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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 opens season with win over A&M-Corpus Christi

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Redshirt junior Jordan Nixon recorded a total of 17 points on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 9 to help lead the Aggies to a 87-54 victory over the A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. 

The final chapter of the Gary Blair era at Texas A&M has begun on a good note.
The No. 23 A&M women’s basketball team handedly took down the Islanders of A&M-Corpus Christi by a score of 87-54 on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Reed Arena. The win opens a 2021-2022 season that will be the 19th and final season with Blair leading the Aggies as head coach before his retirement.
“I guess it is my last first game officially, but the exhibition we played was a game to me,” Blair said. “The scrimmage we played before that exhibition was a game. I coach every situation like it might be my last. You never know, this is the world that we live in.”
The Aggies’ offensive attack was led by two All-Southeastern Conference Preseason 2nd Team selections. Graduate guard Kayla Wells led the team in points with 18, and rebounds, with eight. Additionally, junior guard Jordan Nixon tallied 17 points and eight assists. Five players churned out at least two three-pointers, with Nixon and graduate guard Destiny Pitts accounting for three apiece. By the end of the night, the team tied the school record with 12 made three-pointers.
On the other side of the ball, A&M allowed zero three-pointers on 13 attempts by Corpus Christi. Senior forward Aaliyah Petty paced the defense with four steals and four blocks. To complete the all-around effort, the Aggies forced the Islanders to commit 14 turnovers.
“We’re trying to get one percent better every day,” Nixon said. “We want to get one more assist. Turn the ball over one fewer time. It’s all about finding that chemistry. Chemistry is everything, and sometimes I feel like people overlook that, but we have it. It’s going to continue building as long as we continue to put our energy into it. Whatever you focus on is what will improve [on]; so it all starts with us.”
The contest remained evenly matched five minutes in, with the score tied at 15 until two A&M three pointers ended the quarter with the Aggies on top 25-17. Nixon scored 11 of her 18 total points during the first quarter, in which the team connected on four of seven three-point attempts.
The Aggies nearly doubled their lead in the second quarter as junior center and transfer Sydnee Roby showed her effectiveness in the paint, amassing eight points on 3-3 shooting with two free throws. Nixon added seven additional points with two more three-pointers as A&M entered halftime with a 45-31 advantage.
The third quarter followed the similar back-and-forth pattern from the previous as the Aggies took a 65-41 lead. This time, graduate guard Qadashah Hoppie, a St. John’s transfer and previous Big East Freshman of the Year, got in on the scoring action after sinking two of her three shots to total ten points on the night.
The fourth quarter saw a barrage of three-pointers from Pitts and freshman guard Keslynn Oxendine as both made each of their two attempts. The duo accounted for over half of the team’s 22 points in the quarter. A&M also shot 12 of their 28 free throws in the fourth quarter, converting on six of them. Across the game, the Aggies made just 15 free throws, which proved to be a point of emphasis for Blair.
“Free throws aren’t going to bother me tonight, but it will bother me tomorrow during practice, and we’ll do a better job of shooting,” Blair said. “We got there 28 times, but we let them have 22 free throws and that’s from not talking.”
All in all, Blair said he was pleased with his team’s performance, but he is still looking for improvement from his players.
“We had nine players with double-digit minutes, and we were able to play all 14 kids tonight,” Blair said. “Overall, I felt like we did a pretty good job, but we’re going to continue trying to find what’s going to work for us.”
The Aggies’ schedule continues on Thursday, Nov. 11, when they take on the Southern Jaguars. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.

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