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The Battalion

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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Aggies fell short, 78-69, in back-and-forth affair against Missouri

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Redshirt junior Jordan Nixon (5) communicates with her teammates at midcourt during the Aggies’ game against the Auburn Tigers in Reed Arena on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

In a game full of lead changes, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team came up short.
The Aggies fell flat in the fourth quarter of a 78-69 loss to Missouri on Sunday, Jan. 23 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. The back-and-forth affair consisted of 16 total lead changes as the maroon and white suffered its eighth loss of their past 11 games.
After holding a 31-29 lead at halftime, A&M allowed the Tigers to score 28 points in the third quarter alone. Now trailing 57-53 entering the fourth quarter but with the game within reach, the Aggies used a short 7-2 run to retake the lead at 60-59 with 6:26 remaining. However, in the final minutes, a 17-4 run consisting of five 3-pointers by Missouri sealed the Tigers’ victory.
“It was hard when we were trading 3s for 2s,” graduate guard Destiny Pitts said. “When they went on their run, they were making 3s, and we weren’t getting any stops. We needed those stops. I think that was the difference between the first half and the second half: in the first half we were able to get those stops.”
Similarly, the game began with a bombardment of 3-point shots by the Tigers, as four early triples gave Missouri a football-esque 14-7 lead. A&M then found its momentum, ending the quarter on a 12-2 run powered by five points from Pitts during that span.
The scoring streak continued for the Aggies in the second quarter, as they jumped out to record the first eight points. Additionally, the A&M defense briefly shone as the Tigers wouldn’t score their first points of the quarter until the 3:55 mark, and their first field goal until 2:43 remained in the half. Still, a 12-4 run by Missouri trimmed the Aggies’ lead to 31-29 as halftime came along.
The third quarter proved to be a pivotal point in the contest as both teams’ offenses exploded for points. The offensive onslaught triggered 12 lead changes and amounted to 50 total points. Junior guard Jordan Nixon and graduate guard Kayla Wells combined for 15 of the Aggies’ 22 points in the quarter, shooting 6-7 from the floor.
“It didn’t matter what we scored in the paint; it was what they [Missouri] were able to score with how efficient their offense was,” coach Gary Blair said. “Eventually, your 3s will run dry, just like they ran dry for us. You have to have balance.”
The Tigers shot lights-out from behind the arc, sinking nearly 50% of their 3-point attempts (16-33). Junior forward Kayley Frank led the squad with a whopping 28 points while three others finished the night in double digits.
“We know who Mizzou is,” Nixon said. “They’ve proven time and time again that they can shoot the basketball. When you are playing a team that has five players on the court that can shoot the ball, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. We didn’t do what we needed to do, and that was to communicate on the defensive end.”
Regardless of their defensive shortcomings, the Aggies had a solid game offensively, as four players scored in the double digits. Wells, who led A&M with 14 points, has scored 10 or more points in every game this season. The contest marked Wells’ 143rd career game with the Aggies, tying Karla Gilbert for the program record.
“We were playing pretty well throughout the game,” Blair said. “We’re getting better. But are we getting smarter?”
A&M will take a much needed week off before returning to action on Sunday, Jan. 30 against Mississippi State. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.
Editor’s Note: Jordan Nixon is an opinion writer for The Battalion.

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