Photo by Rey Romo, TexAgs
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Second quarter slump by A&M propels Mississippi State to 92-64 win

February 17, 2019
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Thousands of fans gathered in to Reed Arena Sunday afternoon to see the heavyweight matchup of No. 22 Texas A&M (19-6, 8-4) hosting No. 5 Mississippi State (23-2, 11-1).

Reed Arena welcomed back two former Aggies: Mississippi State head coach and former Gary Blair assistant, Vic Schaefer, as well as A&M’s all-time leader in career rebounds (1,002) Anriel Howard. Schaefer took the State job in 2012 and Howard grad-transferred to the Bulldogs after last season.

What was expected to be an exciting game only lasted for the first half of game time before the air was completely taken out of the gym by Mississippi State’s dominance, leading the Bulldogs to a 92-64 win. 

A first quarter Chennedy Carter explosion elevated the Reed Arena sound meter to a high level, as she poured in 16 of A&M’s 24 points. This included two rainbow triples that forced plenty of fans out of their seats in all sorts of enthusiastic gestures. 

Rey Romo, TexAgs
An explosive Chennedy Carter proved crucial to the Aggies momentum in the first quarter.

Both teams were playing with unlimited energy in the first period of play. Mississippi State came out with full court pressure that featured lightning quick guards and their 6’7 senior post Teaira McCowan. A&M’s energy was sparked by Chennedy Carter’s hot start that included a sequence where she stuffed a Mississippi State jumper and hit Kayla Wells for a transition bucket.

The second quarter saw a significant cool down by the Aggies. Carter followed her 16-point first quarter with a mere additional four points before the intermission, and A&M scored 12 points as a team in the period. The Aggies had a sequence in the quarter where they hit one of 12 shots. 

Unfortunately for the Aggies, the second quarter was the best opportunity to strike.

6’7 Teaira McCowan sat the bench for the Bulldogs for most of the quarter with two fouls and State’s second leading scorer in Anriel Howard hardly played as well. Together, both players combined for two minutes of game time in the second quarter.

Shambria Washington spoke on the missed opportunities with both McCowan and Howard on the bench.

“We should have gotten the ball in the post more often in the second quarter when McCowan was out.”

Gary Blair acknowledged that there was an opportunity to get more looks inside in the second quarter, but he also made clear the game plan that A&M was committed to.

“The game plan was to get McCowan high and then come off the screen knowing she was never going to stay with the guards. That left us with those mid rang shots that (Chennedy) Carter and Shambria (Washington) were getting. Then, the hope was (N’dea) Jones and (Ciera) Johnson could get offensive rebounds, which we did not do very well.”

Moving into the second half, Mississippi State saw their 43-36 halftime lead grow at an exponential pace. A&M began the third quarter with a turnover that sent Mississippi State to the free throw line, and it was all downhill from there. 

The Bulldogs continued to dominate on the offensive glass. 21 offensive rebounds on the game led to 31 second chance points, the latter statistic being extremely difficult to overcome for any basketball team.

“A&M began the third quarter with a turnover that sent Mississippi State to the free throw line, and it was all downhill from there.”

The key stretch that allowed Mississippi State to pull away in the third quarter was when Andra Espinoza-Hunter drilled three triples in a matter of about two-minutes. She was 7-11 from three-point land on the game, and her 24 total points was just one more factor in the game that A&M could not defend.

Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer praised his sharp shooter’s play.

“It’s so important to have that person on your team that can explode. If you lose her on defense, you’re going to pay.”

Coach Schaefer made it clear the importance of this win against a ranked and hot A&M team after their bad loss to Missouri on Thursday.

“We’ve talked about it’s how you respond when things like that happen.”

Coach Blair echoed this mentality after the game, with his team now in the same situation Mississippi State was in coming into this game.

“I’ve taken a butt kicking before. How we’re going to respond is the most important thing.”

Looking forward, A&M hosts Tennessee on Thursday at 8 pm where they look to respond and right the ship.

A 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...

Second quarter slump by A&M propels Mississippi State to 92-64 win

Rudybryan
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mullokmotx
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AG
Looks like the previous worse loss in SEC play was by 23 at UT in 2015, and the previous worse loss at home in SEC play was by 21 to UT in 2014.
biobioprof
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The worst home loss in the Blair era was the Nov 2012 game vs UConn. We lost by 31. I was there. It dropped the Ags to 0-3 to start the season. That team won the SEC tourney but had a bad second round exit from the NCAAs.
mullokmotx
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AG
We are 21 in the RPI this morning, and the third highest SEC team. Bracketology has not been updated yet today. We are still within striking distance of a top 16 seed but will need to win 3 of the last 4 regular season games and make the semifinals in the SEC tournament. We should be favored over Florida, a slight favorite over Arkansas and I regard UT and UK as tossups.
Rudybryan
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mullokmotx said:

We are 21 in the RPI this morning, and the third highest SEC team. Bracketology has not been updated yet today. We are still within striking distance of a top 16 seed but will need to win 3 of the last 4 regular season games and make the semifinals in the SEC tournament. We should be favored over Florida, a slight favorite over Arkansas and I regard UT and UK as tossups.
I regard UT and UK as tossups.....we havr our future in our own hands....win over these 2 should give us
byes in SEC tournament
aggieFann
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Just checked the rankings and somehow we moved up from 22 to 21. I think all of the upsets this past week had a lot to do with it. Either way we cannot afford to lose to TN Thursday who isn't ranked.
Rudybryan
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we cannot afford to lose to TN Thursday who isn't ranked.


You got that right
mullokmotx
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AG
Charlie Crme put out his bracketology today; maybe he was waiting on the results of last night's games.
We are still a 5 seed but have 9 seed UT and 5 seed UK still to play so the opportunity is there to move up to a 4.
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