Ag Hoopsters Leap Past Frogs

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FORT WORTH, Texas – The 12th-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team received season-high scoring efforts from veterans Takia Starks, A’Quonesia Franklin and Patrice Reado to lift the Aggies to a 68-58 victory over old Southwest Conference rival TCU Sunday afternoon at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

With the win, the Aggies improve to 6-1, while TCU falls to 3-4. The victory avenged a 69-65 loss that the Lady Frogs handed the Aggies in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006.

Starks led the way with 24 points, which included 12 points in each half, Franklin put in 19 and Reado contributed 17 to account for 60 of the Aggies’ 68 points. A&M shot 40 percent (24-of-60) from the field for the third time this season.

TCU took a two-point lead of 28-26 into halftime, but an early rally by the Aggies gave A&M a six-point lead of 38-32 with 15:24 remaining in the second period. The Aggies increased their lead to a game-high 15 points with 9:11 remaining and then held off the Frogs down the stretch.

The Aggies’ victory marked their second road win of the season over a former SWC foe. A&M also beat SMU, 62-57, in the season-opener. A&M’s victory was just TCU’s third home loss in the last 26 games at Daniel-Meyers Coliseum. It was TCU’s second-straight loss against a top 25 opponent following a 75-63 decision against No. 12/14-ranked Cal on Nov. 23.

A&M returns home to take on No. 21-ranked Florida State (6-2) on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Reed Arena in College Station. Tipoff between the Aggies and Seminoles is set for 7 p.m.

Postgame Notes…For the first time this season, Texas A&M used the starting lineup of A’Quonesia Franklin, Takia Starks, Patrice Reado, Ashlaa Horton and La Toya Micheaux…With the win, A&M now leads 28-3 in the all-time series versus TCU…Reado made her first start of the season and 45th of her career…She ended the night with a season-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor…Starks scored 12 of her game-and season-high 24 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the first half of play…It marked the 11th 20-point game of her career and the second time of her career to turn in back-to-back 20-point performances…She extended her double-digit scoring streak to 13 consecutive games…Franklin notched a season-high 19 points on 4-of-7 shooting from long-range…She currently ranks fourth all-time in three-point field goals made in the A&M record books (117)…The Aggies shot 40.0 percent (24-of-60) from the floor against the Lady Frogs…It marked the team’s third game of the season to shoot better than 40 percent…Danielle Gant did not suit up for the game due to concussion symptoms she suffered from the Michigan game on Nov. 29 where she took a knee to the head…She is expected to play versus No. 21 Florida State on Thursday…A&M handed TCU only its third loss in 26 home games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum…The Aggie defense also held TCU’s Adrianne Ross, the top returning player in the Mountain West Conference, to just two points in the ballgame…The loss was the Lady Frogs’ second consecutive against a top 25 opponent after falling to No. 12 Cal (74-55) on Nov. 23.

POSTGAME QUOTES

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH GARY BLAIR

On the game and the adjustments the team made …

“In the first half, (Takia) Starks kept us in our ballgame and then our post players were turning it over when we got in. Our associate head coach Kelly Bond did a great job giving me some adjustments at halftime that would work against the high-post screen. I thought (Patrice) Reado had an outstanding game and Ashlaa Horton ran our offense well. Give Starks a lot of credit for the defensive job she did against (Adrianne) Ross. She’s not known a lot for her defense, but we knew that was going to be the main matchup. We sure didn’t count on Micaela Younger doing a Courtney Paris impersonation and she did. Our post players were standing up and she was throwing her body in there so well and knocking us off balance. There were a lot of things we weren’t doing well on the defensive end, but look at the turnovers, 17 is low for us. We didn’t press, because I couldn’t afford to have Aqua and Starks get into foul trouble. We did force 14 turnovers in the second half.”

On TCU …

“TCU will make their run like they always do. They play one of the best schedules in the country each year which carries them over in conference play. They will make their eighth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. I just hope Jeff (Mittie) and I don’t have to go to Calgary, Canada, like we did in Trenton, New Jersey two years ago.”

JUNIOR GUARD TAKIA STARKS

On the game …

“We stepped it up in a very physical game against TCU. It was sweet revenge for us (after our NCAA first-round loss in 2006). We are slowly having our players come into the rotation and (Patrice) Reado, Ashlaa and (La Toya) Gulley got in and did a great job for us. As Coach Schaefer said before the game, ‘Great players step up for great games.’ We expected the zone on defense and we worked on our zone offense to get open shots. My teammates gave me good screens and we stepped it up and got the win.”