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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 suffer twenty-point loss to No. 1 South Carolina

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Redshirt junior guard Jordan Nixon (5) and graduate guard Kayla Wells (11) coach their teammates during their time on the bench in the Aggies’ game against the Gators in Reed Arena on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

Texas A&M women’s basketball, down just one possession at half, found itself outmatched in its 20-point loss to No. 1 South Carolina.
Facing the nation’s 17th-ranked defense and top-ranked team overall, the Aggies tied for their lowest offensive output of the season, losing 45-65 to the Gamecocks who remain unbeaten at home in Columbia, S.C.
“South Carolina is the best team in the country,” A&M coach Gary Blair said. “I said, ‘Let’s try and stay with them until halftime.’ We fought, we scratched and we found a way to do it. But eventually Dawn [Staley] made some adjustments.”
A&M continues its mid-season slide losing its fourth game in a row, all against conference opponents. The Aggies, 10-6 overall and 0-4 in conference play, began the season with eight consecutive wins. Since then, the team has gone 2-6 with three double-digit losses.
“When you get knocked down nine times, you get up 10,” Blair said. “We were 1-4 in the Big 12 to start conference play in 2007-08. We went to the Elite 8 that year.”
Against South Carolina, the Aggies shot 29.3% from the field and 22.2% from behind the arc. Despite winning the turnover battle, A&M was dominated on the glass, getting outrebounded by the Gamecocks to the tune of 53 to 31. South Carolina snagged 26 offensive boards en route to 31 second-chance points compared to A&M’s 12.
“You know they had [lots of height] coming at us,” graduate guard Qadashah Hoppie said. “Sometimes when you have taller players running at you, you may flick your wrist a little quicker than usual. Being composed and taking your regular shot is what we needed to focus on a little bit more.”
The top-three shot-takers for the maroon and white combined for an 11-of-39 shooting night. Hoppie led the team in scoring for the second consecutive game, scoring 15 points on just five-for-19 shooting from the field. Both junior guard Jordan Nixon and graduate guard Kayla Wells shot three-for-10 for a combined 18 points. Off the bench, freshman forward Jada Malone scored four points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
South Carolina improved to 16-1 this season, 4-1 against opponents in the Southeastern Conference.The top-ranked team in the nation, the Gamecocks now have nine 20-point wins this year.
“South Carolina checks all the boxes,” Nixon said. “They are athletic. They play hard. They are strong. They are fast … I do think we responded well, but they made us think twice and that is the name of the game when you’re playing a team of this caliber.”
Stand-out junior forward Aliyah Boston, South Carolina’s leader in both points and rebounds, dominated the court against A&M. Boston grabbed 15 rebounds, scored 19 points and dished out two assists, all game highs, in just 27 minutes of action.
The Aggies will have a quick turnaround facing the 8-7 Auburn Tigers on Sunday, Jan. 16. The game will take place at Reed Arena in College Station at 4 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Jordan Nixon is an opinion writer for The Battalion.

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