N’dea Jones’ 12th consecutive double-double helped propel Texas A&M to a 74-53 win against Vanderbilt.
While Jones once again showed her dominance on the boards with 12 rebounds, the story of the night was the offensive firepower of A&M.
Jones converted five of seven field goal attempts and all six of her free throw attempts for a total of 17 points on the day. Juniors Ciera Johnson and Aaliyah Wilson each logged 10 points and each converted four of ten field goal attempts. Junior Kayla Wells scored 12 points, converting three of her seven field goal attempts, including two three-point shots, and she went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
After a seven-game absence with an ankle injury, junior guard Chennedy Carter returned to the floor, playing 21 minutes against the Commodores. In her return, Carter tallied 18 points converting eight of her twelve field goal attempts. A&M coach Gary Blair said Carter’s play was encouraging.
“When you’re dealing with a gimpy ankle, all it takes is landing wrong once,” Blair said. “It was a step in the right direction and we will take it. Her shot selection was good. She didn’t try to attack the basket as much and put the ankle at risk. She was smart enough to play the mid-range game. ”
With this win, A&M improves to 19-5 on the season and 7-4 in conference play. WIth this defeat, Vanderbilt drops to 13-11 on the season and 3-7 on the season.
A&M put on an offensive clinic against the Commodores. The Aggies started the game on a 20-4 run. Jones started the scoring run, sinking two field goals and guard Aaliyah Wilson followed those up with two three-point shots. The Aggies ended a high scoring first quarter 28-10 with the help of a Carter layup, her first points since injuring her ankle against LSU.
The second quarter was scoreless for the first 1:23 and it took a three-point shot from Vanderbilt forward Kiara Pearl to end the scoring drought. Both teams traded baskets and with 5:49 left in the second quarter, the Aggies had a 37-18 lead. Vanderbilt then went on a 6-0 run that lasted almost four minutes. A&M eventually broke its scoreless drought with the help of a Jones three-point shot; however, that was quickly followed up with a Pearl three-pointer. The Aggies ended the half with two free throws from Kayla Wells as they took a 42-27 lead into the half.
The Aggies ended the half converting 16 of their 28 field goal attempts (56 percent) and six of their seven three-point attempts (86 percent). Vanderbilt started off the game shooting 28 percent from the floor but ended the half converting 10 of their 33 attempts (30 percent) including 3 of 8 attempts (38 percent) from the three-point line.
To start the third quarter, both teams failed to score until Wilson scored on a mid-range jump shop. This was followed by a three-point basket from Vanderbilt guard Jordyn Cambridge. Two free throws later from Johnson and a pull up jump shot from Wilson extended the Aggie lead 48-31.
To open the fourth quarter, Carter scored four points to give the Aggies a 20-point lead and to give herself double-digit points in the game. This was the start of a 6-2 run for A&M, but after two turnovers, Vanderbilt scored on two baskets. Both teams traded baskets and with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter, the Aggies held a 62-46 lead against Vanderbilt.
Carter scored two consecutive baskets and Jones followed up with four points of her own to help the Aggies go on an 8-0 run with 4:07 left in the game. This 8-0 run turned into a 12-2 run for A&M as Carter and Jones continued to trade baskets. After another Vanderbilt basket, the Aggies dribbled out the clock en route to a 74-53 win.
A&M will take on Tennessee on Sunday. The game will take place in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tipoff is at 2 p.m., and the game is available for streaming on ESPN 2.