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

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

The Battalion

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Head+womens+basketball+coach+Gary+Blair+discusses+strategy+with+the+team+during+a+timeout.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Head women’s basketball coach Gary Blair discusses strategy with the team during a timeout.

In a revenge game from last year’s 62-49 regular season loss, the No. 14 Texas A&M Women’s basketball team defeated the Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday night at Reed Arena, 83-54. After their win, A&M advances to 19-6 (8-3 SEC) for the season, while Ole Miss drops to 11-13 (1-10 SEC). 
Head coach Gary Blair liked what he saw from his players and their amount of playing time in the first half, but noted that in the second half they started to struggle against Ole Miss.  
“Great first half. I thought we were really ready to play. We talked about all the things that happen in sports when you know a team is short-handed because they’ve got a player that’s hurt. We made sure that wasn’t going to happen. I was pleased with the first half. We got ten kids with minutes played and there wasn’t a drop off.” Blair said.
“The drop off started in the second half when we came up and gave them three straight three’s. It took us five minutes before we ran one play correctly in the third quarter. The last three or four minutes that the starters were in there we played okay, but then I think we struggled”
Junior Anriel Howard started the Aggies off with two layups and got the game rolling. After holding the Rebels to just one shot, freshman Chennedy Carter made a three-pointer forcing Ole Miss to take a timeout early in the half. A&M continued their lead through the first quarter as violations, fouls, and frustration seemed to be evident on the court and on the sidelines. 
Entering the second quarter up 21-4, the Aggies’ momentum skyrocketed. Similar to the first, the second quarter began with three-pointers galore. Carter and Danni Williams put up two points each to secure the Aggies with a 23-point lead.
The Rebels were unable to answer to this score gap and entered halftime down 48-13. After one half, Carter led the team with 20 points, Khaalia Hillsman right behind with 10 points and four rebounds, and Howard leading in rebounds with 10. 
Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell said that his team lacked depth tonight. Something he felt they had last year in their matchup against the Aggies when Ole Miss came out on top.  
“We didn’t have the depth to play up and down the way we need to play against [Texas A&M]. In terms of getting out and pressuring them. Alissa Alston having to play 40 minutes every single night.” Insell stated. 
At the start of the second half, Ole Miss seemed to pick up their game after making three consecutive shots. They opened up the half with two three-pointers by junior Alissa Alston and a jump shot by freshman, Promise Taylor. The Rebels dominated the third quarter and outscored the Aggies 22-20 for the first time in the game. An abundant number of fouls by the Aggies and Alston’s performance was credited for this change of pace. 
However, with two threes by Williams and a last minute jump shot by Kayla Wells late in the third, the Aggies regained their hold of the game. The fourth quarter proved to be no different than the first half and the Aggies finished on top 83-54. 
Leading the scoreboard for A&M was Carter who finished with 26 points, making this her fourth consecutive game to score 20 or more points. Hillsman and Williams finished with 16 and 11 points, while Howard led with 14 rebounds. The Rebels were led by Alston who finished with 17 points, while Taylor finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. 
Chennedy Carter reflected on where she thinks the team is at before going into their second matchup against Louisiana State this weekend. She said that the team is starting to become one out on the court and hopes to defeat LSU by a bigger margin than their last matchup. 
“I feel like we’re playing well. I think at this point of the season we are all starting to gel together and become one. It’s not any individual player on the team. It’s not just me, it’s not just Danni [Williams], it’s all of us together.” Carter said. “We all contribute to the wins. Hopefully going to Louisiana on Saturday night, we’re got to prepare, watch film and try to get after it. Win by a larger margin than we did last game  ”
The Aggies will travel to Baton Rouge on Sunday to face Louisiana State for the second time this season. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the Maravich Assembly Center.

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