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The Battalion

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Aggies finish regular season with 13 point win over Arkansas

Junior+guard+Shambria+Washington+played+for+37+minutes+against+the+Commodores.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

Junior guard Shambria Washington played for 37 minutes against the Commodores.

The No. 19 Texas A&M women’s basketball team used a dominant second quarter to top Southeastern Conference opponent Arkansas 66-53 in the regular season finale on Sunday at Reed Arena.
The Aggies (23-6, 12-4 SEC) clinched the three-seed and double-bye in the SEC Tournament in their 62-55 win over Kentucky on Feb. 28. With Sunday’s win, they are looking to secure top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament and rights to host first- and second-round games.
Junior Shambria Washington said although A&M had already clinched their spot in the SEC Tournament, the team knew they had to remain focused for Arkansas.
“Our key concept for the game was finish,” Washington said. “We can’t take any team in the SEC lightly. Our business wasn’t finished. Just because we secured the three-seed doesn’t mean we could take [Arkansas] lightly.”
Sophomore guard Chennedy Carter was dominant in the outing before going out with a pinky injury in the fourth quarter, accumulating 20 points by halftime and a game total of 24. Carter is currently the SEC’s leading scorer and is eighth in the nation with 22.4 points per game.
The Aggies had only four turnovers in the first half but ended the game with 14, which A&M head coach Gary Blair said was due to Arkansas switching up their defensive scheme.
“They were playing man to start the game then they switched up with some zone in the second half, and that’s when we started turning the ball over,” Blair said. “And give [Arkansas] credit because all year they’ve been a second half team.”
The A&M defense was also dominant throughout the game, holding Arkansas (17-13, 6-10 SEC) to a total 30.5 shooting percentage and only 17.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
Arkansas’ Chelsea Dungee — the second-highest scorer in the SEC with 19.6 points per game — led the Razorbacks with 15 points.
Sophomore forward N’dea Jones was the lone Aggie to post a double-double, accumulating 13 points and 16 rebounds. Washington almost notched a triple-double, with eight rebounds, eight points and nine assists. She said she gives the rest of her team credit for those numbers.
“I try to do as much as possible, whatever my team needs me to do,” Washington said. “My assists come from me finding people in the right spots and them making great plays, great baskets, great catches.”
A&M fell behind 6-2 early, but the Aggies went on a 12-5 scoring run in the final four minutes of the first quarter to take an 18-14 lead into the second quarter. Of the Aggies’ first quarter points, Carter accounted for 13.
An offensive explosion in the second quarter put A&M up 41-26 going into halftime. In the second quarter, A&M had a shooting percentage of 55.6 percent, while holding the Razorbacks to 21.4 percent.
A&M also out-rebounded Arkansas 24 to 16 in the first half, with Jones leading the Aggies with eight.
The third quarter was a much closer contest as the Aggies lost their offensive fire and allowed Arkansas to pull within 55-44 going into the final quarter. A&M’s shooting percentage decreased to 38.9 percent in the third quarter, while Arkansas’ increased to 42.9.
The Aggies will next take the court in the SEC Tournament on March 8 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina.

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