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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 comes back to defeat Rice 82-76 at Reed

Head+coach+Gary+Blair+coaches+senior+forward+Jasmine+Lumpkin+during+the+third+quarter.
Photo by C. Morgan Engel

Head coach Gary Blair coaches senior forward Jasmine Lumpkin during the third quarter.

Coming into the matchup each having a 5-1 record, the No. 18 Texas A&M Women’s Basketball team (6-1) defeated the Rice Owls (5-2), despite being down the majority of the first half, in their second consecutive game at Reed Arena with a final score of 82-76.
After the win, A&M head coach Gary Blair said without the fans, the win might not have been possible because of A&M’s poor decision making.
“If we’re on the road, we lose this game. Thank heavens our fans didn’t give up on us. Sometimes we were giving up on ourselves.” Blair said. “Tthree games in four days, did that have something to do with it? It wasn’t our legs it was our decision making and when you have poor decision making on offense and defense all that was, was a bump two-three zone.”
A&M junior forward Anriel Howard began the game with a jump shot, but the Aggies quickly fell behind the Owls 7-4 from a three-pointer and layup shot by Rice redshirt junior, Olivia Ogwumike. Junior guard Danni Williams was able to bring the Aggies lead back with a three-pointer, bringing the score to 12-13.
However, Rice redshirt junior, Nicole Iademarco would close the scoring gap with a three-pointer of her own and moving the score to 15-13. The Aggies, scoring only two more baskets after Williams’ three-pointer, couldn’t seem to get in a rhythm during the first half and Rice led 25-17.
Rice head coach, Tina Langley accredited the Owls’ three-point success in the game to her player’s ability to share the basketball and felt they improved from their last matchup.
“We have such an unselfish team and one of the things we try to look at after games is how many baskets we can assist on,” Langley said. “I think tonight we really did a good job of sharing the basketball and making that decision a little bit earlier. So that we can make the right reads.”
A&M started off the second half scoring seven points early, with another three-pointer by Williams and a layup by Khaalia Hillsman. The Owls offense continued to show dominance as they moved back to another six-point lead with the score now 30-24.
Aggie freshman guard Jada Walton tied the game with two back-to-back jump shots, this ultimately jump started the Aggies’ offensive play and they went into halftime 36-33 after scoring two more consecutive shots by Howard and Walton.
With a layup by Howard, the Aggies moved to their biggest lead of the game so far, 40-33. Despite this A&M lead, Rice fought back and tied the game 52-52 shooting five three-pointers through the third and outscoring the Aggies with 22 points in the quarter.
The score at 55-55 going into the last quarter of the game, freshman guard  Chennedy Carter became a dominate force for the Aggies scoring five points, moving the score to 68-64 and causing the crowd to go wild with cheers. With the crowd fired up and an abundant number of free throws, Carter, Howard, and Jasmine Lumpkin led their team to an 82-76 victory.
Williams said going into their matchup with West Virginia she thinks keeping the energy high throughout the whole game is something that the team needs to work on — especially if they want to be successful against top 10 teams.
“I think, for us, it’s more mental. Playing with energy and effort from the start, through the finish. At times we show it and the crowds excited,” Williams said. “We put it on for the fans and we’re getting after it, but we don’t have that same energy throughout the whole game. So, I think if we want to compete with these top ten programs, because we are right there, I think that’s something we really need to focus on.”
The Aggies will return to the court on Sunday at Reed Arena to face against No.11 West Virginia. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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