COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 23rd-ranked Texas A&M women’s basketball team (15-6, 3-4) used a strong first-half defensive effort to cruise to its second-straight Big 12 win with a 62-43 rout of Missouri Tuesday night at Reed Arena.
The Aggie defense forced an impressive 19 turnovers in the game’s first 20 minutes, leading to 22 of their 36 first-half points. The Aggies outscored Missouri 22-4 in points off turnovers to key the win in the 1,000th game in Texas A&M history.
Individually, A&M rode on the backs of juniors Danielle Gant (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Takia Starks (Houston, Texas) in the scoring column. The two combined with senior Patrice Reado (Houston, Texas) to score 45 of the Aggies’ 62 points in the contest.
Starks produced a game-high 18 points in addition to tossing in four rebounds. Gant was the game’s second-leading scorer, piling 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting as well as a 6-of-7 effort from the free throw line. She also contributed seven boards and added a game-high four steals. Her five offensive rebounds equaled that of the entire Missouri (8-12, 1-6) team for the contest.
Reado’s 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting marked her fourth-best scoring output of the season. She also added six boards in the Aggies’ third consecutive win over the Tigers. Mizzou was led in scoring by Shakara Jones who had 15.
The Aggies will spend the rest of the week preparing to face Texas Tech (14-6, 2-4) in Lubbock on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.
Postgame Notes…For the sixth time this season, A&M used the starting lineup of A’Quonesia Franklin, Takia Starks, Danielle Gant, Patrice Reado and La Toya Micheaux (3-3)…The Aggies minimized their turnovers (13) in consecutive games next to a season-low nine at Kansas on Jan. 26…The Aggie defense forced Mizzou to 19 first-half turnovers, the second-most turnovers by an opponent in a half this season…The Tigers turned over the ball a season-high 29 times…Micheaux became the 18th player in school history to gain entrance into the 500-Rebound Club as she brought down a season-high tying 10 boards against the Tigers…She also dished out a season-high four assists…Gant recorded 16 points to reach double figures in 15 of her last 16 contests…She also surpassed former player Brandy Jones to move into 10th all-time in career steals (162) with a game-high four against Mizzou…Starks extended her double-digit scoring streak to 26 consecutive games with 18 points versus the Tigers…A&M’s 19-point margin of victory marked the largest this season against a Big 12 opponent…The Aggies shot 36.4 percent for the game which marked the third time in league play in which A&M shot 30 percent and came out with the victory…With the win, the Aggies have now won three-straight in the all-time series…A&M played its 1,000 game in school history versus MU…For the sixth time this season, the Aggies brought down 40-or-more rebounds in a contest (40).
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH GARY BLAIR
On the game …
“I thought we played a lot better against Kansas than we did winning the ballgame tonight. If we’re going to play pressure defense, we’ve got to get easy baskets. We need to take the pressure off of us and play our style of defense. It takes so much discipline to play the style of defense that we played last year. It also takes conditioning and trust in your teammates.”
On La Toya Micheaux’s performance against Mizzou …
“(La Toya) Micheaux was very active tonight and played the game pretty smart defensively. She kept out of foul trouble and got 10 boards. I was more impressed by her four assists and one turnover. She did a good job of playing within herself tonight.”
MISSOURI HEAD COACH CINDY STEIN
On the game …
“This was a game where you try to fight back, but just not enough. Texas A&M is a good team that’s had a few setbacks, but it’s a veteran squad and they just picked us apart. They have too good of a coach to not be a threat.”