Story courtesy of Brandon Collins, Athletics Communications
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kayla Wells’ career-high 30 points led the Aggies to victory over Arkansas, 77-64, in head coach Gary Blair’s 850th victory of his career on Thursday night inside Reed Arena.
Wells dominated the game and willed the Maroon & White (12-9, 2-7 SEC) to snap it’s three-game losing skid. The graduate student went 10-of-23 from the field and matched a season high with four triples. Destiny Pitts also had a monster outing, posting a season-high 12 rebounds and pouring in 11 points for a double-double. Aaliyah Patty led the team with a career-best 19 rebounds.
Wells and the Aggies started hot to begin the game. Wells scored 10 points in the quarter and hit two bombs from deep. The A&M defense held Arkansas (14-8, 4-5 SEC), one of the country’s most prolific 3-point shooting teams, to zero made triples in the period. The Aggies ended the quarter with a 23-14 lead that was bolstered by a 16-9 advantage on the glass.
The Razorbacks started the second with an 8-0 run, but Sydnee Roby buried her defender in the post, leading to an easy bucket and ending the Arkansas run. The Aggie offense would find it’s groove once again led by Destiny Pitts, who left the game earlier due to injury, who poured in five points and grabbed four rebounds in the quarter. The Maroon & White held a 39-30 heading into the second half.
A&M jumped out early, scoring four quick points to push its lead to 13, 43-30. However, Arkansas would string together a 9-0 run that cut the lead to just four, 43-39. Wells in her record 145th game for the Aggies would end that run emphatically. The Dallas native scored 11 points in the period, leading the charge of a 21-9 run to end the third. The Maroon & White built a 64-48 advantage with dominance on both ends of the court.
Ultimately, the Aggies took away what Arkansas wanted the most, the three ball. The Razorbacks shot their lowest 3-point field percentage (17.4%) since the 2018-19 season. The Aggies also proved that sometimes winning the battle on the glass can win you the game, as A&M collected a season-high 58 rebounds. The Maroon & White defeated the Razorbacks, 77-64.
The Texas A&M women’s basketball team hits the road to play at Kentucky on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT.
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
Texas A&M improves to 12-9 overall this season and 2-7 in conference play.
The Maroon & White is now 26-12 all-time versus Arkansas and have won 13 of the last 16 meetings.
- The Aggies won the rebounding battle, 58-46. They are now 12-2 when they outrebound their opponent.
- A&M held Arkansas to 17.4% from beyond the arc. That is lowest percentage for the Razorbacks since Feb. 7, 2019 when they went 0-10 from deep at LSU.
- The Aggies only committed seven turnovers on the night. The lowest output this season for the team.
- The Maroon & White outscored Arkansas 15-2 in points off turnovers. This marks only the second time during league play that A&M has outperformed its opponent in the category.
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Jordan Nixon, Qadashah Hoppie, Kayla Wells, Destiny Pitts and Aaliyah Patty for the third time this season (3-0).
- Kayla Wells had a career-high 30 points. The guard’s previous high was 29 points, scored against Tennessee on Feb. 21, 2019.
- Wells has scored in double digits every game this year, after pouring in 30 against the Razorbacks. She has now scored 10-or-more points in 85 games throughout her career.
- The Dallas native passed Danielle Gant (1,645) for fifth all-time on the A&M scoring list. Wells has now scored 1,661 points during her career.
- Destiny Pitts had a season-high 12 rebounds. The Detroit native’s previous season-high was 11 boards at LSU on Jan. 2, 2022.
- Pitts produced the second double-double of her season.
- Aaliyah Patty posted a career-best 19 rebounds
- McKinzie Green played 16 minutes and scored six points to lead A&M off the bench.
- Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Famer Gary Blair moves to 850-342 in his career with a 442-179 record at Texas A&M.
Head Coach Gary Blair
“On my side, we had a lot of kids do a lot of great things tonight. McKinzie Green came in and gave us valuable defensive minutes and hit a couple of key baskets when we were dying for one.”
On Kayla Wells’ career-high 30 points…
“[Kayla] Wells was pretty special. We just kept telling her to score off the drive. They were not fouling her the majority of the time; she has to learn how to use the cushion and draw the foul more. We were not getting those driving fouls so what we’ve got to do is do a better job of getting to the free-throw line once your three-point shot dries up.”
Graduate student Destiny Pitts
On her double-digit rebounds…
“We knew the rebounding was going to be critical. We knew that they shoot a lot of threes and try to get the shot up fast. That was going to be key for us to win the game.”
On A&M’s defense frustrating Arkansas with the three-point shot…
“I think we were locked into the game plan. We know Arkansas is known for 3-pointers and how they try to get to 50 points from free-throw line and 3-pointers so we kind of keyed in on that. We knew if we could take those away, that we would have a really good chance to win the ballgame.”
Graduate student Kayla Wells
On the team’s performance…
“We were the same team; I just think we had a sense of urgency today. Coach Blair stressed that, and we stressed that at practice these past few days. We are trying to get to the tournament because we’re hungry. We just have to keep that sense of urgency and energy and stick to the game plan like we’re supposed to.”