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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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A&M defense wreaks holiday havoc in 88-36 win over Prairie View A&M

Photo by Photo by CJ Smith

Senior G Aicha Coulibaly (5) makes a layup during A&M’s game against Prairie View on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023 at Reed Arena. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Joni Taylor may not have won the staff ugly Christmas sweater contest, but she is satisfied with the Aggies’ 88-36 win over Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 20, during Fan Appreciation Day.
While Santa Claus made the rounds around Reed Arena giving gifts to fans, Prairie View gifted the Aggies 27 turnovers — a gift made even more special by the Aggies’ 29 fast break points and 32 points off turnovers. A&M finished with a season-high 17 steals.
“Our defense has just continued to get better every game,” Taylor said. “And so we’re just continuing to ramp it up. We know it was important to try to take them out of their offense and force them into a plan B and not let them catch it.”
Meanwhile, Prairie View’s shooting landed it on the naughty list. The Panthers shot 24% from the field and were held to under 10 points in each of the first three quarters. That wasn’t enough to keep up when A&M shot over 50% from the field in the first half, especially with the Aggies adding another 19 points from the charity stripe.
This game was an opportunity for A&M to show off its depth on offense, with 34 bench points. Twelve Aggies contributed to the scoresheet, led by senior guard Aicha Coulibaly’s 15 points.
“We’ve got players coming off the bench who could be starting other places,” Taylor said. “And so that just speaks to their humility and their selfless service in terms of how they want to be for the team.”
This was the Aggies’ second game in three days after Monday’s 95-45 drubbing of Mississippi Valley State, something senior G Sahara Jones says will prepare the team for its upcoming schedule.
“We know when it gets to SEC [play] it’s going to be play, scout, play,” Jones said. “So this just gets us ready for that.”
A&M returns to action on Dec. 31 against Texas A&M-Commerce. For now, players head home to celebrate the holidays before reporting back to prepare for their non-conference finale.
The ugly Christmas sweater game is a Taylor staff tradition in its ninth year. This year’s winner? Associate head coach Chelsea Newton.
“Newton hands down had the best sweater this year,” Taylor said. “I thought the pink would kind of help me out but they said my sweater wasn’t tacky enough. I think pink is tacky.”

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Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and 
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