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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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A&M rides streaks, defensive performance in dominant 80-35 win over Houston Christian

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Photo By Ani Tummalapalli

Sophomore F Janiah Barker (2) prepares to shoot during Texas A&M’s game against HCU at Reed Arena on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023.

If one were to only count Texas A&M women basketball’s two highest-scoring runs against Houston Christian’s entire offensive performance, the Aggies would have defeated the Huskies by four points.
As it stands, the Aggies slaughtered the Huskies 80-35 on Monday, Nov. 20, in Reed Arena based off of an offense by committee mindset and a strong defensive performance.
“I think that we came out with the mindset of we can’t go out how we did last game,” sophomore forward Janiah Barker said. “We came with a little fire because the Purdue game bothered us a lot. I’m glad it bothered us the way it did and that we lost early and not deeper into the season.”
A&M started the game on a 15-0 run that saw six Aggies score, and eight players contributed to A&M’s 24-0 run in the second half that ended all hopes of a Husky comeback. Barker was tied as the leading scorer in the second run with a mere six points. Barker finished the night as one of four Aggies in double figures, and her 15 points led the team in scoring.
“One of the things I’m really pleased about is that when we subbed, our consistency stayed at the same level and that’s been a challenge for us lately,” coach Joni Taylor said. “Figuring out the combinations that work well together, but also keeping and maintaining the same level when we sub. Twenty-three assists is phenomenal. We’ve shared the ball really well this year.”
Thirty-five points is the fewest an opponent has scored against the Aggies in Taylor’s tenure — you’d have to go back to a 92-32 win over Southern in 2021 to find a comparable scoreline.
A lot of that credit goes to the Huskies’ own offensive ineptitude. HCU finished the night shooting 22% from the field and 14% from behind the arc. The Huskies only hit two shots from the field in the entire second half and finished the game with 14 turnovers.
But it was A&M who was able to capitalize off of those mistakes. A&M dominated the glass, out-rebounding HCU 52-23 thanks to senior guard Aicha Coulibaly’s 11 rebounds and Barker’s 10. Both Aggies finished the night with a double-double to their name.
And despite having 11 turnovers of their own, A&M finished with 22 points off turnovers compared to HCU’s four.
HCU had opportunities to even things up but wasn’t able to hang around. The Huskies responded to A&M’s initial 15-0 run with a 7-0 run of their own, and had a 4-1 run going early in the third quarter that prompted Taylor to take a timeout in order to set things straight with her squad.
And despite only having four players score (only three of which scored from the field), it was the Huskies who had the night’s leading scorer. Senior guard Kennedy Wilson came into the night averaging just over 8 points a game and managed to finish the night with 18. Eight of those came from the free throw line, where HCU was able to outshoot A&M while making 63% of its foul shots.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, A&M was able to respond blow-for-blow. Taylor’s timeout in response to HCU’s 4-1 run in the third quarter sparked a 30-2 run by the Aggies. And while HCU shot well from the free throw line, that’s the only place it could find offense in the second half as the Huskies only had five points from the field in the last 25 minutes of the game.
A&M heads to Berkeley, California for the Raising the B.A.R. Invitational later this week, where the Aggies will face Winthrop on Friday, Nov. 24, followed by Cal or San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 25.

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