COLLEGE STATION- Texas A&M used their trademark stifling defense to defeat Alabama 70-43 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena. Ciera Johnson matched her career-high with 18 points to lead the Aggies.
The Aggies (13-4, 2-2 SEC) held a second straight SEC opponent to 43 points, holding Alabama to a paltry 27.0% shooting from the field and 1-of-23 (4.3%) on 3-point shots.
Two key runs gave the Aggies control of the game, rattling off a 12-0 run in the first quarter after Alabama (9-8, 1-3 SEC) scored the first basket of the afternoon. When Alabama cut the deficit to nine points in the third quarter, Texas A&M scored the period’s last 13 points to build a 22-point lead.
Johnson had her fifth double-double of the season, adding 11 rebounds to her 18 points. Shambria Washington scored a career-high 14 points, to go along with three assists and three steals. Chennedy Carter chipped in 11 for her 24th consecutive game of at least 10 points.
N’dea Jones co-led the team with 11 rebounds.
The Aggies return to action on Sunday, January 20 at Georgia, with tip set for 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Texas A&M’s next home game is Sunday, January 27 against No. 16 Kentucky.
GARY BLAIR RADIO SHOW RETURNS MONDAY
COLLEGE STATION – The Gary Blair Radio Show broadcasts Monday, January 14, at Rudy's on Harvey Road from 6-7 p.m. The show is broadcast locally on WTAW (1620 AM) and hosted by Steve Miller. Fans can listen worldwide through 12thMan.com.
In addition to thoughts from Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair, the show includes in-depth interviews with people associated with the A&M program, a recap of the Aggies' recent games and a preview of the upcoming schedule.
Fans are invited to come out to join the show and meet the Aggies as they talk all things Texas A&M women's basketball.
· Texas A&M is 13-4 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play. Alabama falls to 9-8 overall and 1-3 in conference play
· The Aggies have won all eight games in the series against Alabama—all of which have come since Texas A&M joined the SEC for the 2012-13 season
· Texas A&M held Alabama to 43 points, tied for the fewest scored by a conference opponent since LSU scored 35 on Jan. 10, 2016. The Aggies allowed 43 points to Vanderbilt on Thursday
· Texas A&M is 68-6 all-time when leading after three quarters
· The Aggies’ 16 bench points are the most for A&M in a conference game this season
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 370-155 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 778-318 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches in career wins
· Tied her career-high with 18 points
· Had her fifth double double of the season
· Scored 10+ points for the 13th time in 17 games this season
· Had 10+ rebounds for the fifth time this season
· Had a senior college career-high with 14 points
· Scored in double figures for the second time in her senior college career, and the first time since Dec. 21 against Prairie View
· Scored 10+ points for the 24th consecutive game and the 49th time in 50 career games
· Had 10+ rebounds for the third time in four games and the 11th time this season
· Career-high five rebounds
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
“We didn’t see the best Alabama team tonight and we were fortunate. Kristy Curry’s team is a whole lot better than that, and I am sure she would tell you. Defensively we held Cierra Johnson to 2-of-11 and Jasmine Walker to 3-of-11. Some of it, they just didn’t hit her shots, but at the same time look at Kayla Wells and Chennedy Carter for me; they weren’t hitting their shots consistently. I thought our bench did a really good job today, but I think the key to the ball game was Shambria Washington. She ran the ball and played for 35 minutes. I thought Chennedy was very unselfish in the second half. She knew her shot wasn’t going so she kept trying to feed the ball to Ciera Johnson or other kids. We are going to take this win as a “W”.”
On win tonight…
“We put away the game in the third and it sure felt good. We needed this. Every win has been a grind for us. I told the TV crew we will not score in the 50’s this game. But we got up to the 70’s and that is like hitting a 100 for us the way it has been going lately. Give our kids a lot of credit.”
On if this “killer instinct” is coachable…
“I have got to coach this team harder than I have had to coach a team in a long time, to be able to get the execution where we want it. When we start playing the teams in the top, you have got to have execution, and not just heart or hustle. You have to have execution. That is just something we ae working on. We have effort every night and the greatest kid in the world. But at the same time, I am looking for execution because I want to go deep in March.”
Texas A&M sophomore center Ciera Johnson
On the plan against Alabama…
“We started off pretty slow, we emphasized in shoot-arounds and practice that their guards are really good rebounders, so in the beginning we were giving them quite a few offensive rebounds, but as the game got going we started getting bodies on them, and everybody started crashing the boards really good so we cleaned that up early.”
On the confidence boost to the team…
“It boosts our confidence, it just shows what we’re capable of, and that we can do this, we just have to stay focused mentally and physically and we can pull off these kind of wins.”
Alabama head coach Kristy Curry
On the game…
“I thought we gave up offensive rebounds, our free throw, which we worked on for two days, we know what we were going to do on free throw, we gave up two of those today, you can’t do that. We came back down, took a quick shot, didn’t reverse the basketball, went to the wrong side, just a lot of mistakes that we haven’t been making. So, a lot of self-induced errors that you can’t do, and our effort today was poor.”
On the lack of effort…
“I’ll take responsibility for that, and try to get home and fix it because it doesn’t get any easier on Thursday night against Tennessee, you know we’re just really inexperienced, they’re 18-22 years old and have to understand that every little possession, every little thing makes a big difference. I thought we were 3-for-21 from our starters the first half, you’re not going to win on the road in this league being 3-for-21. I thought we got some good looks, we just have to make shots, have to be tough enough to make shots on the road. We did that a week ago, we didn’t do that today.”