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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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A&M women’s hoops presented with SEC Championship rings, wins against Southern

Sophomore+Guard+Kay+Kay+Green%26%23160%3Bmakes+an+attempt+to+score.
Photo by Photo by Samuel Falade

Sophomore Guard Kay Kay Green makes an attempt to score.

On its way to victory, the No. 23 Texas A&M women’s basketball team, including former guard Aaliyah Wilson, was presented with its 2020-21 Southeastern Conference Championship rings.
A&M previously won the championship following its Feb. 21 victory over then-No. 5 South Carolina. The ring ceremony began at 6:50 p.m., just ten minutes prior to tip-off against Southern University. A&M head coach Gary Blair, who could be seen throwing out candy to fans prior to the ceremony, was beaming with pride.
Blair said it was amazing to get not just one, but two victories in one night because of the ring presentation.
“I loved the ceremony,” Blair said. “I loved my wife being able to give me the ring. I loved my daughter sitting there … to come down from Fayetteville to be with us. I’m in the loving type of mood tonight.”
The maroon and white struck first off a layup from freshman forward Jada Malone. Due to further offensive pressure, A&M forced Southern to take its first timeout with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter.
Similarly, the Aggies weren’t just dominant when it came to the offensive side of the court, but also on the defensive side of the ball — only allowing the Lady Jaguars to first get on the scoreboard off of a free throw with 4:20 left in the first. The quarter concluded with the Aggies leading, 18-3.
The end of the first was a historical marker for the maroon and white. The quarter saw the fewest points allowed by A&M in a quarter since the Jan. 17 contest against Mississippi State in 2020, with the Aggies tying that record of three points allowed in the first.
A&M graduate guard Destiny Pitts went into the game with a defensive mentality.
“We knew we needed to step up our defensive pressure because, just from [the] last game, I feel like we got a slow start,” Pitts said. “Our game plan was just to speed them up and cause some fouls, and I think everyone bought into that and we did a really good job doing it.”
Junior guard Jordan Nixon was the game leader in points, scoring 13, and picked up one rebound. Pitts tied with senior forward Aaliyah Patty, both leading in rebounds with seven.
A&M doubled its lead, and then some, in the second quarter, putting 25 points on the board. The Aggies’ defensive momentum from the first easily translated to the second quarter, allowing Southern to only post six more points. Five of the game’s 12 total 3-pointers were sunk during the second quarter, with Pitts nailing three, graduate guard Qadashah Hoppie making one and Southern’s Jordan Aikens also sinking one.
Pitts said her team was able to find the basket for 3-pointers in the midst of chaos.
“I just feel like we were able to push off our turnovers,” Pitts said. “We were able to push and transition. Our guards did a good job of pushing the ball and then we kind of got lost a little bit, [but] we were able to find the threes.”
The Aggies notched another milestone by the end of the second, being the first time A&M has allowed 10 points or fewer in the first half since facing Prairie View A&M on Dec. 29, 2015.
Perhaps one of the only negatives of the evening for the maroon and white came from turnovers — A&M had 15 turnovers by the end of the contest and Southern had 23.
The Aggies captured a 51-point lead by the end of the third period, with A&M leading 71-20 at the start of the fourth. The Aggies finished the game with an even 60-point lead, 92-32. This ties A&M’s sixth largest margin of victory in program history.
Blair said program milestones are designed to be surpassed.
“The records, the records are made to be broken,” Blair said. “We’re not interested in scoring 100 points, we’re more interested in playing every possession offensively, defensively, in-bounds, and I thought we did that for about 99 percent of the time tonight.”
A&M will resume play on Monday, Nov. 15, against DePaul, which went 14-10 in its overall 2020-21 season campaign. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the maroon and white’s next home contest.

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