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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M women’s basketball advances to SEC Quarterfinals with win over Mississippi State

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Photo by: A Nguyen

Junior G Sahata Jones (24) shoots a jump shoot before Senior G Lauren Hansen (1) can block her at Reed Arena on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.

The Texas A&M women’s basketball team has found a spark in the SEC tournament after back-to-back victories to advance to the quarterfinals. The Aggies have not been able to pull off a win on the road this season, but are blazing on the hardwood in Greenville, S.C.
On Thursday, March 2, the Aggies defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs after a big win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday, March 1. The 79-72 victory marked history for Texas A&M, becoming the lowest-seeded team to ever reach the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals.
“It’s just starting to come together for us at the right time,” coach Joni Taylor said. “I can’t say enough how proud I am of this team. They trust the process, we went with seven for a long time with injuries, and then we brought three back. Now we are just having a better feel and understanding for what shots are good shots for us individually, what shots are good for us as a team and how to get people the ball.”
The Aggies had a different game plan as they faced the Bulldogs twice earlier this season and fell short in both matchups. The maroon and white took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-5, and never looked back while holding on to the lead until the final buzzer.
Offense has been a missing component for the Aggies this season as the squad has struggled to knock down shots, but freshman guard Sydney Bowles is proving that she is an offensive weapon that is prepared for big moments.
Bowles has led Texas A&M in scoring in back-to-back games, registering 19 points and knocking down six 3-point shots against the Bulldogs. Fifth-year forward Aaliyah Patty followed behind Bowles with 15 points, two steals and demanded the paint with five blocks.
“One of our main things that we have been trying to become is consistent and just consistently trying to win quarters,” Bowles said. “I think we did a really good job of staying together as a team and when things were breaking down, we came together.”
The third Aggie in double digits was sophomore forward Jada Malone, adding 12 points, three assists and a steal.
The maroon and white shot 51% from the field and 65% from the 3-point line while the Bulldogs shot 39% from the field and nailed only four 3-point attempts.
“I think our main focus was getting back in transition and stopping the ball,” Patty said. “Defense leads to offense, so just getting stops and trying to get back on the offensive end and execute. That is something that we have been trying to make a focal point in these last couple of games.”
Mississippi State was led in scoring by redshirt senior forward Jessika Carter with 18 points. Freshman guard Debreasha Powe and junior guard JerKaila Jordan both matched for 12 points behind Carter, while Jordan also added three assists and two steals.
“It’s great, but I think that for us, the next step is getting ready for Ole Miss, so we are proud of that accomplishment, but then it is on to the next thing,” Taylor said. “There is a reason that the rearview mirror is smaller than the windshield, we are looking forward to what’s next.”
The Aggies will continue battling in Greenville tomorrow, March 3, against the No. 4 seeded Rebels. Tipoff is set for 1:15 p.m.

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