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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggies roll over Alabama, turn eyes to Sunday’s battle for conference title

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Senior guard Kayla Wells recorded 16 points against Alabama. 

After moving up to No. 3 in the AP Top-25 poll, Texas A&M women’s basketball was determined to not let the ranking, which matches the program’s highest, slip from its grasp.
A dominant offensive showing throughout the middle of a road matchup against Alabama gave the Aggies their ninth consecutive win, with a 73-67 final result on Thursday.
A&M quickly took control of the game, entering the second quarter up 19-14, but Alabama used a 10-0 run early to retake the lead. The game remained close until the 2:42 mark when senior guard Destiny Pitts used a three-pointer to kick off a 13-0 run for A&M to end the first half with a 42-29 lead.
After totaling eight points in the first quarter, sophomore Jordan Nixon was slow to find the rim again in the second quarter, not scoring again until hitting a three at the buzzer to close the first half.
Nixon finished the game tied for a team-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting with a trio of three-pointers, adding a pair of rebounds in 31 minutes on the court. A&M coach Gary Blair said Nixon was instrumental to the team’s momentum against the Crimson Tide.
“When she’s on a roll, she’s making the big-time plays,” Blair said. “She was making the big-time decisions, she started off well, she was three out of four from the three, and then she had to give us the separation. That’s the most minutes she’s played in a while, and you can see that she can handle it.”
A&M’s scoring barrage continued at the start of the second half, with the Aggies taking an 11-3 run through just over four minutes of the third quarter. Senior guard Kayla Wells was the star of A&M’s 24-3 mid-game scoring run, contributing 10 of the Aggies’ points.
“We knew that it was a game of runs, and we knew that we needed to pick it up a little bit more,” Wells said. “We stressed it in a timeout. We had to get it together and get some stops.”
However, personal fouls interrupted the Aggies’ third quarter run, as one on senior center Anna Dremaine gave the Crimson Tide a pair of points on free throws. Though A&M’s defense held Alabama to just 12 points in the third quarter, five of those points came off of free throws.
Dremaine had three fouls in the third quarter, finishing the game with four over nine minutes of game time.
By the fourth quarter, A&M had built a 16-point lead that proved too much for the Crimson Tide to overcome. Despite a late push from Alabama which included four three-pointers in the fourth quarter, including two from senior guard Jordan Lewis, the Aggies kept the Crimson Tide just out of reach to earn the 73-67 win.
A&M had five players in double-digit scoring: Wells, Nixon, Pitts, senior senior forward N’dea Jones and senior guard Aaliyah Wilson.
Jones also recorded her 13th double-double of the season, recording 12 points and 13 rebounds on the night.
Riding a nine-game win streak, the Aggies will return to Reed Arena to host No. 5 South Carolina on Feb. 28 to compete for their SEC regular season title in program history.
“Our kids accepted the challenge that was handed to them because we had to win tonight to make Sunday’s game meaningful,” Blair said. “It’s always meaningful any time you play South Carolina, but we wanted that chance and I think the two best teams are going to be playing Sunday afternoon and it’s going to be a treat.”

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