The No. 6 Texas A&M women’s basketball team used an early lead against Prairie View A&M to remain undefeated ahead of Sunday’s matchup with No. 12 Florida State.
After allowing Prairie View’s four first quarter points in the first three minutes of the game, the Aggies went on a 17-0 run to lead into the second quarter 26-4.
That was as close as the Panthers would come as the Aggies scored 20 points in the second quarter to push the game out of reach and earn their fifth win of the season 80-38.
After shooting only 2-of-11 in the first quarter, Prairie View improved to 6-of-17 in the second for 15 points, but the Aggies remained strong on defense, holding the Panthers to 7-of-26 in the second half.
The Aggies forced a season-high 25 turnovers, which resulted in 32 points.
While Prairie View struggled offensively, A&M did not have that problem. An 11-0 run to open the second half of play pushed the Aggies to a 57-19 lead over the Panthers.
Three Aggies finished the game in double-digit points. Junior guard Chennedy Carter led A&M with 20 points, shooting 60.6 percent and adding four rebounds. Half of her points came in the third quarter.
Junior forward N’dea Jones continued her improvement this season, accumulating a career-high 16 points for A&M in just 14 minutes of action. By the second quarter, Jones had seven points. She also had six rebounds for the Aggies.
“Look at what she did and the limited amount of minutes that she had," A&M coach Gary Blair said. "You have to give her a lot of credit. She was four out of seven at halftime.”
Jones said her performance, and the team's performance as a whole, was a result of a team-first mentality.
“I think this game was to focus on ourselves," Jones said. "We were worried about them. We just had the mindset to go out there and play against us every time, no matter who we play. So everybody was just really focusing on themselves, and as you can see, we subbed in a lot. We used the time to get ready for other teams and running our offense better. Our defense pressed a lot, so we were working on our defense a lot. All in all, we were worried about them, but I think we are more concerned about us.”
Junior center Ciera Johnson followed as the third Aggie in double digits with 10 points.
An 11-0 run to begin the second half pushed the Aggies to a 57-19 lead over the Panthers
During Monday’s press conference, Blair said his goal for this game was to get all eleven of his players some time on the court, which he did. Outside of the starting five, 25 points came off the bench, with all nonstarters playing over 10 minutes. Senior guard Jasmine Williams led the Aggies off the bench with eight points in 15 minutes.
“I think our main focus as non-starters was to get in and improve on ourselves," Williams said. "To get some quality minutes against a quality opponent and show that we can keep up. We wanted to not maintain but extend the lead and keep the continuity in substitutions. I think we did that well. We had some drop offs at times, as subs. However, with time comes experience.”
The starters played a combined four minutes in the final quarter, with junior guard Kayla Wells adding three points for a game total of nine.
A&M will face No. 12 Florida State in the Maggie Dixon Classic on Sunday in Fort Worth.