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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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Women’s basketball Arkansas press conference takeaways

Coach+Joni+Taylor+coachers+her+players+following+the+loss+against+Mizzou+at+Reed+Arena+on+Monday%2C+Feb.+20%2C+2023.
Photo by: A Nguyen

Coach Joni Taylor coachers her players following the loss against Mizzou at Reed Arena on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.

With the win against the Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday, Feb. 23, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team is prepared to hit the road to Fayetteville, Ark., for its final game of the regular season. Ahead of the matchup, coach Joni Taylor sat down with the media to discuss the upcoming game against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Here are some takeaways:
Ending the drought
On Thursday, the Aggies snapped a seven-game losing streak in their last game of the season at Reed Arena. Not only was it a big win for the squad, it was a double-double night for graduate forward Aaliyah Patty and junior guards Kay Kay Green and Sahara Jones.
“Everybody wants to win, I think our players don’t want to disappoint,” Taylor said. “They want to do the right thing and they were extremely excited to get a win for our fans. The 12th Man has been amazing for us this year and we want to continue to grow that atmosphere.”
It was a bittersweet win for Patty and graduate guard McKinzie Green, who played their last game on Gary Blair Court last night.
“I think also for Aaliyah Patty and McKenzie Green,” Taylor said. “For them to win their last game in Reed Arena was really special.”
Continuing offense
The Aggies have created issues for their opponents defensively all season. Struggles for the team have been on the offensive side of the ball. Against the Wildcats, the team rallied together and found the offense that it has been searching for all season.
Balanced scoring came from shots falling and outrebounding the Wildcats, 46-29. The same execution will be needed to get past the Razorbacks.
“I think that if we have the same mentality that we did last night in terms of rebounding the basketball on both ends, it’ll give us a chance,” Taylor said. “We’ve gotta be confident and understand the environment when you’re on the road and be able to maintain the lead if you have one or get yourself back to the point where you can compete and stay in the game.”
Surviving the Razorbacks
The Aggies are currently 2-13 in the SEC while Arkansas is 6-9. A&M will have one final chance to pick up its first road win this season and to register another conference game win.
“We’ve got our hands full,” Taylor said. “Arkansas is really good and [coach] Mike Neighbors has a pretty clear philosophy on how he wants to score. Free throws, three-pointers and penetration, those are his three areas and they do it well. So we’ve gotta put our track shoes on and be able to get back and defend the three-point line, not foul them and we’ve gotta score the basketball.”
Taylor knows what it is going to take from her team to stay in the game and she is also aware of the challenges that Arkansas will create for them.
The maroon and white’s defense will need to be prepared, as Neighbors has several shooters that are capable of knocking down shots from the three-point line. Erynn Barnum is a threat, as the redshirt senior forward averages 16 points a game and has 49 3-pointers so far this season.
“They play five out, then they ball screen and roll,” Taylor said. “They really stretch you defensively. So we’ve got to be smart about keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor. It’s going to be challenging because he has shooters everywhere, but I am excited to see how we keep up with the pace and to also show them that more possessions means more opportunities.”
The Aggies and the Razorbacks will hit the hardwood on Sunday, Feb. 26. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.

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