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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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Aggies still searching for SEC win after 60-44 loss to Mississippi State

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Photo by Photo by Luca Yaquinto

Freshman F Janiah Barker (2) helps up Graduate G McKinzie Green (23) after a foul during A&M’s game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Reed Arena on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

In a clash between the Texas A&M women’s basketball team and Mississippi State, the maroon and white came out on top.
Mississippi State, that is.
The Aggies, rocking their new black uniforms, couldn’t keep up on offense with the Bulldogs, leading to a 60-44 loss on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Reed Arena. While the team’s defense put forth another productive outing, a poor scoring ability remains a weakness for first-year coach Joni Taylor’s crew.
As it’s done to each opponent this season, A&M held Mississippi State to 14.5 points below its scoring average. On the other hand, the Aggies were also limited under their average points per game at 52. With a seriously depleted A&M lineup of just seven players, each Aggie was forced to play significant time against a 13-5 foe.
“There is no quit in us and we continue to fight,” Taylor said. “They continue to do whatever it is that we ask, and we responded to the physicality of Mississippi State.”
In front of a season-high crowd of 4,162, junior guard Kay Kay Green dropped a career-high 18 points, while graduate forward Aaliyah Patty added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Despite not tallying any points, graduate guard McKinzie Green dished out a team-high six assists.
“My shot was just there,” Kay Kay Green said. “I was feeling it tonight and getting to my spot. So, I capitalized and did what I had to do.”
A&M was plagued by 19 turnovers, which the Bulldogs turned into 17 points. Mississippi State committed 17 turnovers themselves, but the Aggies could only get 5 points off of them. The squad also couldn’t match the Bulldogs’ 51.1% shooting, making just 32.6% of its shots. A&M hit four of its 15 shots from 3-point range, compared to Mississippi State making five of 12 from beyond the arc.
The Bulldogs were paced by graduate guard Ahlana Smith and redshirt senior forward Jessika Carter, who each grabbed seven rebounds and scored 18 and 15 points, respectively. The duo nailed 14 of its 23 combined field goals.
Mississippi State started the afternoon with one of its most productive quarters as points came at a premium for the Aggies. After A&M captured its only lead of the contest at 2-0, the Bulldogs made six of their 11 shots while converting on four of eight free throws as well to take a 17-6 lead after ten minutes.
“I thought [Mississippi State coach] Sam [Purcell] had a really good job, had his team ready to come out,” Taylor said. “They threw us off, their aggression, their physicality bothered us and we really couldn’t get into offense … we’ve got to handle that better to start the game.”
The Aggies responded with its highest-scoring quarter of the game as Kay Kay Green accounted for 9 of the team’s 18 points. However, Mississippi State matched its output from the first quarter to take a 34-24 lead into halftime.
“Kay Kay took a ton of pressure all night long,” Taylor said. “Somebody was hounding her all night long, and she was able to run her offense, get us set, score for herself and find her teammates. Against full court pressure all night long, that’s not easy.”
A&M raced out of the break by scoring 5 straight points to cut its lead in half, but couldn’t sustain the momentum as Mississippi State responded with 10 points while the Aggies mustered up just five more in the third quarter as both offenses slowed down for the time being.
With the game still in reach and its defense stepping up, A&M looked for a late offensive push but came up empty. The Bulldogs put their foot on the gas while the Aggies were stuck in cruise control, leading to a 16-10 scoring margin to round out the game and snap a three-game skid for Mississippi State. Meanwhile, A&M’s losing streak grows to seven as it still seeks its first conference win.
“I thought our defense was good for the most part, but in that third and fourth quarter there were times we needed to get a stop and we didn’t, especially when we weren’t scoring on the offensive end,” McKinzie Green said. “So, if we keep capitalizing on that end, it will come together.”
The Aggies will look to return to the win column as they take on Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 19, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tipoff at Coleman Coliseum is set for 6 p.m.
“One thing we can guarantee is if you quit, you won’t get what you want,” Taylor said. “You’re going to get knocked down, you’ve got to get back up. You’ve got to get back up and you’ve got to keep standing.”

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