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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Women’s basketball wins home opener

The No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies (4-0) played host to old Southwest Conference rivals Rice Owls (1-1) Wednesday night, defeating the Owls 76-55 in their 2014-15 regular season home opener at Reed Arena. Junior guard Courtney Walker scored 18 points and reached 1,000 career points during the game.
In the final seconds of the first half, Walker hit a jump shot to become the 26th A&M player with 1,000 career points. The shot also put her in double digits—the 17th consecutive game Walker has scored at least 10 points. Aggies led 37-27 going into halftime.
“It’s significant just being one of 26,” Walker said. “I’m thankful for that. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
With the Owls beginning the close the gap between the two teams, halftime gave the Aggies some relief and a chance to collect themselves. A&M got the opportunity to make some alterations as the Owls won 27 total rebounds and gave just five turnovers in the first half.
“We had to switch to a zone defense,” said head coach Gary Blair. “They were working the ball, reversing the court, being very patient, waiting for us to make a mistake. And we were making mistakes.”
“They had 14 offensive rebounds at half,” Walker said. “We’re quicker than them, we’re bigger. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have been getting to the board better than them. That’s going to double and triple against teams like Tennessee and South Carolina. We want to improve if we want to stop that against quicker and bigger teams.”
The Aggies shot 1-of-7 from the field and turned the ball over three times in 42 seconds to begin the second half. Things soon took a turn as the Owls committed 12 fouls, putting the Aggies into double bonus. Texas A&M took advantage, capitalizing on 10 of 12 from the line, improving by more than 20% from the first half.
The Aggies began pulling away towards the end of the game, extending their 10-point lead to 15 and eventually 20. The change in defense caused three more turnovers than in the first half. The Owls also snatched 12 fewer rebounds than they did before the break.
“I think we contested the shot,” Blair said. “We’ve got shot-blockers, we don’t have back-robber defense. We want to go up, we want to contest, and we want to block shots. Their offense missed a few layups, they’ve got to knock those shots out.”
Achiri Ade collected a team-high seven rebounds, and Jordan Jones dished out a game-high 10 assists. Over the course of the game, players coming off the bench scored 31 points, 17 of those coming in the second half.
Despite the win and the perfect start to the season, the Aggies still feel they have room to grow.
“We’re still not where we’re supposed to be,” Jones said. “The coaches can only do so much. We’ve worked on those little things, but ultimately, it’s up to us to come out on the court and perform those things. Tonight we got the win, but as a team, it’s still not what we want. Boxing out is still a problem, taking care of the ball is still a problem. We’re never going to be perfect, but ultimately we’re trying to get better day by day.”
After playing their first three games of the season on the road, the Aggies were happy to be back in Reed Arena.
“It felt so good,” Jones said. “It was the best feeling just being in front of our family and friends, our boosters, our fans, everyone that supports us. We were just ready to get back and ready to perform for College Station. We perform a little bit better at home than on the road. This five-game home stretch will be good for us.”
The Aggies will play host to Prairie View A&M Monday night at 7 p.m. for their second game of the home stretch.

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