COLLEGE STATION- Texas A&M fired on all cylinders, defeating Central Arkansas 84-27 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena Saturday. The 57-point win is the Aggies’ largest margin of victory since the 2015-16 season.
The Sugar Bears’ (4-4) 27 points are fewest points scored by a Texas A&M opponent since 2014, and ties for the fifth-fewest scored by a Texas A&M opponent in school history. The Aggies held Central Arkansas to a paltry 20.8% from the field and forced 23 turnovers.
Texas A&M (6-2) raced out of the gates, making seven of their first nine shots. The Aggies, who never trailed in the game, led 32-4 lead early in the second quarter, and led 41-12 at halftime.
Four Aggies scored in double-figures, led by Kayla Wells, who had a game-high 15. Chennedy Carter added 14 and a season-high seven assists. Ciera Johnson picked up a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Caylinne Martin had a career-high 10 points.
All told, 12 of the Aggies’ 13 eligible players logged at least 10 minutes of playing time and scored a point. Texas A&M outscored Central Arkansas 38-16 in the paint, and held a 30-0 advantage on points off turnovers.
The Aggies return to action at the Maui Jim Maui Classic, taking on UC Riverside and No. 8 Oregon State December 14-15. Texas A&M’s next home game is December 19 against Southern California.
The Aggies improve to 6-2 on the season, while the Sugar Bears fall to 4-4
It is the Aggies’ largest margin of victory since December 29, 2015, when the Aggies defeated Prairie View A&M 88-30
The Sugar Bears’ 27 points tie for the fifth-fewest allowed by a Texas A&M team in a single game. It is the fewest points allowed by a Texas A&M team since November 26, 2014, when the Aggies beat McNeese State 93-27.
Texas A&M held Central Arkansas to four first-quarter points, matching the all-time low for a Texas A&M opponent in a quarter. Texas A&M most recently held Missouri to four points in the third quarter of the 2017 SEC Tournament Quarterfinal, an eventual 62-48 win
Texas A&M is 62-5 (92.5%) all-time when leading after three quarters
Texas A&M is 165-7 (95.9%) against unranked teams at home, dating back to February 2005
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 363-153 in 16 seasons in Aggieland. He is 771-316 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks seventh among active coaches and 11th all-time in wins
Had her second career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds
Grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds
Scored 10+ points for the fifth straight game and eighth time in her career
Had 10+ rebounds for the second time in her career
Scored 10+ points for the 17th game in a row, dating back to last season, and the 42nd time in 43 career games
Needs 50 points to be the 31st Texas A&M player with 1,000
Matched her season-high with seven assists
Scored 10+ points for the sixth time this season
Had a career-high 10 points
Scored 10+ points for the first time in her senior college career
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair
“This win is a result of four hard days of practice and it showed when we played Houston. We played very well against Houston. Obviously, this isn’t the Central Arkansas team we usually face each year. Coach Rushing is a lot better than that; she has played against Oklahoma very well. This was a ball game that I got 12 kids double figure minutes and all of the sudden you can win by over 40. We didn’t shoot that well in the 1 and 2 positions, but we did a lot of other good things. We shared the basketball and turned it over early and then we settled down. It was a good run. It was a good “feel-good game” for our fans. Caylinne Martin came in and was pretty impressive. Now what we have to get her to do is go up against some big-time competition like Oregon State or whoever else is in the SEC. Ciera Johnson had two very good back-to-back games. Instead of missing those bunnies she was missing early in the season, she is starting to knock those down. That just comes from inactivity when you haven’t played in a year and half or so, all of the sudden it is coming. Totally pleased with today’s performance and we shot 50 percent so that is what we wanted to do. We will work on that 3-ball a little more. Happy with the result, rebounding, and bench.”
On team’s performance in the paint today…
“I loved it. They didn’t have the post presence that Houston had or some of the other teams. Ciera Johnson was walking around their post players and scoring easy. It is starting to come to her. Instead of making the hard shot she is learning to make the easy shot. N’dea Jones, who played great against Houston, had a couple outside jumpers but then some other things she wasn’t doing well, but she is coming along. She needs to be out there playing through her mistakes because she does better that way instead of me just subbing her out. Ciera is coming right along.”
On defensive effort today…
“That team has been in the NCAA tournament two out of the last three years. We just played well. It was us today. We made a good team look very average today. We had 7 fouls today and I think that put Starkey in a situation to tell them to cut the driving lanes off. Kamry Orr got a couple she had to throw up but other than that, if that is all we can give up, we can live with that.”
Texas A&M sophomore center Ciera Johnson
Difference between last time they were home and this game…
“I feel like our energy and our willingness to compete was the big difference. We just opened our eyes and showed that we had to compete hard, so coming off of that loss, we had a good game against Houston, and coming back home we still had a lot to prove to people. We wanted to come out and execute today and just play hard.”
If this was the best overall game they played this season…
“We still have some bumps here or there. I think our win against Houston we did pretty good as well. We still have a lot of things to work on. I would say today we did pretty well.”
What was the mindset they had when they were up by thirty…
“Coach Starkey said he was not playing to the score. We know that with Coach Starkey, he is very intense, and we are not playing just to beat University of Central Arkansas. We are playing and competing to try to beat South Carolina, Oregon State, the elite teams in the country, and the teams in the SEC. In the SEC we are going to have to play hard every possession. Every possession matters, and we are going to have to play very hard. That was our mindset, we are not just trying to win today, we are trying to win in the future as well.”