COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Texas A&M women’s basketball won for the first time in the young season, beating the Liberty Flames 70-55 Tuesday night at Reed Arena in front of 4019 fans.
Freshman Courtney Walker led the Aggies in scoring with 20 points, three assists and two rebounds. Walker had 20 points for the second consecutive game, the first freshman to do so since Gary Blair arrived at Texas A&M. Walker is one of only six players in the SEC to have multiple 20-point outings. Coming into the game Walker was leading the SEC in minutes per game at over 37, she played 34 against Liberty. Two other Aggies scored in double figures, Kelsey Bone and Adrienne Pratcher had 12 points apiece.
“She always plays the game hard. Now what she shot in the last two games has been great because she’s got a midrange game. Most kids don’t have a midrange game. They can either shoot the three or drive the lane” Blair said about Walker. “But she’s got the midrange game and that’s why I think we can get her a lot of shots in our offense.”
The Aggies opened the game on a six point run, making their first three shots. The Flames answered with a 10 point run of their own forcing three Aggie misses and a turnover during the run. The maroon and white outscored Liberty 13-8 over the final eight minutes of the first half to take a 30-26 lead to the break.
The Aggies used a starting lineup of Courtney Williams, Bone, Kristi Bellock, Pratcher and Walker for the first time this season. Two freshman were in the starting lineup for the first time on the young season. Yet another freshman, Chelsea Jennings, entered the game early and provided a spark with two points and four rebounds in only nine minutes of play. In the opening 20 minutes the Aggies were 14-of-35 from the floor for 40%, assisting on nine of their 14 made field goals.
Liberty Flame Devon Brown had her per game average in points at half with 15 points. Brown made six of her first seven shots in the game including one three-pointer and two free throws. Sophomore Tori Scott entered the game in the second half and helped slow Brown to only eight points in 17 minutes of play. For the game Brown led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. “She came in and hit her first shot and was involved both offensively and defensively. She can create havoc out there” Blair said about Scott.
Scott did not start the game for the first time this season, but was very effective starting the second half making her first two field goal attempts, including one three pointer. Despite not starting Scott scored a season high seven points and three assists. Scott’s play led Texas A&M to a 15-to-5 bench points over the final 20 minutes.
The second half started fast for the Aggies beginning with a 13-4 run over the first five minutes of play. Texas A&M’s defensive intensity picked up forcing 12 Flames turnovers adding 16 points off turnovers. The Aggies held the Flames to 9-of-23 shooting in the second half and 2-of-7 from the three point line.
The Aggies return to Reed Arena to play in the A&M Classic at 7:00 pm against Southern. There will be a twitter contest for a signed jersey at the game.