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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M women’s hoops drop second straight game

The No. 12 Texas A&M women’s basketball team dropped their matchup Monday night with No.1 University of South Carolina 79-61 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina. The loss marks two consecutive defeats for the Aggies and moves them to 5-5 in their last ten games.
The Aggies (16-5, 4-3) and the Gamecocks (19-0, 7-0) commenced their nationally televised Monday night showdown exchanging buckets for most of the first half in which there were nine lead changes and four ties through the first fourteen minutes of play. Senior forward Achiri Ade led the charge for the Aggies, with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting along with four rebounds and one block in the first half.
However, a 14-0 run by South Carolina spanning from the 7:40 to the 2:46 mark was enough to give them a 39-31 lead heading into the break.
The lead would prove to be insurmountable for Texas A&M in the second half despite four players scoring in double figures. South Carolina, one of the nation’s two remaining unbeaten, routinely spaced the A&M defense out, accumulating several layups and taking advantage of 30 free throw attempts to put the Aggies away. Freshman forward A’ja Wilson and Junior guard Tiffany Mitchell led South Carolina with 18 and 16 points respectively. Wilson added nine rebounds as well.
Texas A&M assistant coach Bob Starkey pinpointed the loss on A&M’s inability to prevent South Carolina from reaching the paint.
“I thought we put ourselves in a situation to compete in the second half and then we let it get away from us,” Starkey said. “…It’s hard to guard people at the free throw line. We have to get physically tougher. We’re going to play teams down the road that are bigger than us. We’ve just got to find a way to get tougher.”
South Carolina’s ability to drive to the paint at will led to most of their 30 free throw attempts while also maintaining a defensive pressure that held A&M to nearly half of that number. However, coach Starkey believes the difference in free throw attempts was not caused by South Carolina’s physicality on the court, but rather Texas A&M’s lack thereof.
“I don’t think we responded with aggressiveness,” said Starkey. “I think the differential in getting to the free throw line was them turning the corner, taking the ball to the paint, and we were too, passive, passing the ball on the perimeter… I think the officials did a pretty good job. I didn’t think we put them in situations where they would foul and I think that’s on us.”
The Aggies return to College Station briefly this Sunday to continue SEC action against Auburn University prior to hitting the road for their next two conference games against the University of Missouri Feb. 5 followed by Mississippi State University Feb. 8.

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