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Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Jones & Barker tally 17 each as Aggies beat Texas Southern, 67-54

November 20, 2022

Far from its best, but just enough to right the ship.

Coming on the heels of their first loss at Duke, Texas A&M bounced back with a 67-54 victory over Texas Southern on Sunday at Reed Arena. The Aggies were never able to distance themselves as much as anticipated, struggling all afternoon with sloppy play that culminated in 20 turnovers and being out-rebounded 47-41.

“I think it’s disappointing,” A&M head coach Joni Taylor said. “Coming off of a loss of Duke, there are some things that are correctible that we’ve gotta be done talking about, and to come out and not have everybody do that is disappointing.”

Freshman forward Janiah Barker echoed the same sentiments.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the response we’re looking for,” Barker said. “I mean, I’m super glad we won, but this is the team that we should have beaten by 50.

“I feel like, for our expectations as a team, they should be higher, and I feel like we have to be better than that.”

Barker and Sahara Jones kept the team afloat with 17 points apiece and combined for 17 rebounds. Sydney Bowles followed behind with 10, while Tineya Hylton chipped in seven.

“Coming off of a loss of Duke, there are some things that are correctible that we’ve gotta be done talking about, and to come out and not have everybody do that is disappointing.”
- Texas A&M head coach Joni Taylor

A pregame technical called on A&M for a shot clock malfunction gifted Texas Southern a free throw to start the game. The unconventional call allowed the Tigers to grab an early lead, but Bowles found Jones on top of the key for a 3-pointer that ignited a 12-0 run to take control.

Despite A&M never relinquishing the lead, careless mistakes spoiled an otherwise dominating start.

In the first half alone, the Aggies committed 14 turnovers and allowed 10 offensive rebounds that were converted into 14 second-chance points — including a triple by Micah Gray that mowed the deficit down to just five.

Gray accumulated a game-high 27 points for Texas Southern and tormented A&M from beyond the arc and off the dribble.

“That’s [Gray] going to be Alabama. That’s going to be Florida,” Taylor said. “That’s going to be a ton of people that we play in our league. And so either right now, the conversation is either show that you can guard it, figure out how to guard it, or we just got to create a four-guard lineup. But that’s not to our advantage.”

A 7-0 charge fueled entirely by transition points from Gray once again pulled the Tigers within single digits. Barker responded with a three-point play to regain some cushion, but Gray opened the fourth with back-to-back triples to turn a once 10-point advantage to just two.

A&M was able to slow down and create more opportunities inside, but doing so exposed a woeful performance at the line. The Aggies shot a putrid 40.9 percent from the stripe (9-of-22), with Barker going 3-for-11.

“I feel like, as a team, that’s one thing that we do struggle with during games,” Barker said. “It’s crazy because, in practice, we practice free throws a lot. Like a lot, before any water break. For me to be 3-for-11, I’m really disappointed in myself particularly.”

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Janiah Barker has now scored double-digit points in three of her first four collegiate games.

After a big 3-pointer from Hylton with just under five minutes remaining, Kay Kay Green came up with a steal and layup to push the lead back to 11. The win was eventually solidified with another and-1 opportunity from Barker at the rim.

Defensive tenacity and up-tempo offense — both staples of Taylor’s brand of basketball — were largely absent against the Tigers. Though the Aggies forced 26 turnovers, it didn’t translate to nearly as many points as Taylor would have liked to see.

“Was everything going to be perfect out there today? No,” Taylor said. “There are some habits that they’ve got to change and get rid of and some we have to create.

“But to come out there and not have maximum effort after having another chance to play at home in front of the 12th Man, that’s not okay, and it’s never going to be okay. So that was a shock.”

The Maroon & White face Texas State on Wednesday to continue a three-game homestand. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT.

Discussion from...

Jones & Barker tally 17 each as Aggies beat Texas Southern, 67-54

1,450 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Wrecking Crew 21
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Well one of Joni's exceptional traits is she tells it like it is......... which is refreshing.!

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I love her gumption and honesty, and she's right, they have to be better. Why are our freshman leading the juniors and seniors in terms of tenacity and ambition and desire? Barker and Bowles are students of the game and will go on to be stars. They lean in during timeouts and listen and engage and are actively involved in the huddle. LOVE watching those two play together. The rest of the line up has got to step up, and they have the ability to do so. We need Roby to step up and own her space. She is the 5 that can score and pass, but both 5s have to get in better shape in order to be more effective.
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Barker, as good as she is, will not reach her full potential until she changes how
she shoots free throws. She only made 3 of 11 in this game....7 or 8 of 11 is acceptable
for her talent and ability. Barker will be fouled a lot in her career and can score a lot at the line.

She has too many moving parts to have a consistent repeating shot that goes in.
The top free throw shooters only use finger tips, wrist and forearm on their shooting hand with the other hand steadying the ball and the shot. They do not spin the ball, take it down to their knees and then make a very
long motion from the knees to lift the ball and shoot. There is NO WAY all that motion will make shots at a high %.

There are a few exceptions....Rick Barry perfected the under hand "granny shot" method and was a 90% career free throw shooter. There are a few others.
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She discussed this in her post game. Said she's not sure why it's not transitioning and that she doesn't miss many in practice. I bet we see massive improvements over the season.
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Being self aware is good. Depending on when the free throws are shot in practice is important.
Are they shot when a player is tired, breathing hard with tired legs to simulate game conditions?

When a player is tired, even more important to have a shot with minimal moving parts unless they are not strong enough to shoot the ball the 15 ft. with accuracy.
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Idk those answers; good points though. I don't think you could become the #2-3 recruit in the nation with bad free throw mechanics. I guess we will see what happens as the season progresses. As a whole, the team shoots very poorly from the free throw line, and when you're in a dog fight like we will be frequently in the SEC we just cannot leave free points on the table.
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Our team is not currently good enough to shoot under 70% at the line and win games vs decent to good teams.
And you need your better players who will likely be fouled the most to shoot an acceptable % to win games.
A 6'4" athletic good player in HS is typically not challenged that much and can slide on some mechanics in some facets of their game because they are so good and so dominating in most other parts of the game.

Just don't want to see our team shooting 52.9%( team % after 4 games) any longer and give away some games
that they should win! Free throws are technique and confidence from a proven repeating type of shot. If you are not making them the way you are shooting them, you need to change to the way players who make 85-90%
of their free throws shoot.

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From a playing time perspective, coaches want to have their best free throw shooters on the court at the end of games when leading as the opponent usually needs to foul to hope to catch up! In some cases, the coach has to leave a player in for rebounds or their overall scoring ability even if they don't shoot free throws well. So for players, be a good free throw shooter and you will likely get more minutes.

Wrecking Crew 21
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