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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

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Items from Lt. Col. David Michael Booth, Class of 1964, on display at the Muster Reflections Display in the Memorial Student Center on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Aggies look for SEC revival

Photo by Adriano Espinosa
Graduate Endyia Rogers enters during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Feb. 4, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Adriano Espinosa/ The Battalion)

It’s do-or-die time for Texas A&M women’s basketball.

The Aggies are projected as the first team out of the NCAA Tournament field according to ESPN’s latest bracketology — and having lost five of their last six games, they aren’t trending up the bubble.

A&M heads to Greenville, South Carolina for the SEC Tournament desperately needing a resume boost ahead of Selection Sunday.

And that starts with limiting its mistakes.

Control the errors

Watching the Aggies in the latter half of conference play has been a bit like watching your 8-year-old cousin play Whac-A-Mole at the local arcade — they’re getting there, but they can’t quite plug all of the holes fast enough.

A&M opens SEC tournament play against Mississippi State on March 7. In the Aggies’ 74-63 loss to the Bulldogs on Feb. 4, the mole of the day was turnovers: A&M’s 22 turnovers led to 23 Bulldog points off turnovers, which proved to be the difference maker in an otherwise close game.

“We turned it over in the first quarter, the second quarter — I mean, we turned it over the entire game,” A&M coach Joni Taylor said. “When you’re playing a team that’s that good, you can’t give them the basketball.”

In its next two games, A&M limited itself to 15 turnovers each.

At other times, the problem has been rebounding. In a Feb. 29 road loss to Tenneseee, the Aggies were out-rebounded 44-28 by the Volunteers after dominating the boards in the teams’ earlier matchup.

The pieces are there for a great game, and maybe even a great tournament run. A&M just has to put it all together.

The Endyia Rogers question

Graduate guard Endyia Rogers has been out of the Aggies’ lineup since she suffered a knee injury in A&M’s game against Kentucky on Feb. 11. She still leads the Aggies in points per game.

If Rogers is back for the SEC Tournament — Taylor has said Rogers’ injury is long-term, but not necessarily season-ending — that’s an immediate boost for the Aggies. If not, then someone else is going to have to step up as a scoring threat. Lately, it’s been a rotating cast of characters who are able to turn into 20-point scoring threats for a game.

Against Tennessee, it was freshman G Solé Williams who put up a season-high 21 points in the road loss. In the Alabama game, it was senior G Aicha Coulibaly who led the Aggies with 19 points.

“We’re starting to figure out how to play without Endyia [Rogers],” Taylor said after the loss to the Tide. “In terms of lack of turnovers, we are handling the ball better and getting into a bit of a chemistry groove so that makes me feel better, but we’ve got to close out games.”

Of course, those both ended up as losses, but they were close losses to teams currently projected in the NCAA Tournament field.

Put these things together, and A&M has enough to make it past Mississippi State in Greenville — and if it wins, the Aggies run straight into a double-edged sword in their next game.

A nightmare — or an opportunity?

No. 1 South Carolina is still undefeated — the only NCAA division I basketball team, men’s or women’s, that can claim such a title. And its No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament means it faces the winner of A&M-Mississippi State in its first game.

Last time the Aggies matched up against the Gamecocks, it was the visitors who took home a 99-64 win in College Station — and facing South Carolina in the state of South Carolina, where it’s guaranteed a home crowd despite Greenville being a “neutral site” — will be a challenge.

But if A&M upsets the Gamecocks, it won’t be sweating on Selection Sunday. That’s the resume booster teams dream of in March, one that the NCAA Selection Committee will have no choice but to acknowledge.

Most teams’ One Shining Moment happens during the Big Dance — but if A&M is able to pull off a run in the SEC Tournament, it’ll already have its moment locked up long before March Madness even begins.

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and 
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