Photo by Jackie Ysaquirre, TexAgs
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Aggies not able to stave off late South Carolina surge, fall in SEC opener, 60-57

January 4, 2019
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It’s a new year, and with a new year comes new challenges. For the No. 21 Texas A&M women’s basketball team, one of those challenges was the opening of SEC play to kick off 2019. 

The Aggies (11-3, 0-1 SEC) have been strong recently in the presence of adversity, but their seven-game winning streak was snapped at Reed Arena on Thursday night. The maroon and white fell short to the No. 23 South Carolina Gamecocks, 60-57, after the game-tying three-point shot was missed at the buzzer.

With Jada Walton sidelined with the flu and Aaliyah Wilson preparing for MCL surgery, the Aggies had to rely on just eight players to maintain their energy for the entire game. Those eight players struggled to share the basketball, logging only seven assists throughout the game. All five of Texas A&M’s starters played at least 35 minutes in a game that not only challenged their physicality but their ability to play as a cohesive unit.

While the Gamecocks struck first, it didn’t take long for the Aggies to take an early lead. Texas A&M led 37-28 at the half and maintained as much as a nine-point lead, but the narrative shifted early in the second half when the fatigue set in for A&M’s starting lineup. 

“When you come out as flat as we did to start the second half, there is not much that you can say. They thoroughly outplayed us.”
- A&M head coach Gary Blair

“When you’re up 15-8 and you make a play to end the first half, and when you come out as flat as we did to start the second half, there is not much that you can say,” head coach Gary Blair said. “They thoroughly outplayed us.”

With the leadership of Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, South Carolina’s half-court defense held Texas A&M to just 20 points in the latter half of the game. The Gamecocks also outscored the Aggies 38-20 inside the paint.

South Carolina’s Te'a Cooper led all scorers with 24 points, including 16 in the second half. She was joined in double figures by Herbert Harrigan who logged 11 points and 16 rebounds. Sophomore guard Chennedy Carter led the Aggies with 19 points, but she struggled down the stretch as 12 of her 19 points came from the charity stripe. In her first game back after recovering from the flu, Carter played a total of 39 out of 40 minutes, and the exhaustion was evident.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley devised a strategy to put pressure on Carter, and midway through the third period, the plan got the best of the star point guard.

“We tried to make her play on both sides of the ball, which helps take away from some of the energy she has on the offensive side of the ball,” Staley said. 

Jackie Ysaquirre, TexAgs
Ciera Johnson notched a career-high 17 rebounds in a strong defensive effort against the Gamecocks. 

Another sophomore, Ciera Johnson, joined Carter as a team leader in their fight against South Carolina’s strong defensive effort. Johnson matched her career-high 17 rebounds and secured a double-double by halftime for the second straight game, but it wasn’t enough to combat the strong comeback by the twelve Gamecocks who stepped out on the court.

Three Aggies finished the game in double figures but the maroon and white couldn’t maintain their momentum and complete the game.

“We just tried to get the ball all game, but Coach Staley said that whoever would win the rebound battle would win the game. We had 45 and they had 49, so there’s the ball game,” Johnson said.

Texas A&M will look to notch their first win of conference play as they travel to Baton Rouge on Sunday to take on LSU. 


Special thanks to Mac Resource Computers for their sponsorship of all women's basketball content produced throughout the season at TexAgs.com! For the seventh consecutive year, all WBB content will be available to you for free!

Discussion from...

Aggies not able to stave off late South Carolina surge, fall in SEC opener, 60-57

Rasslin Cheesehead
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AG
What's the story on the tall blond girl. Think she's from Lithuania. Is she going to play this year?
Bucketrunner
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No. NCAA did not give approval. She will play next year.
Rudybryan
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she is from Latvia
Rudybryan
mullokmotx
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AG
The NCAA not clearing her after she didn't play at Colorado State last year makes sense because the NCAA is there for the student-athlete.
Rudybryan
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so since they r all for the student she had to sit out two years

m
Rudybryan
Bucketrunner
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^^^ I think that was sarcasm.
Rudybryan
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I couldn't actually say what I think about NCAA one sided rules - it prints like this******************** **** ****
Rudybryan
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