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No. 24 Texas A&M tops SFA 82-75

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 10:35 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M women’s basketball team triumphed over Stephen F. Austin, 82-75, Thursday night inside Reed Arena behind Wells’ 24-point outburst.

Wells led the team in scoring while shooting at 63.6% and going 10-of-12 from the charity stripe. Qadashah Hoppie (16), Destiny Pitts (15) and Jordan Nixon (14) also contributed to the score. The offensive attack was facilitated by Nixon and Hoppie who recorded five and four assists, respectively. On the other side of the ball, Aaliyah Patty tallied two blocks while Hoppie registered two steals.

Seven different players notched baskets while shooting 47.1% as a team. A&M (4-0) controlled the game physically, leading SFA (3-1) in rebounds, 41-24. Paced by Hoppie and Pitts, the Aggie bench dominated during the matchup against the LadyJacks, 38-22. The Maroon & White shot 86.7% from the free-throw line, netting 26-of-30 shots from the line.

The opening five minutes of the game were evenly contested between both teams, but A&M maintained a three-point lead, 11-8, with 4:06 left. During the final half of the first period, the Aggies outscored the Ladyjacks, 9-3, producing a 20-11 lead going into the second quarter. After starting the second period with an 8-0 scoring run, the Maroon & White held a 32-23 advantage with 5:32 left in the first half. A&M refused to let up and kept its lead through the rest of the period, heading into the locker room with a score of 41-33.

The Aggies started off the second act quickly, with Pitts drilling two 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the half. Both teams traded blows, but A&M sustained a 49-40 lead with 4:30 minutes to go in the third period. Bolstered by a layup by Sahara Jones, the Aggies entered the final period of play with a 67-49 advantage. The Aggies made all ten of their free throws during the third quarter, with Nixon draining all seven of her opportunities. Boosted by 3-pointers from Pitts and Hoppie, the Aggies retained a 73-57 lead with 4:35 left in the game. The Ladyjacks made a late surge, but Texas A&M preserved its lead and won the game, 82-75.

UP NEXT

The Texas A&M women’s basketball team heads to the U.S Virgin Islands to play in the 2021 Island Jam Tournament. The Aggies open the tournament against Pitt on Thursday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. CT.

POSTGAME NOTES

RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

  • Texas A&M improves to 4-0 to start the season for the third-consecutive year, while SFA falls to 3-1.
  • The Maroon & White are on a 20-game win streak against regular season non-conference opponents, a record dating back to Dec. 1, 2019.
  • A&M tied its second-longest home win streak on Thursday night with 17-consecutive wins inside the friendly confines of Reed Arena. The Aggies last won 17-straight in a year-long period spanning the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
  • A&M’s 17-consecutive home victories stands as the longest active home win streak in the Southeastern Conference.
  • The Aggies are now 5-0 against the Ladyjacks in the Gary Blair era, while SFA’s lead in the all-time series is cut to 13-7.

