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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies protect Reed Arena against Mississippi Valley State for 10th win of season

Photo by Jaime Rowe

Sophomore F Janiah Barker (2) takes a shot during Texas A&M’s game against Robert Morris on Dec. 9, 2023 at Reed Arena.

It has been over a week since Texas A&M women’s basketball has stepped onto Gary Blair Court in Reed Arena, where it remains undefeated so far this season.
The Aggies remained hot, extending their win streak to eight after defeating the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes, 95-45 on Monday, Dec. 18.
In the first quarter, A&M took the lead and never looked back after sophomore forward Janiah Barker scored the first Aggie basket.
The Devilettes went on a scoring spurt to open the second quarter after junior forward Sadie Williams nailed a 3-pointer. MVSU forced a turnover on the next possession, and a no-look pass from junior guard Sh’Diamond McKnight led to a jump shot from junior F Lizzie Walker. The sequence was sealed with another 3-pointer from McKnight, bringing the Devilettes within five.
Despite this run, it became the Barker and Coulibaly show for the Maroon and White.
Senior G Aicha Coulibaly recorded 17 points to match her season high and recorded a season-high six steals.
“I have been more comfortable at the three here at A&M,” Coulibaly said. “It’s just been a lot easier because I was always in the post down low and now I can take my time and make my shots.”
Barker led the Aggies with a season-high 20 points and recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.
Just when the 12th Man crowd thought the Aggies had already sealed the win with a 28-point advantage, the squad showed that it wasn’t slowing down in the fourth quarter after a message from coach Joni Taylor to “pick up the pace” was given at the half.
“I thought our pace wasn’t very good,” Taylor said. “Their zone slowed us down and we weren’t very aggressive, so we talked about taking care of the basketball, sharing the ball and picking up our pace and I thought that translated in the third and fourth quarter.”
Early in the game, the Maroon and White struggled to find an advantage at the 3-point line. Coming off the bench, freshman G Sole Williams broke the seal from behind the arc to open the fourth quarter and extended the lead, 62-31. Sophomore G Sydney Bowles followed with a 3-pointer of her own.
The Aggies continued on a sequence when Coulibaly stole the ball from the Devilettes and passed it to junior G Tineya Hylton for a layup. Williams followed with a steal and layup on her own.
A tremendous team effort from the Aggies led to 11 players in the scoring column, with four in double digits.
“I like that we have a ton of options,” Taylor said. “We went to our bench tonight and Tineya [Hylton] was great for us the entire time, Sole [Williams] came off the bench in the third quarter, Sydney [Bowles] shot it well and Kylie [Marshall] came in and got some good minutes.”
The Aggies will return to Reed Arena to face Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 1 p.m.
“Wednesday is fan appreciation and it’s also our tacky Christmas sweater game,” Taylor said. “Everyone gets in free and we need a big crowd to send us out the right way as we go into the holidays, so take a break and come over to Reed Arena on Wednesday.”

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