s performance in the game…
“I thought our offensive execution was at its best, we really thought that they would play us man to start, but they played us zone. We shared the ball. As a coach, I learn a lot by watching men’s games. Watching Florida last night reverse the basketball as well as they did and share the ball, I learned from that. I learned from the effort and what our men’s team is doing. I learn from everybody. When you reverse the basketball against a zone, good things are going to happen. We were doing that and we’ve got good three-point shooters, as you’ve noticed when they went man in the second half. Instead of trying to prove it, we were just very selective because we felt like we could hurt them in different ways. We did as long as we didn’t turn the ball over.
This was a win that we desperately needed. We had five kids in double figures, and I thought we just did a great job reversing the ball against the zone. [Koi] Love, their freshman, we did a good job in the second half after I think she went for 11 in the first half, but we did a good job on her in the second half defensively.”
On Chennedy Carter’s performance…
“I think she played within the flow of the offense very well. She shared the ball, she hit her mid-range game instead of constantly attacking the basket and putting that ankle at risk. I think she was smart enough to know, lets play the mid-range game, lets try to get the ball into Ciera [Johnson]. Ciera got [Mariella] Fasoula in foul trouble and we were having trouble guarding against a six-footer down there, but she’s going to do better. She’s got 6-5 to go against at Tennessee. We are going to keep feeding that ball inside to Ciera, and N’dea [Jones] has just been solid all year. Wasn’t it great to see [Aaliyah] Wilson start off like she did? Everything that she has been through. To see her shoot it so effortlessly. That was just a beautiful thing to see the kids just enjoy playing with each other.”
Texas A&M Guard Aaliyah Wilson
On their hot start from the three…
“Honestly, I think coming out they didn’t think we could shoot. I don’t know. Obviously we set that straight early. They were sagging off, and we found the open man. We were relaxed, comfortable and in the flow. We let it go, we hit, we hit and we hit. So it felt good.”
Texas A&M Forward N’dea Jones
On how it felt to bounce back from a loss…
“Really good. We really needed this one. I think we worked on us a lot this game. Credit to Vandy for really taking away the paint, and I credit us for knocking down the threes. I think we’ve been struggling from the three-point line. We don’t really shoot that many, so I think this was a good game for us to get our confidence back up.”
On Chennedy Carter being back in the lineup…
“When she first scored, I was like, “She’s back.” That was really good to see her out there. We were talking to her throughout the game. She was like, “I feel kind of nervous, but I’m glad to be back.” I said, “I’m glad you are back out here. It feels right.”
Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics