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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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End of the road

Sophomore+guard+Chennedy+Carter+scored+35+points+against+Notre+Dame+on+Saturday.
Provided by Texas A&M Athletics

Sophomore guard Chennedy Carter scored 35 points against Notre Dame on Saturday.

Arike Ogunbowale and Jessica Shepard scored a combined 58 points for No. 1 Notre Dame to edge out No. 4 Texas A&M 87-80 in the Sweet Sixteen Saturday afternoon.
The top-seeded Irish (33-3, 14-2 ACC) needed all the help they could get to defend A&M guard Chennedy Carter, who led the Aggies with 35 points.
“If [Carter] doesn’t make State Farm All-American this year, something’s doggone wrong,” A&M head coach Gary Blair said. “Why does she have to wait to become a junior or a senior just because it’s very quality at the top? If she’s earned it, and she has, and she’s done it for two straight years, this is a kid that needs to be All-American this year.”
The Aggies (26-8, 12-4 SEC) also relied on an 18-point game from guard Kayla Wells and a 12-point, 12-rebound game from center Ciera Johnson to stay competitive.
Neither team led by more than three points in the first quarter, with Carter putting up a pair of three-point shots and a layup to lead the Aggies in the opening minutes.
Trailing the Irish by three after the first quarter, the Aggies had their biggest offensive quarter in the second. A&M worked the paint, hitting eight of its 11 shots under the basket — enough to tie up the game at 42 going into halftime.
After the half, Notre Dame found its stride early in the third, pulling away for an eight-point lead just over three minutes into the second half. However, thanks to a jumper and two three-pointers from Carter and Wells, the Aggies brought it back to a one-possession game for the rest of the quarter.
The Irish and the Aggies went back and forth, trading baskets for the first few minutes of the fourth quarter until Ogunbowale hit a three and a layup. Jackie Young followed with a mid-range jump shot to make it a seven-point game with 4:13 left.
Notre Dame took control of the game after the four minute mark and didn’t allow A&M to get back within a one-possession game, ending the Aggies season in Chicago.
Notre Dame’s efficiency from the field kept the Irish dancing, shooting 52 percent from the floor and never shooting below 50 percent in any given quarter. The team was also 13-of-15 from the free throw line.
“Their transition is very good,” Johnson said. “All the guards can pretty much shoot it, so they’re able to spread the floor and break you down. They run so many screens, and it’s hard to defend. They’re a very good offensive team, and they have some good sets and some good plays that they run.”
Shepard had a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Notre Dame had two other players in double digits, with Young and forward Brianna Turner registering 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Aggies end the season with a 26-8 overall record, recording a 12-4 record and third-place finish in SEC play. The team looks to return 96 percent of its points next season, along with 94 percent of the team’s rebounds.
“I was so proud of the way we fought tonight,” Carter said. “We fought for four quarters and we left it all out on the court. Some of them were disappointed, but I was proud of my teammates. I mean we competed. We’re young and we’re growing, so I just told them, ‘Hey, we’re going to be better next year, and we’ll be back and make a statement again.’”
Carter finished the game 13-of-34 from the floor, which included a 7-of-12 performance from beyond the arc.

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