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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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Jones’ double-double helps carry Aggies to victory over Army

Photo by Ishika Samant

Junior G Sahara Jones (24) catches a rebound during a game versus Army at Reed Arena Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2022.

In the second game of the Joni Taylor era, Texas A&M — much to the approval of fans of the Naval Academy — took down Army by a score of 73-49, Sunday, Nov. 13, at Reed Arena.
The Aggies used the same starting lineup that brought them success in its 69-45 victory, Thursday over A&M-Corpus Christi.
With the win, the Aggies improved to 2-0 on the young season and continue to show promise under coach Taylor.
Junior guard Sahara Jones notched a double-double behind 11 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Janiah Barker led the Aggies with 17 points on the day while also bringing down seven rebounds.
“I struggled a little bit last game,” Barker said. “My teammates and my coaches believe in me to constantly put the ball in my hands and believe in me that I can make the next shot, so I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for that.”
Army was led by senior forward Sabria Hunter who put up a team-high 12 points for the day. As a team, the Aggies outrebounded Army on the offensive glass 28-8.
“That’s an area where we can be elite,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to tap into that.”
To open the game, the Aggies translated defense into offense, as they built a 10-3 lead by forcing five early turnovers helping result in five points off those turnovers. A&M was unable to capitalize on its free throw opportunities in the first quarter as they shot 3-for-10 from the stripe but ended the quarter ahead of Army by a score of 15-8.
“We’ve got to make free throws,” Taylor said. “That’s points we’re leaving on the table, and they’re going to come in handy as we continue to go.”
Size played a major factor in the first half as A&M brought down 16 offensive rebounds compared to Army’s three, resulting in 18 second-chance points for the Aggies and only two for the Black Knights. Defense and rebounding are keys to victory, and the Aggies did both well in the first half, leading the Black Knights 35-16 at halftime.
“We’re starting to learn how our defense can create offense for us and also create extra possessions,” Taylor said. “As we continue to learn that and get better at it, I expect it to continue to grow.”
Jones graded her defensive performance for the day at a six out of 10.
“My teammates always have my back, they were always in my help,” Jones said.
The crowd on hand at Reed got a taste of why freshman forward Janiah Barker was highly ranked coming out of high school as she ended the first half with a team-high 12 points and five rebounds.
A&M refused to take its foot off the gas in the third quarter as they built a 60-32 lead capped off by a dazzling alley-oop by Jones assisted by fellow junior guard Kay Kay Green that brought the crowd to its feet just before the end of the quarter.
Jones finished off her double-double late in the fourth quarter, and the Aggies cruised to a 73-49 victory.
The Aggies will travel to Durham, N.C., this week for a matchup at Duke on Thursday before returning home for three straight starting with a game against Texas Southern next Sunday, Nov. 20.
“Duke’s really, really good,” Taylor said. “They’re very well coached; coach Kara [Lawson] does an amazing job, so we’ve got our hands full.”

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