TEAM NOTES

  • Texas A&M has recorded 80 points or more in every game played this season.
  • The Aggies dominated the Ladyjacks in the rebounding battle, hauling in 41 boards compared to SFA’s 24.
  • Depth played a crucial role for the Aggies, as A&M outscored SFA in bench points by a 38-22 margin.
  • A&M saw efficent shooting splits in the seven-point win, shooting 47.1% from the floor and 53.3% from three.
  • On the defensive end, the Maroon & White held its opponent at-or-below 40.0% shooting from the field for the fourth time this season, as SFA shot an even 40.0% from the floor and 32.1% from three.
  • Texas A&M shot at an 86.7% rate from the free-throw line aided by a 10-of-10 third quarter in which Jordan Nixon went 7-for-7.
  • Four Aggies dropped 10-or-more points on Thursday evening, marking the fourth time the Aggies have had four-or-more double-digit scorers in a game this year.
  • A&M went 8-for-15 from the 3-point line, marking the fourth game this season in which the Aggies drained eight-or-more 3-pointers. The Maroon & White had three such games in last year’s SEC Championship season.
  • Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Jordan Nixon, Kayla Wells, McKinzie Green, Aaliyah Patty and Sydnee Roby for the first time in 2021-22 (1-0).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Kayla Wells finished as the game’s leading scorer and surpassed the double-digit scoring mark for the fourth game in as many attempts, finishing with a season-high 24 points on 63.6% shooting from the field.
  • Qadashah Hoppie scored 16 points and shot at a 50.0% clip, reaching double figures for the third time this year.
  • Destiny Pitts amassed 15 points and finished the night 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
  • Jordan Nixon collected 14 points with five assists in a season-high 33 minutes of action. The New York City native finished a perfect 9-for-9 behind the free throw line.
  • Aaliyah Patty hauled in a season-best nine rebounds in 26 minutes of action, also a season-high. The West Chester, Illinois, native added four points and two blocks.
  • Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Fame head coach Gary Blair climbs to 842-333 overall with a 434-170 record since arriving in Aggieland in 2003-04.
  • Blair continues his chase of men’s basketball coaching legend Shelby Metcalf for the most basketball victories at Texas A&M, currently six wins away from surpassing the record of 438.
  • Against Ladyjack head coach Mark Kellogg, Blair improves to 2-0.
  • Blair is a perfect 8-0 versus is former team, SFA.

POSTGAME QUOTES

TEXAS A&M QUOTES

Head Coach Gary Blair

Opening Statement…

“I felt that the adjustments we made during the ball game were good, but the execution of those adjustments was very poor. If the execution is poor, then that’s on me. This was like a Super Bowl for them because they had everything to gain here. They are a very good ball club. Their Swedish kid (Stephanie Visscher) could play in our league and be an All-Conference selection, because she has it between the ears and knows what’s going on. We’re coming off a big win – and you’ve seen this in a bunch of other sports – when you start patting yourself on the back you begin to take things for granted. Give the other team credit for what they did because they never eased up. We were not meeting the passes; we were letting traps bother us. Hopefully, we’ve learned something before we head to the Virgin Islands.”

On his takeaways from Thursday night’s game…

“We didn’t overshoot from three. Threes come and go, and I think our patience on the 3-ball is very good. Now, when things aren’t going well for you, drive the ball and hopefully make it to the free-throw line. Between Jordan (Nixon) and (Kayla) Wells, they shot 21 free throws. That means that the right people are getting to the line. That’s what we have to do. Kayla didn’t even shoot a three, and that’s fine, because she has other parts of her game that she’s trying to work on. I’m proud of the way she’s playing a complete game. We’ve got to work on our half-court defense against good competition, and tonight we faced good competition. We didn’t handle that part very well.”

Graduate guard Kayla Wells

On her impressions from Thursday’s game…

“I feel like we have been shooting the ball pretty well in the last few games. We have a strong streak going right now, and all of us are shooting with confidence. We have also done a good job of sharing the ball, which definitely plays a part. As far as turnovers are concerned, I think we were careless with the ball sometimes and panicking instead of relaxing and taking a breath. It’s little things like that we need to improve on.”

On lessons learned against the Ladyjacks…

“When they (SFA) were down, we knew that they were going to pick up the pressure. We didn’t pick it up on our end and take care of the ball like we were supposed to. Down the stretch, I feel like there was a lot of fouling and stopping the clock that gave them more time to catch up. We just have to do a better job down the stretch of closing out games. It’s the beginning of the season, things like this are going to happen, but it shows us what we need to get better at.”

Graduate guard Qadashah Hoppie

On the wide array of shooters at A&M…

“We have a lot of shooters on this team this year, so we have been able to find each other. Given that we have so many shooters on the floor at once, our opponents are not able to help off of anybody. We are able to consistently find the open man and knock down the shot.”

On the importance of ball movement…

“When we are swinging the ball and moving the ball the way we do, it is very hard for other teams to guard us. So, we are able to take the open shots. We are rarely forced to take contested shots, but we are solid in pull-up jump shots as well. It really all comes back to moving the ball.”

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