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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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No. 19 Texas A&M flies past Little Rock, 66-49

In what was a 30-30 halftime tie, the No. 19 Texas A&M stepped on the gas pedal by going on a 16-3 run and never looking back in the second half as they sped past the Little Rock Trojans, 66-49 Wednesday night at Reed Arena.
A&M head coach Gary Blair said his team was sluggish in the opening half with running too many sets, but soon made adjustments.
“Give Little Rock credit, they’re a very hard team to guard, where they gave us a challenge early,” Blair said. “I think the key in the ballgame was the last 4-5 minutes of in the second half where we got it back to even and we played guard offense and we took hold on the pace of play.”
From there the Aggies never looked back as the lead never fell below 10 and got as far as 16 as the Aggies led 51-35. Junior forward Howard really found her groove as she led the Aggies with 10 points in the quarter, senior center Khaalia Hillsman and Howard were right behind her with eight points apiece. The Aggies outshot the Trojans 63.6% to 21.4% and dominated the boards 36 to 22.
There was monumental moment in the quarter when Hillsman knocked down her 1,000 career point to put her into the A&M record books. She is the 29th Aggie in the program to reach that feat.
Momentum fell on A&M’s way as they ran the fourth quarter and never looked back getting a lead as high as 17. For the fourth time this season, more than four Aggies scored in double digits led by Howard who really got the Aggies going with 18 points, and being 3-for-3 for long range. Carter finished with 17 points, while Howard had 13 points notching a double-double with 12 rebounds.
“We are trying to figure that out. We just have to come out ready to play. I don’t know what it is right now but we will figure it out and we will make sure it doesn’t happen again against Texas Tech,” Howard said.
The game was an offensive struggle between both teams in the opening possession, as both teams had had missed shots. The Trojans (1-2) were neck and neck with A&M in the first quarter and eventually took an 8-0 run to finish the quarter leading 22-14. A&M was out shot 52.9 percent to 30 percent from the field though they were even on the boards.
“Well when we’re playing 10 we weren’t as effective, but we’ve played the 2-3 kind of like last year trying to disrupt their offense. Even though, they’re not as big as the SEC teams we had to do our best to box out and really take advantage on the boards even when we have the size advantage.” Howard said
The second quarter was when things really started to get going for the Aggies. Defense played in A&M’s favor as they took hold on the boards as they chipped away at Little Rock’s lead. Junior forward Ronjanae Degrey was the anchor for Little Rock as she had 10 points just in the first half. The close of the quarter was all Aggies as they put on a 7-0 run tie the game at 30 a piece at half thanks to a pair of jumpers and a layup from Hillsman and freshman guard Chennedy Carter. The Aggies were still out shot 42.9 percent to 34.3 percent but remained control of the boards 20 to 19.
“I was trying to find my rhythm early, though our defense was sluggish; I tried to get our offense going with shots I felt comfortable with and we kept going from there” said Howard.
In the third quarter A&M really stepped on the gas by speeding to a 10-0 run early in the quarter making it 40-30 thanks to Carter, Hillsman, and Howard who were all in the scoring mix.
The Aggies return to the court Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. as they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders from United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock. The game will broadcasted nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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