Rice recap

Gary Blair is in his 17th year as head coach of Texas A&M.

It all came down to the buzzer, and No. 10 Texas A&M women’s basketball remains undefeated.

A&M had a 7-0 record coming into its matchup against a 4-0 Rice University. Both teams put up a resilient effort, with the lead on the scoreboard going back and forth. Ultimately, it came down to the fourth quarter, but the Aggies were able to extend their undefeated record with a 57-53 win.

A&M coach Gary Blair said the team’s experience gives them a leg up.

“I’ve got a veteran team and a veteran staff who knows what the heck they’re doing,” Blair said. “You win with juniors and seniors and you blend in everything else… I’m very blessed to have this team.”

After winning the tipoff, the maroon and white trailed early on during the first quarter, but A&M was able to regain its momentum and conclude the opening quarter tied at 17.

The Aggies’ comeback was thanks to junior point guard Alexis Morris, who put up seven points and one assist during the first quarter in only six minutes of play.

Throughout the rest of the matchup, the Beaumont native put up 16 points, three rebounds and three assists. She was also the player of the game.

A&M was unable to turn the tie in its favor during the second quarter. Despite putting in more effort and team synergy, the Aggies went into the locker room at the half down four points, at 28-24.

During the middle of the third quarter, the game was tied up once again at 30. It is here where the Aggies were able to turn the game around in their favor. Thanks to a three-pointer from senior point guard Destiny Pitts, the maroon and white furthered its lead to 37-33.

The Aggies were able to maintain this lead, and went into the fourth quarter ahead 44-36 off of a three-pointer on the fast break from Morris.

Senior center Ciera Johnson said Morris knew how little time was left on the scoreboard when she shot outside of the paint.

“She was aware of the clock and the game,” Johnson said. “Alexis was a spark off the bench for us.”

Junior point guard Jasmine Smith was at the helm for Rice, posting 18 points, three rebounds and three assists.

With the game being within 10 points, it all came down to the fourth quarter. With less than one minute before the end of the game, it was a three-point game with A&M leading 56-53.

In the end, the Aggies were able to hold onto their lead and won 57-53.

Immediately following the buzzer the team celebrated with Santa hats and wished all of their fans a Merry Christmas.

In sight of the holiday spirit, Blair said he wanted to show his fans some appreciation.

“Sawing the horns is very important,” Blair said. “But grabbing that microphone before [the fans] get to the top of the aisle, like a Baptist preacher has to get to the back of the room before everyone leaves and you want to be able to thank the people who are able to come out and see us now.”

A&M now has an 8-0 record and will be taking on Northwestern State at home on Monday, Dec. 28. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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