COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Danielle Gant scored 22 points to lead Texas A&M to a 60-46 victory over Iowa State on Wednesday night and give coach Gary Blair his 500th career victory.
The Aggies (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) have won six of seven leading up to Saturday's meeting with rival Texas.
Texas A&M (19-7, 7-5 Big 12) took a commanding lead midway through the first half and led by double-digits through most of the game.
Iowa State cut the lead to 10 points on a layup by Heather Ezell with about nine minutes left. A&M went on an 8-2 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Morenike Atunrase to push the lead to 54-38 with less than five minutes to go. Iowa State did not threaten again.
The Cyclones (16-9, 5-7) were coming off an upset of then-No. 15 Oklahoma State and meet ninth-ranked Baylor Saturday.
The win makes Blair, who is in his fifth season at Texas A&M, the 36th Division I women's coach to reach 500 wins.
Blair's overall record is 500-220 and the victory is his 92nd with the Aggies. Before taking over in College Station, Blair spent 10 years at Arkansas where he was 198-120. His first head coaching job was at Stephen F. Austin, where he was 210-43 in eight seasons.
His teams have finished with a losing record just once in his 22 seasons as a head coach.
The Aggies led by 17 points with about 17 minutes left before Iowa State got consecutive 3-pointers from Ezell and Kelsey Bolte to cut the lead to 38-27. Gant hit a jump shot for Texas A&M before Iowa State scored four quick points to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since midway through the first half.
Texas A&M scored the next four points to stretch its lead back to 44-31 with about 12 minutes left.
Ezell led Iowa State with 14 points and Alison Lacey had 11.
The Cyclones were ahead 5-4 early before the Aggies scored 26 of the next 30 points to take a 30-9 lead about three minutes before halftime. Sydney Colson made two 3-pointers in that span for the Aggies. The Cyclones went on a 10-4 run to close out the half and cut A&M's lead to 34-19 at halftime.
The Cyclones shot poorly in the first half and didn't get any offensive rebounds. They finished with six offensive rebounds.
Texas A&M had a season-low four turnovers while Iowa State had 12.
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