COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - No. 19 Texas A&M won its fourth straight, downing Arkansas 67-53 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena to close the 2018-19 regular season. At 23-6, Texas A&M has its best regular season record since 2010-11, and matches the third-best regular season in school history.
The Aggies (23-6, 12-4 SEC) stormed out of the gates, as Chennedy Carter scored 20 of her 24 points in the first half. Texas A&M out-scored Arkansas 23-12 in the second quarter to build up a 41-26 halftime lead, shooting 55.6% from the field in the second quarter.
N’dea Jones notched her seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Shambria Washington flirted with a triple double, scoring 8 points with eight rebounds and a career-high of nine assists.
In the game, Carter set the Texas A&M sophomore record with 584 points, and passed Danielle Adams school record with 1,400 points in her first two seasons in Aggieland.
Chelsea Dungee was the Razorbacks’ (17-13, 6-10 SEC) leading scorer with 15 points.
The Aggies dominated inside, out-scoring Arkansas in the paint 38-12 and out-rebounding Arkansas 53-33.
Prior to the game, seniors Aja Ellison and Caylinne Martin were honored, playing in their last regular-season home game at Texas A&M. In addition, senior managers Ashley Browder and John Cochran were honored.
Texas A&M is the 3-seed in the SEC Tournament, and has earned a bye to the March 8 Quarterfinals. The Aggies take on 6-seed Auburn, 11-seed Alabama or 14-seed Vanderbilt at approximately 7 p.m. Friday.
· Texas A&M improves to 23-6 on the season and 12-4 in SEC play. Arkansas falls to 17-13 overall and 6-10 in SEC play
· At 23-6, the Aggies have their best regular season record since 2010-11, and the third-best in school history
· Texas A&M has also guaranteed their fewest losses since the 2010-11 season
· Texas A&M is 22-2 this season and 77-7 all-time when leading after three quarters
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 380-157 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 788-320 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins
· Set the Texas A&M sophomore scoring record with 584, breaking the previous mark of 563, set by Courtney Walker (2013-14) and Danni Williams (2016-17). Carter now owns Texas A&M’s freshman and sophomore season scoring records
· Set a Texas A&M record with 1,400 points in her first two seasons, passing Danielle Adams’ (2009-11, 1,386 points) mark.
· Passed Adams for 11th on Texas A&M’s career scoring list
· Led the SEC during conference play in scoring for the second consecutive season
· Scored 20+ points for the fifth straight game and the 20th time this season. She extends her school record with her 44th career game of 20+ points
· Extended her Texas A&M record with her 36th consecutive game of scoring at least 10+ points
· She has scored 10+ points in 61 of her 62 career games. She scored eight in the other game
· Had 20+ points in the first half for the fourth time this season
· Had her seventh double-double of the season, but her first since Jan. 24
· Her 13 points mark a career-high for an SEC game
· Scored 10+ points for the seventh time this season
· Had 10+ rebounds for the 19th time this season and the seventh time in eight games
· Had 15+ rebounds for the seventh time this season
· Moved into fourth on Texas A&M’s single-season rebound list with 329 this year, passing Danielle Adams (324 rebounds, 2010-11) and Kelsey Bone (326, 2012-13)
· Had a career-high nine assists
Aja Ellison & Caylinne Martin
· Played in their last regular-season home game at Texas A&M
Texas A&M forward N’dea Jones
On improvements on her shooting…
“Just making sure that I focus. I know I don’t get a lot of shots, so I really try to focus on the shots that I do get to make sure that they go in. I know that I have to help out my point guard to get assists. I want her to get that assist, and while I do want to score, I want my team to be better. So, I know that I have to try to make the shots that I get.”
On Jasmine Williams’ energy on the bench…
“Yeah, most definitely. Jasmine [Williams] is very loud. She’s our Energizer Bunny. She lets us know when we’re getting killed and we need to pick up our energy. So, she’s our little Energizer Bunny. She’s really loud everyday.”
Texas A&M Guard Shambria Washington
On her performance…
“I try to do as much as possible [and] whatever my team needs me to do. My assists come from me finding people in the right spots and them making great plays, great baskets, and great catches. [With] the rebounds, they’re so focused on N’dea [Jones] and Ciera [Johnson] that it makes my job easier.”
On their defense
“Our preparation. Coach [Bob] Starkey works extremely hard on preparing for our opponent. Preparation is so important, and he spends a lot of time on our defensive schemes. I think we’re buying in more and more each game. We take each possession very seriously. He’s doing a great job with us, so it makes out job easier.”
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
On inside domination on rebounds and points in the paint…
“They have a four-guard offense and a single post who was only 6-1. We are supposed to be dominant. We only had four turnovers in the first half, and we really played well. Give them credit, they have done it all year, they have been a second half team. Our goal was inside-first, outside-second. We could see the 3-point shot wasn’t going, so we started going for more shots inside the paint. Some days the 3s are going, some days the 3s are not. It was not going for us and it wasn’t going well for them either, until the end where they threw a couple up.”
On whether the team exceeded expectations this season…
“Yes and no. What didn’t graduate was my coaching staff. My staff does a great job. There is never a detail that isn’t done unnoticed. Whether it is senior day activities or doing the tennis shoe thing, we do things the right way. I am just glad people notice every now and then besides what is just on the scoreboard. I have good captains and it always starts with that.”
Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors
“I thought they played like a team that is playing to host an NCAA Tournament games. There was no lack of focus from the get-go. For a team that has already locked in seed for the SEC tournament, you hope for a little bit of let down, but we didn’t get it. They came out really focused and I thought they had a really good approach in the first half, and we didn’t really respond well until after half time.”
On trouble in the paint…
“N’dea Jones was a monster. We were aware, but there just isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. We are always going to have a deficiency area in that right now. We just don’t have the size and we play four guards. We try to make up for the shots by not turning it over, but I thought we had a few uncharacteristic turn overs.”