HOUSTON- No. 16 Texas A&M won its third straight game to open the season as they defeated Houston 63-51 on Sunday at Hofheinz Pavilion. Achiri Ade posted her first career double-double.
Courtney Walker had a season-high 19 points, which led the team. The Preseason First Team All-SEC pick keyed big runs in both halves that saw the Aggies increase their lead.
“Achiri Ade kept us in the game in the first half, and Courtney Walker was solid the whole ballgame,” said Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair. “When that jumper is going she can remind you of Takia Starks who played for us. We can run a lot of stuff for her.”
“We’re going to take the win,” said Blair. “When they got the lead down to three and had the ball it was getting really tight, but we got a couple of defensive stops at the end”
The Cougars (0-3) took advantage of some good shooting early, jumping out to a 9-5 lead five minutes into the game. Facing their first deficit of the year, the Aggies then reeled off a 16-1 run, which included eight points from Walker, giving the Aggies a 21-10 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half. Houston clawed back into contention, with a Jessika Palmer 3-pointer at the first half buzzer bringing the Cougars to within four, 27-23.
Texas A&M (3-0) went on a 6-0 run in the first 97 seconds of the second half, extending their lead to 10. Houston cut the lead to three points with 9:44 remaining, but the Aggies pulled away after that point, with an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to build a 12-point lead that would not be in jeopardy the rest of the contest.
The win moves Texas A&M to 3-0 for the seventh time in eight season. The Aggies have also won 26 of its last 28 games against unranked opponents.
Ade picked up her first senior college double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, both of which were career-highs.
Courtney Williams co-led the team in rebounds with 11, playing in front of her hometown fans. Another area product, Curtyce Knox, had six points off the bench in 11 minutes of action.
Jordan Jones had six assists, dishing out five or more assists for the third straight game.
Karla Gilbert posted two blocks, which gives her 90 for her career, and moves her into a with Lisa Jordon for seventh-most in a career all-time at Texas A&M.
Texas A&M outscored Houston 21-8 in points off turnovers, and had a 32-22 advantage over Houston in the paint.
Texas A&M returns to action on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, in the U.S. Virgin Islands to tip off the Paradise Jam Classic. The Aggies face Memphis, Texas and Syracuse while on the island. The Aggies come back to Reed Arena on Dec. 3 to face San Diego State.
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