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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Second half showdown at Reed Arena

Aggies storm back from down 10 to secure victory over Razorbacks
Sophomore+F+Janiah+Barker+%282%29+drives+past+a+defender+during+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Tennessee+on+Sunday%2C+Jan.+14%2C+2024+at+Reed+Arena.+%28CJ+Smith%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by CJ Smith
Sophomore F Janiah Barker (2) drives past a defender during A&M’s game against Tennessee on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 at Reed Arena. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

It was the Arkansas Razorbacks that found the net first on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Reed Arena. For the Aggies, the pattern of the last two home games continued. A sloppy start and missing offense.

Within the first five minutes, the Aggies appeared unbalanced, mirroring points and turnovers with three each.

At the 6:19 mark, senior guard Kay Kay Green finally broke the seal for the Maroon and White with a 3-pointer, one of eight that would eventually contribute to a 73-67 Aggie win.

Freshman G Sole Williams opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to give the Aggies a 5-point lead. The Razorbacks answered under the basket with a layup and a 3-pointer from graduate G Makayla Daniels on the next possession to tie the game, 18-18.

Daniels continued to lead the Razorbacks offensively, scoring 8 of the squad’s 17 points in the second quarter. On the other end, shooting woes grew for the Aggies, who scored just 5 points on the quarter.

“We were just trying to figure it out,” senior G Aicha Coulibaly said. “We know that the first and second quarter are not our best.”

Sophomore forward Janiah Barker brought big energy to the floor out of the half. The Aggies went on a 5-0 run to get within 2 points after an explosive and-1 play from Barker. Barker followed with a 3-pointer from behind the arc.

“We came out in the third quarter and just pushed the pace,” coach Joni Taylor said. “It opens things up and takes some pressure off of us because of how everyone packs the paint.”

A slow starting game quickly turned into a neck-and-neck battle. Williams added a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter, giving the Aggies a 49-48 lead to send the fans in Reed Arena to their feet.

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A call on a steal by Williams to start the fourth quarter placed the ball into the Razorbacks’ hands and sent coach Joni Taylor into an uproar on the sideline.

Responding with depth from the Aggie bench was sophomore G Sydney Bowles and Williams. Both guards answered with back-to-back 3-point shots.

“What was consistent with all those 3s in the third and fourth quarter was that they weren’t rushed, they were in rhythm,” Taylor said. “When they are making shots it pulls the defense out and opens things up for us.”

Sealing the victory for the Aggies was Barker with a steal and dish to Green for a fast break layup, giving the Aggies a 70-65 lead.

<script>

Sophomore G Carly Keats brought the Razorbacks within 3 with a layup with 17.9 seconds left. In the end, the attempt wasn’t enough as a series of fouls followed, sending Bowles and Barker to the line to seal the victory.

Barked led the Aggies with 16 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Combining as a triple threat was senior G Sahara Jones, Coulibaly and Williams, all recording 11 points each. Bowles tallied 9 points of her own to add to the 26 points made by the Aggie bench.

“Syd [Bowles] is someone that carried us a lot last year and makes timely shots,” Taylor said. “I was really happy for her to come out and see the lid come off the basket tonight.”

Junior G Samara Spencer led the Razorbacks with 24 points, two assists and one steal. Redshirt sophomore Maryam Dauda added 17 points of her own and six rebounds. Daniels followed with 15 points and seven rebounds.

The Aggies will hit the road to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

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