ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – The 10th-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team improved to an undefeated 3-0 on the season with a 34-point blowout of Wichita State, 70-36, in the St. John Division of the 2007 Paradise Jam held Thursday night at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center.
Senior forward Patrice Reado (Houston, Texas) came off the bench to record a game-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor versus the Shockers (1-2). She was one of three A&M players to score in double figures including 13-point performances from junior center La Toya Micheaux (Missouri City, Texas) and junior Takia Starks (Houston, Texas). Starks turned in her ninth consecutive double-digit game, while Micheaux went 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
All 11 active players on the A&M roster saw quality minutes against the Shockers including a six-point and seven-rebound effort by sophomore Damitria Buchanan (Houston, Texas) who also had a career-high three blocked shots in the contest. Freshman Sydney Colson (Houston, Texas) played 17 minutes and contributed seven points, six rebounds and five steals to the winning cause.
The A&M defense held Wichita State to just 14 first-half points as the Shockers shot a dismal 25.9 percent from the floor (7-of-27). The Aggies would take an 18-point halftime lead into the lockerroom and started the second half of play on a 24-2 run to put the game out of reach. WSU turned over the ball a total of 30 times in which A&M converted into 37 points. Daria Frazier and Marcy Sudbeck led the Shockers with eight points each.
The Aggies will face Wake Forest (3-1) tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. (CT). The Demon Deacons handed Indiana (3-1) its first loss of the season with a 55-53 victory to open up competition in the four-team St. John Division bracket. Live game statistics will be available via www.AggieAthletics.com. Due to a time conflict with the Texas A&M vs. Texas football game at 2:30 p.m. (CT), the Wake Forest game will be aired on a tape-delay basis on KZNE 1150 AM and an audio link at: www.kzne.com.
Postgame Notes…For the second time of the season, Texas A&M used the starting lineup of A’Quonesia Franklin, Takia Starks, Danielle Gant, Ashlaa Horton and La Toya Micheaux…A&M made its first all-time appearance in the Paradise Jam…Sophomore Damitria Buchanan made a career-high three blocked shots versus Wichita State…Freshman Maryann Baker made her collegiate debut against WSU at the 1:44 minute mark of the first half and ended the night with four points, three rebounds and one steal in eight minutes of play…She made her first career basket on her second free throw attempt with 11:09 remaining in regulation…The Aggie defense held Wichita State to an opponent season-low 14 first-half points…Last season, A&M held four opponents to fewer than 15 first-half points including McNeese State (12), Delaware State (11), Sam Houston State (15) and Colorado (15)…Wichita State was the third consecutive A&M opponent to commit 20-or-more turnovers in a contest (30)…WSU’s 36 total points tied as the sixth-fewest points ever scored by an A&M opponent next to an identical 70-36 victory over Western Illinois on Jan. 2, 2007…With the win, the Aggies improved to 2-0 in the all-time series versus Wichita State…Nine of the 11 A&M players who entered the game contributed to the final score…For the second-straight game, the Aggies dished out a combined 16 assists behind three each from Gant, Franklin and Sydney Colson.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH GARY BLAIR
On the game …
“We’ve struggled in our first two games on the road at SMU, against the U.S National team and even Prairie View at home. We wanted to come out and prove that we were the No. 11 team in the country. This was a ballgame that I wanted to play 10 to 11 players in double-figure minutes played. I was able to take the press off with seven minutes to go in the first half. The press took Wichita State out of their offense and created a little bit of havoc. I have the depth on our roster to play a lot of people. We have a very unselfish team. We may not have a lot of Parade All-Americans, but we share the ball and do the little things right. I had a lot of kids with some playing time in there. We took the redshirt off from (Maryann) Baker and played her for the first time, because with our injury situation right now, we are a little thin at the three position. We did some good things in particular on the defensive end. We really denied the ball well and only got beat once on a back door play. That’s just how we play. It wouldn’t matter if we played Wichita State or the U.S. National Team. We gamble a little and pay for it.”
On having the bull’s eye on their back in the St. Thomas Division …
“They (Wake Forest) really ran some good stuff against the zone today. Wake Forest and Indiana are both from the ACC and Big Ten Conferences and are both good ballclubs. We are going to have a heck of a ballgame tomorrow. We want to play well, because we have Michigan, Auburn, Florida State and TCU in our next four games. We have enough computer points on our schedule by playing Oklahoma and Baylor twice. As we get better and gain more experience, maybe I can play risk-reward games early in the season and play some of these teams (Duke, Stanford and Connecticut in the St. John Division) on a neutral site. We recruit against these folks, but what we are trying to do is to get better after each ballgame.”