STILLWATER, OK -- Junior Danielle Gant (Oklahoma City, Okla.) scored 14 of her team-high 18 points as No. 20 Texas A&M used a second-half comeback to claim their fourth-straight in Big 12 Conference play with a 63-57 road victory at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 63-57, Wednesday night before a crowd of 3,578 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
After trailing by eight at halftime, Gant sparked a 17-3 run to give A&M a 46-40 lead with 13:16 to go. She scored 10 points including a three-point play to put the Aggies (21-7, 9-5) on top for the first time since the early minutes of the first half. Gant also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in 34 minutes of play against the Cowgirls.
After trailing by as many as 13 points with 8:10 to go in the first half of play, the Aggies continued to trade baskets with OSU in the second half as both teams tied each other on three occasions. Junior Takia Starks (Houston, Texas) contributed 16 points and two steals in the winning cause, while senior A’Quonesia Franklin (Tyler, Texas) had 14 points and five assists.
The road win was crucial as A&M claimed sole possession of fourth-place in the league standings behind Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma. The Aggies became only the third team this season to beat OSU on their home court next to K-State and Iowa State. Oklahoma State turned over the ball 16 times in the contest which A&M turned into 21 of its 63 final points.
The Cowgirls (21-6, 9-5) managed to only convert 17-of-26 from the charity stripe as A&M was called for a total of 24 fouls in the ballgame. OSU was led in scoring by Andrea Riley who scored 23 points and Danielle Green who had 16.
The Aggies host eighth-ranked Baylor (24-3, 12-2) on Saturday, March 1 at Reed Arena. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net at 1 p.m. A&M has teamed up with David Gardner’s Jeweler’s to offer $1 admission for the Battle of the Brazos rematch between the Aggies and Lady Bears. Dollar Day specials also include $1 hot dogs, $1 soda and $1 popcorn while supplies last.
Postgame Notes…For the 12th time this season, A&M used the starting lineup of A’Quonesia Franklin, Takia Starks, Danielle Gant, Patrice Reado and La Toya Micheaux (8-4)…The Aggies shot better than 40 percent from the field for the fourth-straight contest…They went 44.8 percent from the floor against the Cowgirls…A&M was called for 24 fouls which OSU converted into 17-of-30 from the free throw line…Gant returned home to the Sooner State and scored a team-high 18 points with 14 in the second half of play…She was one rebound short of a double-double with a team-high nine boards…Gant fouled out of the ballgame for the third time this season, but turned in her 12th consecutive game in double figures…A&M became only the third team this season to beat Oklahoma State at home in Gallagher-Iba Arena next to Kansas State and Iowa State…The Aggies outrebounded the Cowgirls, 40-38…For the second-straight contest, A&M drained six three-pointers which was one short of tying a season-high from long-range.
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH GARY BLAIR
On the game …
“You think you can get prepared to defend Oklahoma State in transition, but no one can guard Andrea Riley. She’s got unlimited range. The offensive rebounds and garbage baskets were hurting us in the first half. (Megan) Byford hurt us in there. We had to go to a smaller lineup because of our lack of an inside game. We had to go small and hope to hold on against OSU. I thought the key to the ballgame was their free throw shooting. We just held on and went to a triple-post offense. (Takia) Starks is the best decoy you can have which opened it up for Aqua (Franklin) and (Danielle) Gant to score. It was a great comeback win for us over a very good NCAA team. They are one of the toughest teams we go up against to have to rebound the basketball. At the end, when they were missing their shots, we were doing our best to rebound. I thought our shot selection was pretty darn good.”
SENIOR POINT GUARD A’QUONESIA FRANKLIN
On the game and going up against Oklahoma State’s Andrea Riley …
“This is a huge win for us. Like Coach said, with the teams we have left on our schedule, we have to take it one game at a time. In the first half, we started off with taller players guarding (Andrea) Riley. She’s a great player and it’s hard to stop her.”
JUNIOR GUARD/FORWARD DANIELLE GANT
On the game …
“In the second half, they left me open and I just took the jump shot. Coach (Blair) told me to be a little selfish and take shots. As for our comeback, we have been very focused in practice. It was great to come back home to Oklahoma. My family was here, so it was great to see them and show them a great game.”