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WBB: Ags run away from the Cowgirls 74-62

Big third quarter made the difference

Carter layup vs OKState
Carter scores on a third quarter fast break
jimhu’s iPhone

Oklahoma State came into Reed Arena on Saturday night as part of the B12/SEC challenge. By the time the Cowgirls and Ags took the floor, it was already 5-1 in favor of the B12. OK State had already faced teams ranked above us. They have good size in the front line, so it was a chance to see how much the team had learned to cope with the problems that showed up in the loss to Florida State a week ago.

It was close early with the Ags getting a small lead before the Cowgirls tied it at 9. Just before that, Ciera Johnson had to go to the bench with her second foul. Coach Blair went to his lineup with N’dea Jones at the 5 and Cheah Rael-Witsitt at the 4, but Jones was having trouble keeping Natasha Mack out of the block. Mack seemed to score at will while the Ags were struggling to score against their zone D. It was the Cowgirls turn to take the lead, which got to 18-12 on an and one FT by leading scorer Vivian Gray. Blair changed his approach and put in Anna Dreimane at the post for Jones. One of our group who had attended the UCA game said to look for a change in how Anna would be used on offense where she focused more on kicking the ball back out to teammates instead of on scoring. Putting in Anna also meant that the Ags switched to a zone, which freed up Kayla Wells from chasing Gray in the man to man. A rejection by Anna of a drive by Bigue Sarr was part of a 6-0 run by A&M to leave the score tied at 18 at the end of the first quarter.

The lead would go back and forth in a second quarter that was offensively challenged. After shooting just 5-15 in the first quarter, the Ags would fall to 4-15. But OK State went from 8-18 to 4-18. In the end, A&M shut out the Cowgirls for the last 2:33 of the first half allowing a 3 point deficit to turn into a 4 point lead.

Halftime score Ags 32, OSU 28

Carter went into the intermission with 11 points. At halftime it’s sometimes interesting to see what the players are focusing on in their shooting. I noticed last year that someone was assigned to shag balls for Kayla working on her 3 point shot before she emerged as our best 3 point threat. On Saturday I almost missed Carter. She wasn’t outside the arc practicing 3s. She was working on a variety of midrange shots in the paint. Later she’d say that Coach Blair had told her to just play her game and take shots she knew she could make. Carter and the Ags would go off in the 3rd quarter. The lead was up to 10 before OK State scored. Carter was driving and either making baskets or drawing fouls. She would score 18 in the 3rd quarter including going 4-5 from the FT line. The Ags were also turning over OK State and finding Wells and Wilson in the corners for 3 pointers. Wells had been hitting shots from well past the arc going back to the first half. The Ags would go 11-25 in the third which was enough to take the lead as high as 20.

End of the third quarter Ags 60, Cowgirls 41

Blair would say that the Ags ran out of gas in the fourth, but that was after he said A&M had gotten OK State tired in the third. The lead would get up to 24 in the final period but A&M allowed the visitors to cut it in half by the end of the game.

Final Score Ags 74, Cowgirls 62.

  • Carter would score a season high 31 points, including 18 in the third quarter. She also had 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists vs 2 turnovers. Carter is now 4th all time in scoring for Aggie Women’s Basketball with 1,671 points. She passed Danielle Gant.
  • Kayla Wells had her first 20 point game of the season with 22. She was 4-6 from behind the arc and 6-6 from the FT line.
  • N’dea Jones had 15 rebounds. Cheah Rael-Whitsitt had 9 boards
  • Sham Washington had 7 assists
  • Vivian Gray and Natasha Mack each had 19 points for OK State. Bryn Gerlich had 10, mostly in the final minutes of the 4th quarter.

The Ags still haven’t played a full game up to their potential this season, and clearly the team has to work on how to get Johnson back on form while avoiding foul trouble. But this was one of the better performances of the season.

Up Next

  • TCU Horned Frogs
  • Wed Dec 11, 2019 7PM CST
  • Reed Arena
  • Streaming: SECN+. Radio 1150AM/93.7 FM
  • Holiday Hoops discounted tickets

Before the Ags played OK State, the Frogs took on a struggling Auburn as part of the B12/SEC challenge. Auburn hasn’t been at the top of the SEC for a while, but under Terri Williams Fluornoy they did make the NCAAs last season after going 22-10. TCU dominated Auburn on their way to a 80-65 win in Ft. Worth. That kept the Horned Frogs undefeated, but their schedule is one where 4-5 Auburn might be one of their strongest opponents so far. If not Auburn, then 3-4 SMU. This will be a big step up in competition for the Frogs and it’s at Reed. Based on Auburn, the likely starters are:

  • #10 5-10 RS Sr Tr G Jaycee Bradley
  • #20 5-9 Jr G Lauren Heard
  • #25 6-1 Sr G Kianna Ray
  • #15 6-1 Sr Tr G Jayde Woods
  • #33 6-1 Sr F Adeola Akomolafe

TCU was 24-11 last season (10-8 in the B12). They made the WNIT, where they lost to Arizona. This was despite losing one of their more highly rated players, Amber Ramirez, who is now at Arkansas. Several of the current roster have been to Reed before, when we played two seasons ago in an Elementary School Day matchup.