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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 offensive spark not enough against the Mississippi State Bulldogs

Head+coach+Joni+Taylor+cheers+for+her+team+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+LSU+at+Reed+Arena+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+05%2C+2023.
Photo by Kaili Gaston

Head coach Joni Taylor cheers for her team during Texas A&M’s game against LSU at Reed Arena on Sunday, Feb. 05, 2023.

The Texas A&M Women’s basketball hit the road to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the second time this season on Sunday, Feb. 12. The Aggies seemed to have a different game plan during this matchup but failed to execute in the final minutes. The 70-62 win, marks the seventh SEC win for Mississippi State while A&M continues to search for a second SEC win, falling to 6-16 overall.
“We defend but we don’t capitalize on it offensively,” coach Joni Taylor said. “We started the game not well, so it’s easy to look at how it ended. We had to dig ourselves out of a hole to start and played in my opinion not a really good first half but ended up being able to tie the ball game.”
Graduate guard Anastasia Hayes led Mississippi State in scoring with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. Redshirt senior forward Jessika Carter matched Hayes in points with 17 of her own, nine rebounds and two assists.
While the maroon and white showed shooting improvement, the Bulldogs found their slot under the basket where the Aggies constantly created an open lane, giving up 40 points. The Aggies shot 44% from the field and scored 18 more points than in their first game against the Bulldogs earlier this season.
Getting shots to fall for the Aggies was freshman guard Sydney Bowles with a season high 16 points and two rebounds.
In the fourth quarter, just under five minutes, Bowles knocked down a clutch 3-pointer to get the Aggies within a one game possession. Bowles’ efforts were not enough as a terrible sequence of plays followed for the Aggies. Freshman forward Janiah Barker missed two free throws as costly turnovers and miscommunication followed in the final minutes to ultimately give the game to Mississippi State.
The Aggie defense struggled in the opening minutes of the game as Mississippi State opened the game blazing with a 10-0 run. Junior guard Kay Kay Green opened up scoring for the Aggies with a 3-point jumper to get the squad going offensively. A&M finished the first quarter down by nine points.
At the half, the Aggies had officially clawed back into the game with 32 points while Mississippi led with 35 points.
A well played third quarter from the Aggies was overshadowed by foul trouble. Under the five minute mark in the third, Barker found herself tied up under the goal by three Bulldogs and dished the ball to fifth year forward Aaliyah Patty for a layup and her 1,000th career point.
Shortly after, Patty picked up her third foul as sophomore forward Jada Malone subbed in. Malone quickly picked up her third foul on the very next play and a third foul for sophomore Tineya Hylton and Barker followed.
Despite consistently sending Mississippi to the line, the Aggies managed to take care of the ball and capitalize off of fast break opportunities but were still behind, closing the quarter 52-48.
The late spark and a near upset has been the story of the Aggies in the last few games as they haven’t been able to close out.
The Aggies continue on the road to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers this Thursday, Feb. 15. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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