Texas A&M became the lowest-seeded team to reach the quarterfinals of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament when they dispatched the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 79-72, in Thursday’s second round game inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The No. 13-seed Aggies drained 64.7% (11-of-17) from 3-point range and they hit on 51.7% (30-of-58) for the second-consecutive game – tied for their third-best shooting effort of the season.
Texas A&M committed a season-low 10 turnovers and had an SEC Tournament program-best 23 assists on its 30 buckets, including six assists by Kay Kay Green and four apiece by McKinzie Green, Sahara Jones and Tineya Hylton.
On the heels of her career-high 22-point performance Wednesday, Sydney Bowles paced the Aggies with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, equaling her career high with six 3-point field goals.
Aaliyah Patty set an A&M SEC Tournament record with a career-high five blocked shots. She added 15 points and six rebounds.
Jada Malone equaled a career-high with her second straight 12-point effort. She also chalked up six rebounds, one block and one steal.
In addition to her four assists, Jones added nine points and five rebounds. Hylton logged eight points, three rebounds and two steals.
Patty and Malone scored eight and six points, respectively, to keep the Aggies in the fray in the first quarter. Mississippi State mounted a 10-point lead with 3:27 remaining in the period, but Patty hit her second 3-pointer of the game and Malone converted on a layup to bookend a late run as Ol’ Sarge’s charges shaved the gap to 25-19 at the break.
Texas A&M clamped down on defense midway through the first half, holding Mississippi State without a point for 9:01. The Aggies went on a 19-0 run over the span, staking claim to a 35-25 advantage with a 3-point field goal by Kay Kay Green at the 2:37 mark of the second quarter. After the Bulldogs scored their only five points of the quarter, Janiah Barker converted layup in the waning seconds and A&M led 37-30 at the intermission.
The five points for the Bulldogs, equaled their lowest quarter tally of the season.
Texas A&M stretched the lead back out to nine points with a Bowles 3-point field goal at the 6:06 mark of the third quarter, but MSU needed just 1:01 to salt the lead back down to 44-41 at the midway point of the period. The teams traded short scoring bursts for the remainder of the period, but Hyton made two layups in the last :13 seconds to give Ol’ Sarge’s charges a 62-53 edge at the last break.
The Bulldogs would not go quietly, cutting the deficit to three points at 73-70 with 2:01 remaining in the contest, but McKinzie Green hit one of her biggest baskets of the season, sinking a 3-point field goal at the 1:17 mark to put the Aggies ahead 76-70. Bowles hit a free throw with 0:34 on the clock and Malone converted a layup in the waning moments to put a lid on the win.
Credit to 12thman.com