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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

Blair records 400th win at A&M

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Photo by Photo by Noelia Herrera

Coach Gary Blair telling his players the game plan during a timeout. 

Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair recorded his 400th win as the coach of the Aggies as the team defeated the Missouri Tigers 72-53 in Reed Arena on Sunday.
Blair started as head coach of A&M in 2003 and is one of seven active head coaches with a national title, winning with the Aggies in 2011.
“I was just lucky to be asked [to come] here 17 years ago,” Blair said. “I know how to build a staff, I know how to build a program and I know how to recruit the right student-athletes that will fit into the culture of A&M — that’s my strength. There’s no set formula for 400 wins, but think of how many players I’ve had along the way. That’s the special part. Now I’ve got to figure out how to win one at home again on Thursday.”
The Aggies started off hot offensively, jumping out to a 17-3 lead over the Tigers after just seven minutes. After Missouri cut the lead to three, A&M used an 8-3 scoring run to keep a comfortable lead. The Aggies finished the first half up 33-22.
In the second half, the Aggies continued building upon their lead, finishing the third quarter on a 17-4 scoring run. Even with Ciera Johnson and N’dea Jones spending over six minutes on the bench in foul trouble, the Aggies expanded their lead even further, ending the third quarter with a 22-point advantage. The Aggies’ bench prevented a comeback attempt by the Tigers, keeping the lead at 16 points or more, as they defeated Missouri by a final score of 72-53.
In the contest, the Aggies never trailed the Tigers and led for 39:47 of gametime after a Jones layup 13 seconds put A&M permanently ahead.
Junior guard Chennedy Carter missed the fourth consecutive game with an ankle sprain, but guard Kayla Wells provided a huge offensive spark for the Aggies, scoring 18 points off 5-of-14 shooting from the floor. Fellow starter Shambria Washington finished with 11 points while leading the team with seven assists. Aaliyah Wilson finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
With A&M in foul trouble for most of the game, the Aggie bench provided a huge momentum swing in the contest. As a unit, A&M outscored Missouri off the bench 16-12. Jasmine Williams continued her dominance off the bench, scoring eight points while matching a career-high in rebounds with six.
Williams said the ability of the team to step up without Carter shows its strength.
“I think it’s really important within the culture of our program to know that at any given moment it could be your turn,” Williams said. “You just need to be ready. We prepare and practice every day as though somebody may fall. Everybody knows the plays, and everybody knows what position they need to run, so we’re just rallying together as a team while she’s out and doing our best. I think we’re doing alright.”
In the post, Jones recorded her eighth consecutive game with a double-double, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Johnson, who played limited minutes against the Tigers with foul trouble, finished with 10 points and three rebounds. As a team, the Aggies dominated in the paint, outrebounding the Tigers 40-31 while also leading in points in the paint, scoring 28 to Missouri’s 12.
Defensively, the Aggies forced Missouri into a cold shooting night, with the Tigers shooting 18-of-55 from the floor and 8-of-27 from deep.
The Aggies will host Georgia on Jan. 30. Tipoff against the Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. at Reed Arena, with the game also being streamed on SEC Network+.

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