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WBB: Ags handle USC 74-64

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#6 Ags return to face Prairie View before Thanksgiving

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament - Texas A&M vs Arkansas
N’dea Jones shed the bandage on her hamstring and snagged 18 rebounds vs USC
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Ags went to Hollywood on the way to face the USC Women of Troy. The Trojans started 3-0 but on Monday they went up the coast to Santa Barbara and lost 46-57. USC was missing starter Stephanie Watts and backup post Kayla Overbeck, and couldn’t catch the home team after an 11-0 run in the second quarter by the Gauchos. Overbeck was back by Saturday but Watts was still out.

The women’s basketball team went to support Aggie Soccer on Friday after practice. Unfortunately, despite dominating possession and threatening throughout the contest, the soccer team was unable to overcome two Trojan goals in the first half. Ally Watt got a goal early in the second half but it the team couldn’t get the equalizer and ends their season in the round of 32 of the NCAA tourney.

The soccer and women’s basketball games were both only available as streaming from USC via the Pac-12 network. The basketball game was basically a feed from what was shown on the jumbotron in their arena, so a lot of the Aggie offense could only be determined from the audio as replays of every made USC basket preempted live action. We also got to watch their “Meme cam” and dance team and crowd shots.

USC got off to a fast start but the Ags didn’t fall too far behind. The Women of Troy led 11-4 at 7:19 of the first quarter off a 3-pointer by Desiree Caldwell. That would be their largest lead of the game. The Ags tied it up and took a brief lead for the first time on a fast break by Kayla Wells at the 5:04 mark. That only lasted 15 seconds as Aliyah Jeune drained another 3 for the Trojans. The teams traded the lead for several possessions and USC finished the quarter up 21-19. It was an odd quarter. The Ags were 9-17 from the field. Carter was 2-7. Which means everyone else was shooting lights out.

This continued in the second quarter, but the Ags stepped up their defense and pressed at strategic times. Down 25-10 with 8:56 remaining in the 4half, A&M went on an 11-0 run. Cheah Rael-Whitsett came in off the bench to spell N’dea Jones, grabbed 4 offensive boards, and capped the run with a putback. Meanwhile, Carter was 2-8 in the 2nd quarter. She seemed to be rushing and forcing shots more than usual.

The Ags stretched the lead to double digits in the third quarter, which ended at 56-54. Carter had settled down and Wells was hot. USC would rally in the final quarter as the Ags lost defensive focus a few times and Trojans made some nice, but difficult shots. But after a timeout with 8:29 to go and the lead at 58-52, A&M would reassert an 11 point lead. USC cut it to single digits a couple of times but never to a two possession game.

Final score: Ags 74 USC 64.

  • Carter played 39 minutes and finished with 26 points on 12-28 shooting. Whichmeans she was 8-13 in the second half. She also had 4 assists and 7 turnovers, as USC forced a lot of traveling calls after non-called contact.
  • Kayla Wells had 16 points on 8-12 shooting. She added 5 boards.
  • N’dea Jones had 7 points and 18 rebounds. Ciera Johnson had 9 points and 7 boards. Overall, the Ags won the glass 44-26.
  • Sham Washington had 7 points and 8 assists.
  • Freshman Endyia Rogers led USC with 20 points

Up Next

  • Prairie View A&M Panthers
  • Wed Nov 27, 2019 6PM CST
  • Reed Arena
  • Streaming SECN+ Radio 1150AM/93.7FM

The Panthers are 2-4 and are in the get paid to lose to big schools phase of their schedule. Their previous road games were a 94-48 loss to OU and a 83-48 loss to Arizona. Arizona was up 15 before the Panthers scored. They’ll play at Rice, Tech, and Wisconsin on the road before the conference season starts. Surprisingly, they host Florida on Dec 5.

Likely starters

  • #20 5-9 Sr F Ke’Asia Williams is from Bryan, where she attended Rudder HS. She’s leading the team in rebounding average.
  • #14 5-10 Fr F Kennedi Heard got her first start vs Arizona but started again vs Wiley on Saturday. Heard scored 9 vs Zona.
  • #23 6-1 Fr F Kennedy Paul got her first start vs Arizona but started again vs Wiley on Saturday.
  • #1 5-4 Sr G Bernesha Peters is tied for the lead in scoring average at 11.2/game
  • #2 5-4 Gr G Tatyana Perez is tied for the lead in scoring average at 11.2/game

It looks like Coach Sandy Pugh is working the two freshmen into starting roles after upperclassmen were ineffective during their losing streak.