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Joni Taylor
Barker & Coulibaly
Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Texas A&M stomps Auburn behind Barker's double-double, 66-44

January 7, 2024

Back on track.

After a road loss, Texas A&M bounced back on Sunday with a dominant win in its home conference opener against Auburn, 66-44.

The Aggies' close loss to Georgia on Thursday to begin SEC play not only sparked the double-digit victory, but double-digit emotions from head coach Joni Taylor.

"Joni has been on 10. After that Georgia loss, she was not playing," A&M's Janiah Barker said. "I have not seen her like this. Last year was not something like that. This year, with the potential that we have, she expects a lot out of us."

Taylor's increased buy-in lit a fire under A&M, resulting in a win that was simply "fun" for the coach's second-year squad.

"I had a lot of fun out there today," Taylor said. "It was a fun game to coach. Watching them share the basketball and stick to the gameplan, it was a lot of fun to watch. That is who we want to be, and how we want to play."

Chris Swann, TexAgs
A&M is now 17-1 all-time against Auburn. The lone loss came during last season.

Dominance in the victory was a byproduct of Thursday’s loss, but the Aggies also wanted to take care of business for Aicha Coulibaly. The transfer spent three years at Auburn and twice earned All-SEC recognition before putting on Maroon & White.

"It was kind of emotional, I ain't going to lie. Just knowing that I have seen those faces before, being there for three years," Coulibaly said. "I felt like I had to do what I had to do no matter what. We are friends outside of the court, but on the court, it's game time."

Barker agreed.

"This game was for AC," Barker said. "We went out there and made sure AC played against her former team, but we made sure we won. That is something that put a fire under our butt. It made us have a lot of fun."

Coulibaly led A&M with 14 points in the win, and Barker recorded her seventh double-double, scoring 13 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. The victory also marked win No. 300 for the program at Reed Arena.

"We protected home court," Taylor said. "That's really important. In this conference, you have to win the games you are supposed to win. For us, this was a game we needed to win, for sure."

Despite A&M's six turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play, the Aggies' hot hand minimized the sloppy start. A 9-0 run powered by Endyia Rogers propelled A&M to a 17-9 lead after the first period, contributing a pair of three-point plays as well.

From there, A&M's defense was "on 10."

Outside of three free throws from JaMya Mingo-Young, the Tigers only made four buckets in the second quarter, shooting at a 27 percent clip. Another dry spell following the half troubled Auburn, going five and a half minutes without a made field goal.

"Just doing the little things on the defensive side gives us so much energy. It makes us have a fire under our behinds so we can keep playing," Barker said. "Playing defense is what wins games."

Auburn's last-ditch effort in the final frame was not enough to decrease the margin of victory. Sydney Bowles hit A&M's first and only 3-pointer of the game, and Coulibaly's conventional three-point play sealed the deal.

Up next, the Aggies take on Kim Mulkey's reigning national champion LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M stomps Auburn behind Barker's double-double, 66-44

2,487 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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Way to bounce back
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Barker only had 9 rebounds when the game ended. That's not a double double.
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Hnander said:

Barker only had 9 rebounds when the game ended. That's not a double double.
The big middle scoreboard at Reed showed her with 10 rebounds when she exited the game for the final time today.

Checking the "game book", she left the game for the final time with 2:37 to go in 4Q. She got rebound 10 with 4:08 remaining in 4Q. It is all in the game book if you have some question.
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Thanks for the info. I was watching pretty closely hoping she would get number ten. I obviously missed it. I am happy that she got it.
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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How do you pronounce Coulibaly??
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