COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - N'Dea Jones had 15 points and 18 rebounds, and No. 23 Texas A&M rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Prairie View A&M 70-57 on Friday night for its sixth straight win.
Jones and Shambria Washington each scored seven points as the Aggies outscored Prairie View A&M 22-4 in the fourth quarter.
Jones is the first in the program to grab at least 17 rebounds in three consecutive games. Washington finished with 13 points, and her 3-pointer with 7:02 left gave the Aggies their first lead, 54-53 with 7:02 remaining.
Kayla Wells and Ciera Johnson added 14 points apiece for the Aggies (10-2).
Dominique Newman scored 14 points and Artavia Ford had 13 for Prairie View A&M (3-7), which led by as many as 11 points midway through the third quarter.
The Aggies shot just 17 of 49 (35 percent) from the floor but made 34 of 42 free throws (81 percent).
· Texas A&M improves to 10-2 on the season, winning 10 non-conference games for the seventh straight season and the 15th time in 16 seasons. The Lady Panthers fall to 3-7 on the season.
· The Aggies have won six consecutive games, the Aggies’ longest win streak since a six-game win streak from Feb. 7-25, 2016.
· The Aggies shot 42 free throws, the most by a Texas A&M team since Dec. 30, 2011, when A&M shot 43 free throws against McNeese State.
· Texas A&M is 5-1 at home this season and has won 17 of their last 19 home games, dating back to last season.
· The Aggies have won 20 straight matchups against Prairie View A&M, dating back to 1976.
· The Aggies are 167-7 against unranked teams at home since February 2005.
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 364-153 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 775-316 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in wins.
· Had 17+ rebounds for the third straight game, becoming the first player in Texas A&M history with three straight games of at least 17 rebounds
· Her 18 rebounds tie for the 10th-most in a single game in Texas A&M history
· Scored a career-high 15 points
· Had her fifth double double of the season
· Scored 10+ points for the fifth time this season
· Had 10+ rebounds for the fourth consecutive game and the eighth time this season
· Scored 10+ points for the ninth time in 12 games this season
· Made a career-high ten free throws
· Scored 10+ points for the ninth time this season and the third straight game
· Had a career-high 13 points
· Scored in double figures for the first time in her senior college career
· Had career-highs of seven points and three rebounds
· Made her first career start
· Did not play as a precautionary measure (foot). She is expected to be available for the Aggies’ next game (Dec. 29 vs. UTRGV)
Texas A&M forward N’dea Jones
On the team’s start…
“I think we just came out slow, we basically got slapped in the face. I do not want to say that we underestimated them, but I think our minds were on trying to get the game over, so we can go home to our families instead of just focusing on the game. We were slow and our shots were not falling, we were fumbling the ball, kind of lazy passes and had 13 turnovers in the first half. We were just struggling. During halftime we all came together as a team, talked it out and decided we need to get busy because we cannot go home like this”
On what turned the game…
“Our defense and our effort. A lot of it was just effort, hustle plays and speeding up the game a little bit knowing that when we put pressure on them they would get a little out of control. We just had to focus on our game and adapt a stop-score, stop-score mentality. We made sure we were taking care of the ball, making sure we rebounded, and try to hit our shots.”
On playing without Chennedy…
“We are so used to her being our point guard. The point guard is supposed to be the coach’s voice on our court and Shambria Washington does a great job when Chennedy is not there and Shambria has stepped up. We are so used to Chennedy having the ball in her hand so sometimes it’s hard not seeing that familiar face and just running the plays we know and trying to get open. She basically spreads the court open for us because people know she can shoot, she can drive, she can come off screens—it is just really tough to guard her, so when she is not on the court, it is a lot more pressure on the other guards.”
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
“Let’s give Prairie View a lot of credit. They played very smart in the first half. We look like our feet were standing still. I thought the forward dominated the first half for them over shot blocking, over contesting shots, and my post players couldn’t score under that pressure. They better realize what’s coming in the SEC if they’re having trouble with 6’2” right now. It’s just something we got to do, but we’ll keep feeding the ball inside, because I felt like our best shot was to get to the free throw line and nothing else was working, and we did that 42 times. That’s the most we’ve had in several years. Shambria Washington had five turnovers, but 40 minutes of playing that pressure, playing against Dobbins and Willis in there, who are so quick, it was hard to stop them. But Sham’s coming along, she needed a game like this. Of course that’s her career-high. I like how she took charge of the team, and that’s what you have to do when you’re a point guard when things are not going well for you, But I tell you what, I’m tired of having to go in to halftime and coach as hard I’m having to do at halftime instead of teaching. Halftime is supposed to be about being positive, correcting mistakes, but it sure wasn’t today. I don’t like to coach that way, and I’m sure the kids don’t like to hear it, but sometimes that’s what you got to do, and I think our kids responded very well. We started running a couple set plays for Kayla. She still had a good night even though she missed some moneys. Give our two post players in there some props for battling as hard as they did. It wasn’t their night, it wasn’t my night, it wasn’t our night, it wasn’t any of our nights, but it was Prairie View’s night until the 3rd quarter and the press started and we were able to turn them over. That was the difference in the whole game. They shot seven percent in the 4th quarter and they had three turnovers in the first half but 11 in the second half. We had 13 but only five and that was the difference as well. Jackson and Walton, it’s not what they scored, it’s what they defended and gave us the hustle plays. If you look on that sheet, Jackson had zero turnovers and Walton had one in 41 minutes. That’s good basketball knowing they hadn’t got that many minutes all year. They came in and did their job, and that’s all that counted. It’s a W, Stanford struggled with Buffalo yesterday. All the teams that are at the top are always having a couple struggle games and you just got to find a way to get through it. That’s all we did we got through it when we went up with the three from Sham.”
On struggling without Carter…
“I think it’ll happen all year. Remember she leads our team in fouls too. What we got to do is learn how to play without her, she’s got to learn how to play smarter, and realize how valuable she is. Wednesday in the second half when she wasn’t doing anything, I was calling every play for Kayla and responded. It’s funny how Carter started playing harder after Kayla started knocking down shots. Carter realized her jumper wouldn’t going and drive to get to the free throw line, which she did. So, when your game isn’t going, find something to do to stay on the floor. Other than that, Carter played pretty well, a couple times she didn’t but that happens.”