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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 women’s basketball drops final regular season game against Georgia

Sophomore+guard+Sahara+Jones+runs+down+the+court.
Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Sophomore guard Sahara Jones runs down the court.

The Texas A&M women’s basketball team’s postseason hopes sit on a miraculous showing in the SEC tournament, with a conference title likely being the team’s only shot at a spot in the NCAA tournament, or even the WNIT. 
Entering the final game of the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 27, the Aggies likely had their eyes set on starting fresh in the SEC Tournament. But, the Aggies still had a job ahead of them in Athens, Ga., against a No. 25-ranked Lady Bulldogs team sitting at 19-7.

A win would prove A&M could compete against top teams in the conference, in addition to serving as a major confidence booster after the team’s dismantling at the hands of No. 1 South Carolina in a 41-point loss three days beforehand. 

However, the Aggies couldn’t secure a victory, despite a neck-and-neck first half with Georgia, and ultimately fell 67-58. With the loss, A&M falls to an even 14-14 this season with a meager 4-12 mark in conference play. The maroon and white will enter the SEC Tournament on a five-game losing streak.

Senior forward Aaliyah Patty led the team with her double-double of 15 points and ten rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass. Graduate guard Qadashah Hoppie and junior guard Jordan Nixon added ten points apiece, with Hoppie tallying five rebounds in 38 minutes of action.

Both teams traded blows in the first half, as seemingly every A&M basket was matched with a Georgia score, and vice versa. In the first quarter alone, Patty scored seven points with four rebounds and a block. In total, the game featured 13 lead changes. By halftime, the Aggies trailed by one in a 25-24 ballgame. 

The back-and-forth affair continued deep into the third quarter until the Lady Bulldogs began a 13-3 run at the 3:27 mark, powered by eight points from Georgia graduate center Jenna Staiti. During the run, Georgia connected on seven of eight free throw attempts.
“We started large to be able to match up with them, but as usual we got into foul trouble,” coach Gary Blair said. “That’s been our problem all year.”

Still, the Aggies battled back, as a layup by sophomore forward Maliyah Johnson and a 3-pointer from graduate guard Kayla Wells brought A&M within five with 4:54 to play — plenty of time for a comeback. Sensing this, Georgia rattled off eight straight points to put the game out of reach and cement the win.

Blair cited the team’s inconsistency at the low post position and foul trouble as part of the reason for the team’s loss.

“We haven’t had the consistency at the five position — the low post position,” Blair said. “When I start [Aaliyah] Patty at the low post position, I’m risking her getting into foul problems. She’s built like a four, she should be a four. But I have to keep the larger lineup in there to start a game.”

The Aggies return to the hardwood on Wednesday, March 2 when they take on Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC Tournament. A&M previously defeated the Commodores this season on Feb. 10 by a score of 76-58, improving their record to 9-2 all-time against them. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.
Editor’s note: Jordan Nixon is an opinion writer for The Battalion.

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