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Coulibaly, Ware lead Aggies to 67-36 win over Robert Morris

Junior+F+Lauren+Ware+%2832%29+and+Sophomore+G+Sydney+Bowles+%280%29+jump+for+a+block+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Robert+Morris+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+9th.
Photo by Ani Tummalapalli

Junior F Lauren Ware (32) and Sophomore G Sydney Bowles (0) jump for a block during Texas A&M’s game against Robert Morris on Saturday, Dec. 9th.

With 6:50 left in the first quarter, the Robert Morris Colonials had hit two 3-pointers and already held a 10-6 lead over Texas A&M women’s basketball.
It was early, but Robert Morris was hopeful. Visions of an SEC upset danced in the visitors’ heads.
Then, reality set in. And the Aggies attacked.
The Colonials didn’t hit the 20-point mark for another 19:16 as A&M extended its win streak to seven games with a 67-36 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Reed Arena.
“Our conversation at halftime was not ‘let’s get the pace back,’ because I don’t think we ever had it,” coach Joni Taylor said. “‘How do we get the pace and get control of this game? Forget what the score says, what it feels like to me is [Robert Morris] is dictating how this game is being played.’”
It wasn’t the offensive performance A&M was hoping for, but it was better than the Colonials’ woeful shooting: The Aggies shot 41% from the floor. Robert Morris? 26%. A&M shot 61% from the free throw line and 25% from beyond the arc. The Colonials? 50% and 22% each. And while the Aggies had 15 turnovers, Robert Morris had 17 of its own.
Taylor’s frustration stemmed from the Colonials’ ability to throw the Aggies off-balance and penetrate A&M’s defense — they just couldn’t score off of it.
“The scoreboard didn’t reflect what they were doing,” Taylor said. “But we weren’t set defensively. And defensively, they were aggressive. They were physical and knocked us off our line a little bit.”
In a game where most of her teammates struggled to produce offensively, senior guard Aicha Coulibaly stepped up: The Auburn transfer went 7-of-11 from the floor and led A&M with 16 points.
“What [Coulibaly] did tonight is literally what she does every day in practice,” junior forward Lauren Ware said. “What she does is not surprising to me or anybody. I think she’s a really unselfish player. She could go out and have 20 a night if she wanted to, but she’s not going to do that.”
Ware had her second straight double-double, posting 11 points and 10 rebounds. Her 10 boards contributed to A&M’s outright bullying of the Colonials close to the basket as it out-rebounded Robert Morris 53-26 and outscored it in the paint 42-10.
“I thought we did come out in the third and fourth quarter and do a much better job of dictating on both sides of the ball,” Taylor said. “One of the things we wanted to do is get the ball inside, and I think we had some good paint points. Do I think we took a step in the right direction in the third and fourth quarter? Absolutely. Did we put a complete game together? No.”
After playing three games in six days — and winning each by an average of over 24 points — A&M has a well-deserved break before returning to Reed Arena on Dec. 18 to face Mississippi Valley State.
Taylor’s message to her players after the marathon of a week: Get off your feet and get to work.
“Take care of your business academically and finish the semester strong,” Taylor said. “We’ll come back after we’ve given them a couple of days off and we’ll get to work and we’ll practice and try to make sure that we’re continuing to take the next step and move the needle in the right direction.”

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and BCSball.com. 
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