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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 basketball earns its spot in Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year

Sophomore+guard+Chennedy+Carter+sings+the+Aggie+War+Hymn+with+her+teammates+after+the+Aggie+victory.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Sophomore guard Chennedy Carter sings the Aggie War Hymn with her teammates after the Aggie victory.

Half way through the second quarter, Texas A&M women’s basketball assistant coach Bob Starkey was very animated on the bench after A&M allowed Marquette a wide-open shot. From across the court Starkey could be heard yelling at his team: “COMPETE. COMPETE. COMPETE.”
Both A&M and Marquette competed until the final buzzer, but it was the A&M defense that carried the No. 4-seed Aggies to a 78-76 victory over No. 5-seed Marquette.
Marquette senior guard Natisha Hiedeman said while the A&M defense was strong, it was the offense’s high-speed tempo that changed the course of the game.
“I think the momentum shift was always back and forth,” Hiedeman said. “We had it going for a little bit, and then Texas A&M just came right back, started hitting their shots and we just couldn’t stop them on defense.”
With the win, A&M punches its ticket to its second straight Sweet 16 appearance.
Sophomore guard Chennedy Carter not only led the team with 30 points and nine rebounds, she led the momentum for the Aggies to come back and win the second-round game in front of A&M’s home crowd.
With 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter, Carter made a layup and was fouled as she fell to the ground with a loud thump that would be heard through a very loud Reed Arena. However, the All-SEC sophomore wasn’t going to stop competing.
As she laid on the ground, Carter stuck her tongue out and shimmied before standing up to walk over to the foul line where she made the free throw to put the Aggies within two points of tying the game.
Carter also played a crucial role in the Aggies regaining possession in the final seconds of the game. According to A&M head coach Gary Blair, Starkey told him Carter played her best defensive game of the year. Everything — the points, the minutes the leadership is expected.
“I’ve been working on my defense a lot,” Carter said. “I’m not the only good defensive player on my team. We all fought and can play defense.”
Junior guard Shambria Washington, who had 13 points and went 3-for-4 beyond the arc, made a three-point shot that put the Aggies’ ahead of Marquette 77-76 late in the fourth quarter.
Following the game, Washington was asked if she enjoyed playing in Carter’s shadow, but before Washington could finish her sentence, she was interrupted by Carter.
“Sham is really the backbone of our team,” Carter said. “She’s the engine. She really gets us going. Without her defensive stops and her leadership as a point guard, we probably wouldn’t be this far right now.”
The Aggies will be traveling to Chicago to take on the winner of the No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 9 Michigan State next week for a trip to the Elite 8. If the Aggies were to face Notre Dame — the reigning national champion and the team that eliminated the Aggies last season — sophomore N’dea Jones said this trip was different.
“I would say it feels different than last year because a lot of us didn’t really play last year,” Jones said. “We all were put in new positions and new roles. So I just think that this year — yes, we made it last year but it means more to us this year because we finally feel like everybody on the team has a role and everybody’s competing, everybody’s giving it their all, and we all want it.”

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