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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M women’s basketball loses 7th game in last 10

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Junior Jordan Nixon eyes the court to see who is open. 

The Aggies hit just one more field goal in the third quarter than the student who hit a thousand-dollar half-court shot halfway through the third, leading to the team’s third loss of 15-plus points in its last five games.
Texas A&M’s women’s basketball lost to the fourth-ranked team in the SEC, the Ole Miss Rebels, in an 80-63 home loss. The Aggies fell to 11-7 and 1-5 in conference play as their winning woes continued.
It can only turn around with a sense of urgency, A&M coach Gary Blair said.
“Right now, we do not have that. We are trying to run the perfect play or the perfect screen or hope to get fouled and go make some free throws,” Blair said. “Once that second quarter hit and [Ole Miss] hit a couple of 3s … we wilted.”
The Aggies hit the floor initially shooting the lights out from 3-point range, nailing three of the teams’ first four 3-point shots for A&M’s first nine points. Graduate guard Kayla Wells, A&M’s leading scorer on the season, hit two 3-pointers in the first three minutes of action.
Conversely, A&M struggled to control the paint defensively, allowing 12 points in the paint in the first quarter. The Rebels outshot the Aggies in the opening quarter 25 to 14, but A&M’s perimeter play on both ends kept the game at 19-19 within the first 10 minutes.
Ole Miss’ senior guard Angel Baker answered back off the bench, opening the second quarter with back-to-back shots from behind the arc for a quick 6-point swing.
Down multiple possessions, Jordan Nixon, A&M’s redshirt junior guard, closed the gap with a few crafty plays. She dished a pass out to graduate guard Destiny Pitts, who hit the 3-point shot, A&M’s fifth of the game. Nixon followed that up two possessions later with a behind-the-back dribble off the pick and roll for a layup. Right after that, Nixon dumped a pass off into the paint to senior forward Aaliyah Patty for another layup, making it a 1-point game.
Ole Miss took back control, hitting seven consecutive shots. The Rebels entered halftime fresh off a 17-to-five run that was highlighted by a bark from Reveille X during a Wells free throw, resulting in a miss.
The second half began with a 47-34 Ole Miss lead that expanded to an 18-point lead after three quick A&M turnovers. The Aggies continued to dig themselves into a hole, finishing the third quarter with seven turnovers and just two made field goals on 12 attempts.
“That third quarter has happened too many times in conference play,” Blair said. “We couldn’t even run the first set play that we called in the half time correct. It takes offensive execution. When defense takes something away, there’s always another option.”
After outscoring A&M 19-6 in the third quarter, the Rebels entered the final quarter with a 66-40 lead, but the Aggies flared some fourth quarter fight. A&M went on two different runs of five-plus points and scored nine more fourth-quarter points than the Rebels, but it was all too late with the final score reading 80-63.
A&M’s leading scorer was Wells with 14 points, the only Aggie to hit double digits on the night. Nixon had an impressive stat line as well, with seven points, six rebounds and eight assists.
The game is about possessions, Blair said, and since A&M has less speed than in years past, the team has to play a slower, more half-court oriented brand of basketball.
“Sometimes we were getting the ball with 15 seconds to go [after beating the full-court press,] and by then the offense is away from you and you do not have enough time to run your sets and you end up playing, ‘Somebody please make a 3 or we get an offensive rebound.’”
The Aggies combined for 17 turnovers, as opposed to the six the Rebels had. This led to the Aggies being outnumbered in the points-off-turnovers department by a margin of 25 to two.
Five different Rebels had 10-plus points, four had three-plus assists and three had five-plus rebounds as Ole Miss stuffed the stat sheet in its decisive victory.
The Aggies will have a few days to regroup before facing the 14-5 Missouri Tigers in Columbia, Mo., with the game scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23.
Editor’s Note: Jordan Nixon is an opinion writer for The Battalion.

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