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Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Texas A&M falls to Vanderbilt in Gary Blair's final game at SEC Tournament

March 2, 2022

Press Conference video courtesy of the Southeastern Conference.

The Gary Blair era has officially come to an end.

Texas A&M was defeated by Vanderbilt on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the SEC Tournament, 85-69. The Aggies came close to completing the 21-point comeback, but it was too little too late for the Maroon & White.

A&M cut the deficit to six points on a Destiny Pitts 3-pointer with nine minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.

However, that’s the closest the Aggies got as both teams continued to battle until the Commodores took a 14-point lead with just 2:09 remaining to mark the end of the season for Blair’s team.

“Our offense is all about timing and cuts, and we couldn’t get into it. We got shot happy and were shooting early in the possession.”
- A&M head coach Gary Blair

It was far from a complete game by the Aggies as Vanderbilt started the game with a 13-4 run.

Freshman guard Iyana Moore put up 14 in the first quarter and fueled the Vanderbilt offense throughout the game. The Commodores scored a season-high 29 points in the opening frame, shooting seventy-five percent from the field while the Aggies only managed to score 10.

“Our offense is all about timing and cuts, and we couldn’t get into it,” said Blair. “We got shot happy and were shooting early in the possession.

“We panicked, and they hit some tough shots, and we thought we were going to be okay, but it didn’t happen.”

Texas A&M only had seven made field goals heading into halftime, but they made an emphasis of starting fast in the third quarter. The Aggies outscored the Commodores 20-14 in the third quarter to keep the hopes of a comeback alive.

Shooting 84 percent from the line, free throws proved crucial for the Aggies down the stretch. Destiny Pitts and Kayla Wells combined for 44 of A&M’s 69 points. Pitts shot fifty percent from behind the arc, while Wells finished 7-of-11 from the field.

Lost in the moment of Gary Blair’s final game was Vanderbilt’s Jordyn Cambridge. She finished with 13 points, 10 assists and 15 rebounds for a triple-double, the first in Vanderbilt history.

Destiny Pitts had a chance to reflect on her time with Gary Blair.

“I see him as a role model. Not only to us but to the community and Texas A&M. A lot of other coaches look up to him,” Pitts said. “I think he did a really good job on the court, but he gave us life lessons off the court we can take after he’s done coaching and after we are done playing.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs

“My favorite memory was at Missouri. Coach Blair was teaching me how to dance, and we usually listen to our music, but we played a song he was interested in, and he showed me how to dance to that,” Pitts added with a smile. “It was memorable for him to take the time when he could’ve been more focused on the game”

Blair was choked up during his last press conference, but his final words seemed only fitting. 

“I’ll be out listening to country-western music tonight.”

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Texas A&M falls to Vanderbilt in Gary Blair's final game at SEC Tournament

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