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Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Shorthanded Aggies suffer setback vs. Vanderbilt at Reed Arena, 49-45

February 16, 2024
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Clutch guard play is necessary to win big games.

It is a cliche in March, but it can be very true and needed in February.

Normally, Texas A&M looks to Endyia Rogers to provide her usual command over the offense and scoring output, especially when it comes down to one possession.

Yet, her absence was apparent as Vanderbilt downed the Aggies on Thursday night, 49-45. With the loss, the Maroon & White duck below .500 in SEC play at 5-6.

Rogers — a transfer from Oregon — missed her first game this season after going down late at Kentucky on Saturday with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury.

Aicha Coulibaly did all she could to make up for Rogers' unavailability, finishing with 20 points, but a woeful first half and lack of a clutch final shot was what ultimately doomed the Aggies.

"(Rogers) is our leading scorer. She is our best 3-point shooter," A&M head coach Joni Taylor said. "We knew it was going to be challenging and take a team effort to make up for the things she does. Not having her on the floor makes us look a lot different.

"With that being said, we were up four with three minutes left and did not close it out. We have to be able to do that."

With 1:41 to go, Joni Taylor's squad led 45-44 with the ball. Hoping to gut out a close victory, the possession came up empty.

Chris Swann, TexAgs
The win for Vanderbilt was its first in College Station since the Aggies joined the SEC. 

Vanderbilt's Iyana Moore commanded control as her 3-pointer stole back the lead.

Two different Aggies got shots up with 40 seconds remaining, but neither fell.

Early on, A&M's recent turnover issues resurfaced as its first quarter was a glimpse of what was to come later on. The Aggies finished with 20 turnovers total.

A&M committed three straight giveaways, completely wasting their early offensive possessions.

"We have to take care of the basketball," Taylor said. "I thought we turned it over too many times. That was one of our points of emphasis coming into today."

A&M's scoring efforts remained stagnant the majority of the second as guard Kay Kay Green failed to find her rhythm at point, finishing 0-for-5 from the field at the break. The Aggies' 10 points through 15 minutes of play was an obvious result of missing Rogers.

Yet, the Commodores' lack of domination allowed room for A&M to make up some ground.

An out-of-nowhere 9-0 run watered down what was initially an inexcusable first half. Sparked by Janiah Barker, the scoring stretch was the first chunk of consistent offense fans saw from Taylor's Aggies.

What felt like a beatdown quickly turned into a six-point game at the half.

Unlike the first half, an offensive identity was formed as Coulibaly ramped up her play, shooting at a 63 percent clip.

“I thought we turned it over too many times. That was one of our points of emphasis coming into today.”
-A&M head coach Joni Taylor

"I thought she was really good," Taylor said of Coulibaly. "She stayed active and kept trying to find her spot."

The low-scoring, back-and-forth affair continued until a late run from Vanderbilt helped diminish a six-point deficit, and a 3-pointer and a pair of clutch free throws sealed the victory for the Commodores.

With Rogers described as "day-to-day" by Taylor, A&M must supplement her scoring output somehow, and it needs to happen fast if the guard remains sidelined because only five conference games remain.

No. 13 LSU rolls into College Station on Monday, Feb. 19, looking for its fourth straight victory, and an offensive spark will be needed to slow down the Tigers.

Discussion from...

Shorthanded Aggies suffer setback vs. Vanderbilt at Reed Arena, 49-45

2,429 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Kbeauty63
mullokmotx
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Rogers was injured at Kentucky on Sunday, not Saturday.
Neither Maliyah Johnson or Sole Williams played in addition to Rogers being out. Johnson provides some depth in the paint and Williams is a 3-point threat. The team only had 8 players available. Ware had a tough night with Vandy packing the paint.
mullokag
Kbeauty63
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mullokmotx said:

Rogers was injured at Kentucky on Sunday, not Saturday.
Neither Maliyah Johnson or Sole Williams played in addition to Rogers being out. Johnson provides some depth in the paint and Williams is a 3-point threat. The team only had 8 players available. Ware had a tough night with Vandy packing the paint.
I didn't realize Sole & MJ didn't play. TBH - that makes our effort better (IMHO). And Aicha was incredible! Here's hoping for 12 players available Monday!
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