Carter scores 27 in return as A&M downs Wright St. 84-61

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Chennedy Carter scored 27 points in her return from injury, with 14 coming in Texas A&M's huge first quarter, to help the No. 4 Aggies cruise to an 84-61 win over No. 13 Wright State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Texas A&M, which is in the tournament for the 14th consecutive season, advances to the second round for the fourth straight year where it will play five-seed Marquette on Sunday.

The Aggies (25-7) led by 18 early after scoring 31 points in the first quarter. The game was tied at 5-all in the first before Texas A&M used a 17-3 run to take a 22-8 lead, and it was never close again.

Carter, who led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, took over in that stretch, scoring 12 points, with three 3-pointers and a 3-point play. Kayla Wells added three of her career-high-tying five 3-pointers in the first to help A&M build the lead. She cooled down after that, but her early work made it clear that she was feeling just fine in her first game since surgery to repair two breaks in her right pinky finger on March 4.

Wright State (27-7) was led by Angel Baker's 25 points. The Raiders won the Horizon League tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history and the first since 2014, when they lost to Kentucky 106-60.

After their big first quarter, the Aggies and Kennedy struggled in the second, with the team scoring just 11 points and Carter adding just two points on free throws. But the Raiders couldn't get much going on offense in that period either, managing just 16 points to leave Texas A&M up 42-29 at halftime.

Texas A&M got its offense going again in the third, and used a 25-point quarter to push the lead to 67-46 entering the fourth. Ciera Johnson led the Aggies in that quarter, scoring 11 of her 15 points, highlighted by two 3-point plays.

The Aggies opened the fourth quarter with a 7-3 spurt, capped by a 3 from Wells, to make it 74-49.

The Aggies have qualified for the tournament in all but their first two seasons under coach Gary Blair in 2004 and 2005, and won a national title in 2011. A win on Sunday would put them in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year and seventh time overall.

BIG PICTURE

Wright State: The Raiders took a step forward by reaching the NCAA Tournament after four consecutive appearances in the WNIT, but will have to improve if they hope to compete with teams like Texas A&M.

Texas A&M: The Aggies handled business against a less team on Friday, but Blair knows his team will have to be more consistent to get past Marquette, a team he raved about on Thursday.

NOTES

Texas A&M

· Texas A&M advances to the NCAA Second Round for the fourth straight season and the 12th time in the past 13 season

· The Aggies improve to 25-7 on the season, while Wright State concludes an impressive season at 27-7

· The Aggies take on No. 5-seed Marquette in the NCAA Second Round Sunday

· With a 23-point win, posted the program’s largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game since a 71-45 win over Wichita State in the 2013 First Round

· Made a season-high eight 3-pointers

· Texas A&M is 13-3 all-time in the NCAA First Round, and 26-14 overall in the NCAA Tournament

· Texas A&M is 8-2 in NCAA Tournament home games, and 6-0 at home in the First Round

· The Aggies have won 14 of their last 17 games

· Texas A&M is 14-3 at home this season, and are 174-7 against unranked opponents at home since Feb. 23, 2005

· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 382-158 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 790-321 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins

· Blair is 19-2 in NCAA First-Round games, and 38-23 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Due to byes in the NCAA Tournament prior to 1993, this is his 23rd appearance in the Second Round

Chennedy Carter

· Scored 20+ points for the sixth straight game that she has played, and the 21st time this season. She extends her school record with her 45th career game of 20+ points

· Scored 26+ points in all four of her career NCAA Tournament games

· Extended her Texas A&M record with her 37th consecutive game of scoring at least 10+ points

· She has scored 10+ points in 62 of her 63 career games. She scored eight in the other game

· Moved into seventh on Texas A&M’s single-season free throws made list with 138, passing Lisa Langston (1984-85, 132 free throws made)

Kayla Wells

· Her 17 points are a career-high for an NCAA Tournament game

· Had her 26th game of 10+ points this season, including all three SEC and NCAA Tournament games

· Matched her career-high with five 3-pointers

Ciera Johnson

· Her 15 points are a career-high for an NCAA Tournament game

· Scored in double figures for the 25th time this season, including all three games of the SEC and NCAA Tournament, and the 27th time in her collegiate career

· Had her 10th game of 10+ rebounds this season

N’dea Jones

· Her 11 points are a career-high for an NCAA Tournament game

· Moves into second on Texas A&M’s single-season rebound list with 364, passing Peggy Pope (1978-79, 360 rebounds)

· Scored 10+ points for the 10th time this season, including all three SEC and NCAA Tournament games

Shambria Washington

· Had a career-high nine rebounds