College Station, Texas -- No. 23 Texas A&M completed an unbeaten December, defeating UTRGV 84-61 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena. The win extends the Aggies’ winning streak to seven games, the program’s longest since winning 11 games to start the 2014-15 season.
Kayla Wells led Texas A&M (11-2) with 21 points, marking her third game with at least 20 points in a four-game span. Ciera Johnson, who was celebrating a birthday Saturday, scored 17 points and added a career-high 17 rebounds for her third double double of the season.
Jada Walton scored a career-high 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Aaliyah Jackson and Jasmine Williams each added career-highs of seven points.
Texas A&M never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 45-30 lead by halftime. The Aggies outscored the Vaqueros 42-18 in the paint and 17-4 on second-chance points.
UTRGV (6-6) was led by Jameka Dowell with 14 points.
The win means Texas A&M completes December with a 7-0 record, the Aggies’ first unbeaten December since 2008. The Aggies finish non-conference play at 11-2, the programs’ best non-conference record since a 12-2 mark in 2014-15.
A&M’s leading scorer, Chennedy Carter, missed today’s game with the flu.
The Aggies open SEC play on Thursday, January 3, hosting No. 25 South Carolina at 8 p.m.
· Texas A&M extends its winning streak to seven games—the program’s longest since an 11-game winning streak to open the 2014-15 season
· The Aggies went a perfect 7-0 in the month of December, the Aggies’ first unbeaten December since 2008
· The Aggies conclude non-conference play at 11-2 on the season, A&M’s best non-conference record since a 12-2 mark in 2014-15. UTRGV is now 6-6 on the year
· Texas A&M is 17-4 over their past 21 games, dating back to last season
· The Aggies now lead the all-time series with UTRGV 8-0
· Texas A&M is 168-7 against unranked teams at home since February 2005 and have a 107-9 record in non-conference play at home over the past 15 seasons
· The Aggies are 66-5 all-time when leading after three quarters, and have won their last 16 games when leading after the third quarter
· Has had at least one player with 17+ rebounds in each of the past four games
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 368-153 in 16 seasons in Aggieland and 776-316 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins
· Registered her third double double of the season by halftime (12 points, 10 rebounds in first half), finishing with 17 points and 17 rebounds
· Had a career-high 15 rebounds
· Had double-digit points for the 10th time in 13 games this season
· Had double-digit rebounds for the third time this season
· Scored 20+ points for the third time in the past four games
· Scored 10+ points for the fourth straight game and the 10th time in 13 games this season
· Had a career-high with 14 points
· Scored in double figures for the first time in her career
· Had a career-high seven points
· Had a career-high seven points
· Started for the second time in her career
· Missed today’s game with the flu
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
“I thought our kids did a fairly good job of adjusting to the competition. Give UTRGV credit. They just went through Texas, they played us and they play Baylor next. Our goal was to dominate the boards and I thought we did.I thought Ciera Johnson did a good job. She’s got to learn to score under contact but she made up for it with her rebounding. I’m proud of her for what she did. There’s no excuse to have 20 turnovers against somebody that's not really pressuring you. It was our lack of ball handling. Our two leading scorers are out but I had some other kids step up and play pretty good. Kayla hit her shots in the first half. I liked us getting to the line 29 times. I don’t like the turnovers. We’re doing a good job of shooting three pointers when we’re capable. Give Jasmine Williams kudos. She came off the bench after waiting her turn and played under control tonight. She did a good job. I was happy for her. We need to get a lot better and healthier before we see South Carolina.”
On the Aggies’ depth off the bench…
“Adversity creates opportunity. Aaliyah Jackson and Jada Walton did a good job offensively. They just need to get better on ball handling. Jasmine Williams came in and hit some big threes that we needed. Hopefully that will build her confidence. All three of those kids could be the answer. There is not one of those three that is that much ahead of the other. We have to go to the hot player because teams are going to start taking away Kayla Wells or making it harder for her to score. I’m not afraid to use any of them as a rotation player. Injuries help you develop depth and poor play from the starters gave some opportunities.”
On pressing early…
“We press to control the tempo, not to steal the ball. We did not want to do what we did against Prairie View. We wanted to get off to a good start. As a result, they were only having 15 seconds to run their offense. We were playing our run and jump defense instead of letting them come down. We got away from it some because we got into foul trouble.”
Texas A&M sophomore center Ciera Johnson
On getting 17 points and 17 rebounds on her birthday…
“No, there was no extra motivation, I knew I played pretty bad against Prairie View, so I knew I had to pick up my play, so this was just the next opportunity to do that. Getting the double double was a nice birthday present.”
On playing without Chennedy Carter…
“She opens up a lot of things for everybody else, because she’s such a dynamic player, but we just have to step up because that’s what we’re here for. Next man up is our mindset. It changes greatly when she doesn’t play, but I’m just glad we were able to get the win.”