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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Aggies fall to Kentucky in second consecutive loss

Eighteen points each from guard Kayla Wells and center Ciera Johnson were not good enough as Texas A&M women’s basketball lost to No. 11 Kentucky on the road, 76-54.
The Aggies have dropped two straight games since junior guard Chennedy Carter suffered a sprained ankle in their last game.
Before the game, A&M coach Gary Blair said Carter’s status would be a gametime decision and it was ultimately up to Carter to decide if she could play.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, they missed the All-American’s services against Kentucky. In place of Carter, junior guard Aaliyah Wilson earned her first start of the season.
At the end of the first quarter, the Aggies were leading Kentucky 13-12. A&M converted 31 percent of its field goal attempts while Kentucky converted only 25 percent of its field goals. The Aggies did not attempt a three point shot the entire quarter compared to the Wildcats’ nine three point attempts, of which they only converted one.
However, things started to change in the second quarter for Kentucky as the Wildcats went on a scoring run to end the second quarter. Kentucky scored 21 points to A&M’s eight points to make their lead 33-21. Kentucky had changed course on its early poor shooting as the team converted eight of its 14 second quarter field goal attempts, five of which were three-point shots. A&M continued to shoot poorly as their only two field goals from the quarter were three points shots.
After halftime, A&M started to inch closer as Kentucky’s lead was cut to nine to end the third quarter. The Aggies converted six of their eleven field goal attempts (54 percent) compared to Kentucky who only converted six of its 15 field goal attempts (40 percent). A&M made one three-point shot while Kentucky did not score on a single three-point shot for the third quarter.
Unfortunately for A&M, Kentucky ended the game shooting 10-of-12 from the field including five of six from the three point line. The hot shooting of the Wildcats was too much for the Aggies to handle as A&M could not over Kentucky’s 27 point 4th quarter.
Sophomore guard Rhyne Howard led Kentucky with a game-high 24 points, but also led the team with 11 rebounds and four assists.
“We couldn’t guard her one on one, but we could have done a better job forcing her to her left,” Blair told 12thman.com. “She’s a good basketball player.“
In addition to Howard’s big night, sophomore guard Blair Green and senior guard Sabrina Haines were big complementary pieces for the Wildcats as they scored a combined 28 points on an efficient 10-of-16 shooting.
“She’s just very solid,” Blair told 12thman.com. “You have to have complement players and that’s what [Green] is. She doesn’t try to do too much, she does just enough.”
For the Aggies, Wilson started for the first time this season in Carter’s place. She had four points on 2-of-6 shooting along with one rebound and two assists.
Wells scored 18 points converting six of her 17 field goal attempts from the field and was the only Aggie to convert a shot from behind the three-point line, knocking down three of them.
Forward N’dea Jones had a double-double scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds.
Center Ciera Johnson also scored 18 points and shot 6-of-11 from the field; however, she only converted six of her 14 free throw attempts.
On a night where Kentucky shot a combined 28-of-57 from the court, missed free throws were a big reason the Aggies could not level things out with Kentucky according to Blair. Referencing the eight-point second quarter Blair said, “we didn’t take advantage. We missed free throws, we missed bunnies, we missed everything that we had and that’s on us.”
As a team, the Aggies shot 37 percent from the field, 38 percent from behind the three point line, and only 59 percent from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Kentucky 49 percent from the field, 44 percent from the three point line, and 90 percent from the free throw line.
A&M will look to get things back on track on Sunday against Florida. The game starts at 3 p.m. from Reed Arena. The game can be streamed on WatchESPN.

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