Despite guard Aaliyah Wilson finishing with a season-high 16 points, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team couldn’t finish off the LSU Tigers, losing 59-58 at the Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
With the victory, the Tigers (13-1, 1-0 SEC) snapped the No. 15 Aggies’ four-game win streak, which includes wins over Florida, Alabama, Missouri and Georgia. After winning their Jan. 9 showdown in College Station, the Tigers have claimed both contests in this rivalry.
In the first half, the Tigers were able to build an eight-point advantage over the Aggies, thanks to a stifling defense that held A&M to 2-of-13 shooting from the floor in the second quarter. An Aahliyah Jackson jump shot with 1:29 in the quarter cut the LSU lead to 26-19 at the break. Neither team was able to get any offensive momentum in the first half, shooting a combined 18-for-58, or 31 percent, from the floor while shooting 5-for-12 from the free-throw line.
After halftime, A&M closed the gap on LSU’s lead, using an 11-for-18 scoring output in the third quarter to retake a one-point lead. In the fourth, The Aggies and Tigers went back-and-forth, with the Tigers leading 57-54 with less than a minute left in the game. The Aggies had the chance to even the game, down 57-55 with the ball. However, Wilson missed a layup opportunity, and two made free-throws by LSU’s Jailin Cherry clinched the late-game victory for the Tigers.
On the offensive end, it was a huge game for Wilson, who finished with a season-high 16 points, along with seven rebounds and two steals. Wilson, who missed most of the 2018-19 season with a knee injury, has been part of the starting lineup for A&M since the injury to Chennedy Carter, and has recorded 30-plus minutes of playtime in five of the last six contests.
Outside of Wilson, Kayla Wells matched Wilson’s scoring output with 16 points, finishing 2-of-4 from three-point range. Wells has scored in double figures in each of the last six games. Backcourt teammate Shambria Washington led the team with three assists while also recording six points and three rebounds.
In the frontcourt, N’dea Jones recorded her 10th consecutive double-double, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jones, who has 12 double-doubles on the season, is the only SEC player to record a double-double in each conference game. Junior center Ciera Johnson finished with six points and five rebounds, while also leading the team in steals with three.
Against the Tigers, the Aggies struggled to secure the glass, losing the rebounding advantage by 10 rebounds, 44-34. On the offensive end, the team struggled to extend offensive possessions, finishing with only 13 offensive rebounds and recording a meager five second chance points. Despite their woes on the glass, A&M did provide a strong presence inside, leading in points in the paint 34-28.
One area where the Aggies struggled against the Tigers is from their bench production. After seeing huge production from bench players in recent games, including Jasmine Williams’ 11 point output against Florida, the Aggies finished with a season-low two bench points against the Tigers while giving up 10 points to the LSU bench.
After the trip to Baton Rouge, the Aggies take the week off from competition before going on the road to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Feb. 9. Tipoff against the Bulldogs is set for noon at the Humphrey Coliseum, with the game being televised on ESPN.