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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 survive and advance in first round of NCAA Tournament

Sophomore+guard+Kayla+Wells+scored+17+points+for+the+Aggies.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

Sophomore guard Kayla Wells scored 17 points for the Aggies.

The No. 14 Texas A&M women’s basketball team topped Wright State 84-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Back for the first game since an injury in the regular season finale, Chennedy Carter showed the Aggies just what they were missing in the SEC Tournament. Carter accounted for 27 of A&M’s 84 points against Wright State, adding seven rebounds and two assists.
Carter said going forward she will continue to wear a wrap on her injured pinky. She credited her performance on Friday to the time she spent in the gym while injured.
“Once the doctors finally released me, I was in the gym putting up shots and working on my game,” Carter said. “That was the biggest thing, just staying in the gym.”
Three other Aggies had double-digit points against Wright State: Kayla Wells had 17, Ciera Johnson had 15, and N’dea Jones had 11.
Angel Baker led the Raiders in points with 22, shooting nine-of-19 and adding four free throws. Michal Miller and Mackenzie Taylor added 12 and 10 respectively
A&M was aided by their success with free throws, going 26-of-35 for 74.3 percent, while the Raiders only had seven total attempted free throws (5-of-7 for 71.4 percent).
The Aggies quickly took control of the game with five three-pointers by Carter and Wells, scoring 31 in the first quarter and allowing Wright State only 13. Of those 31 points, Carter accounted for 14 and Wells for nine.
“I don’t think we could have started the game any better,” A&M head coach Gary Blair said. “We’ve been a fast-starting team all year, and to be honest, we were going from great to good early.”
After the hot start, A&M’s shooting percentage dropped from 68.8 percent to 21.4 percent. The Raiders held Carter to only two points in the second quarter to make it a 13-point game at halftime.
With Carter struggling to score, four other Aggies stepped up to keep A&M in the lead. Wells, Jones, Shambria Washington, and Johnson accounted for nine of the Aggies’ second quarter points.
The Aggies came out strong in the third quarter to widen their lead to 67-46, outscoring the Raiders 25-17.
A&M’s offense struggled in the second quarter, and Wright State began to slowly catch up by outscoring the Aggies 16-11.
Carter wasn’t the only player fighting through injury on Friday–Wright State’s Emily Vogelpohl played with a fractured wrist sustained during practice last Saturday to score once for the Raiders. Blair said she and Carter exemplify the toughness of women’s basketball.
“On the scout report [Vogelpohl] was one of the ones we needed to stop,” Blair said. “That is toughness. The women’s game is one of the most underrated sports ever.”
The Aggies will face No. 18 Marquette on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2, with the time to be announced.

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