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Gary Blair
Jordan Nixon
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Texas A&M fends off resilient Troy, 84-80, to advance to Round of 32

March 22, 2021

Video courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics and the NCAA.

Second-seeded Texas A&M advanced on Monday night after defeating 15-seed Troy, 84-80, in a fight that went down to the final seconds. Troy entered the game with an 11-game winning streak, but the Aggies’ balanced attack proved too much for the Trojans. 

Jordan Nixon reflected on Troy’s approach to the game.

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
N’dea Jones tallied her 42nd career double-double with 11 points & 10 boards.

"Troy was jacked up the whole game,” Nixon said. “That was very evident. They had a lot of energy.”

The Aggies came alive in the final minutes of the first quarter after a timeout. Nixon, Destiny Pitts, Zaay Green and Aaliyah Wilson poured in buckets as the Aggies ended the first 10 minutes leading, 25-17.

The Trojans’ double-barreled attack forced A&M to keep an uncomfortable tempo and shoot more than usual. The pace tug-of-war was the story of the game as the first quarter saw the fastest A&M had seen all year. Still, the Aggies methodically gained the edge by the end of the period.

Troy’s full-court press defense hurt them, leaving several wide-open shots for the Aggies as the Trojans also collected many early fouls. Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair addressed the huge factor fouling played in tonight's game.

"Our goal was to get to the free-throw line 25 times, and we are good at free-throw shooting,” Blair said. “Sometimes we were driving and getting fouled, and we were not getting the and-1. We were getting the two free throws."

The Maroon & White crashed the boards, but Troy held the rebound advantage at the end of the first half, 24-23. The Trojans ultimately outrebounded A&M in the game, 48-42.

In quarter three, the Trojans found their groove. Felmas Koranga and Alexus Dye recorded big buckets to pull within 10. Later in the frame, Troy went on a 9-0 run, cutting A&M’s lead to five. However, A&M finished quarter three, leading 65-58. 

“[Ciera Johnson] does a lot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. She’s huge for us always.”
- A&M guard Jordan Nixon

Nixon bragged on Ciera Johnson for her performance on the boards.

“Her presence just changes things,” Nixon said. “She does a lot of little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. She’s huge for us always.”

With momentum shifting early in the fourth, Troy tied the game 69-69. On four-straight possessions, the sides went back and forth. Ultimately, Wilson broke the tie with two key free throws. Trailing by two, the Trojans fouled Pitts with six seconds left, who hit both foul shots to give A&M a four-point edge. Janiah Sandifer hit a pair of free throws to pull within two. After an A&M timeout, Pitts drew another foul and made both free throws to clinch the win, 84-80.

Nixon led the Aggies with a career-high of 21 points. Johnson followed with 16 points and added 14 rebounds for a double-double. Wilson recorded 12, and Kayla Wells had nine. N’dea Jones notched the 42nd double-double of her career with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

Texas A&M advances to play No. 7 Iowa State in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, March 24, in San Antonio. A start time has yet to be announced.

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Texas A&M fends off resilient Troy, 84-80, to advance to Round of 32

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