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Photo by Hannah Harrison, TexAgs
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Texas A&M cruises to 2-0 start with 74-55 victory over North Texas

November 12, 2023


Similar to the season-opener, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team began the first half the way they wanted en route to a 74-55 win over North Texas on Sunday.

Unlike Thursday’s victory, this win may have looked more familiar.

It was the returning player’s time to shine.

 Janiah Barker — last year’s leading scorer — put up a team-high 18 points after tallying just two points vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, when she found herself in early foul trouble that limited her normal production.

However, Sunday was a different story.

Barker was one of four players to register double-digits, but she was the one who kickstarted the hot first half.

The sophomore tallied seven of A&M’s first 10 points and shot 5-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc in the first. Barker did not miss a shot until eight minutes in.

“When you look at games where (Barker) is on the floor and stays on the floor, her stat line speaks for itself,” head coach Joni Taylor said of Barker. “She has to have the discipline and the emotional maturity to not get in foul trouble.”

In the second quarter, A&M’s defense ramped up.

The Aggies allowed just nine points, with the Mean Green shooting 27 percent from the field. On the offensive side of the ball, A&M spread the wealth down low, scoring 10 points in the paint and 10 from the free-throw line to cap off a productive opening half.

Transfers Aicha Coulibaly and Endyia Rogers, along with returning veteran Sahara Jones, helped Barker lead the opening charge. Coulibaly, Rogers and Jones combined for 36 in the win.

Hannah Harrison, TexAgs
After shooting 11-for-22 (50%) in the first quarter, the Aggies shot 15-for-58 (25.9%) in the last 30 minutes of the contest.

However, it was a tale of two halves, as the second proved to be a rough outing for the Aggies.

The third frame saw a decline in offensive production, as the Ags went cold from the field. The Mean Green took advantage of A&M’s lackluster quarter, outscoring the Aggies 17-12 to bring North Texas within 22.

“I don’t think we came out of the locker room the way we needed to,” Taylor said. “I think we missed some shots we normally don’t miss. We allowed missing shots on offense to affect us on the defensive end.

“North Texas came out and won the third and fourth quarters, and that’s just not OK.”

The Aggies were outscored again in the final quarter. However, their first-half lead was enough to boost them to victory, 74-55.

“I would point out that we need to make sure we put four quarters together,” Barker said. “That’s one thing Joni talks about. We need to make sure we can finish a four-quarter game.”

Barker and the Aggies will have a chance to do just that next Thursday when they travel to Purdue — an NCAA Tournament team a year ago — for a non-conference clash on the road.

“I’m excited. This will be a great road test for us,” Taylor said. “When we built the schedule the way we did, we needed to be tested on the road.”

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Texas A&M cruises to 2-0 start with 74-55 victory over North Texas

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