After holding a comfortable lead heading into the final quarter of action, the Texas A&M women’s basketball team fell flat late, suffering a 97-89 overtime loss at the hands of the Florida Gators.
The No. 25 Aggies dropped their third contest in a row. After starting the season 8-0, A&M has lost five of its last seven games en route to a 10-5 record and a 0-3 start in conference play.
Florida had never won in College Station, and the win marked just its second victory against A&M. The Gators improved to 11-5 on the season, getting their first SEC win after a 0-2 start.
The Aggies started off the game slow, only making one field goal in the first seven minutes of action. Despite their poor shooting from the field, the maroon and white were effective at drawing fouls early, which helped keep them in the game.
Senior forward Aaliyah Patty recorded six points and seven rebounds in the first quarter. Despite A&M’s 3-for-17 shooting, the score was only 14-11 in Florida’s favor.
The second and third quarters saw offensive surges from the Aggies, helping negate the slow start. Graduate student guard Qadashah Hoppie scored 12 points in the second quarter. She carried that momentum through halftime, scoring six-straight points for the Aggies to open the third quarter.
Graduate student guard Kayla Wells followed suit, catching fire in the third. Wells scored 14 points in the third quarter. The Aggies’ lead grew to as much as 19 points.
With a nine-point lead heading into the final ten minutes of action, A&M could not hold onto it. The Aggies shot 4-for-14 and had five turnovers in the final quarter of regulation. Florida gained back the lead midway through the fourth and held onto it, but a layup by sophomore Maliyah Johnson tied the game up with less than 40 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.
The first overtime was a back-and-forth affair between the teams, with neither managing to pull ahead. Florida took a two-point lead with eight seconds to go, but Hoppie sank consecutive free throw attempts, leading to a second overtime period.
In the final overtime period, the Aggies were outscored 13 to five. Florida’s senior guard Zippy Broughton scored 12 points across both overtime periods, and graduate student guard Kiara Smith scored 10.
A&M’s next opponent is the current top-ranked team in the nation, South Carolina, that currently holds a 15-1 record and an 8-0 record against top 25 teams. The Aggies will travel to Columbia, S.C., on Thursday, Jan. 13. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.