COLLEGE STATION- Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair notched his 750th career win, as the No. 22 Aggies rolled SMU, 79-57 in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena.
Blair, who is 342-144 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M, joins Pat Summitt, Tara VanDerveer, Geno Auriemma, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer, Jody Conradt, Jim Foster, Robin Selvig, Muffet McGraw and Andy Landers as Division I women’s basketball coaches who have won 750+ games.
The Aggies (11-3) were led by Chennedy Carter, who had 28 points, and seven assists without a turnover. Anriel Howard added 15 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
For the second time in three games, four Aggies scored in double figures, with Danni Williams adding 14 and Khaalia Hillsman scoring 13 more to join Carter and Howard.
The Aggies led 38-23 lead by the half, and led the Mustangs (6-7) by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M opens SEC play on Sunday, December 31, at the defending National Champions, No. 4 South Carolina. The Aggies return home on Thursday, January 4 to host Kentucky at 6 p.m.
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair becomes the 11th Division I women’s basketball head coach to amass 750 career wins. Only seven active coaches have won 750 career games.
· He joins Pat Summitt, Tara VanDerveer, Geno Auriemma, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer, Jody Conradt, Jim Foster, Robin Selvig, Muffet McGraw and Andy Landers as coaches who have won 750 career games.
· Texas A&M improves to 11-3 on the season, while SMU falls to 6-7.
· The Aggies are now 8-2 at home this season, and 62-12 at home since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Aggies are 154-5 against unranked teams at home since Feb. 2005.
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 342-144 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M and is 750-307 in his Hall of Fame career, which is seventh among active coaches in career wins and 11th all-time.
· The Aggies are 47-2 all-time when leading after three quarters
· The Aggies lead the all-time series 28-18, and have won six of the last seven meetings against SMU
· Had her sixth 20+ point game of the season
· Has scored in double digits in all 14 games in her career. She is the only Texas A&M freshman to start her career with 14 straight double figure scoring games.
· Tied Michell Tatum (1981-85, 710) for ninth on Texas A&M’s career rebound list with 710
· Scored in double figures for 11th time this season and the 55th time in her career
· Made her 89th straight start for Texas A&M
· Passes Adaora Elonu (2008-12, 728 rebounds) for seventh on Texas A&M’s career rebound list with 743
· Had her ninth straight game of 10+ rebounds, and her 13th in 14 games this season. She has 41 career 10+ rebound games
· Scored 10+ points for the ninth time this season and the 29th time in her career
· Had her eighth double double of the season, and the 21st of her career. She holds the Texas A&M career record with 21 double doubles.
· Scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the 43rd time in her career
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
“I thought overall our defense was very good, especially in the first half. They made a little run before the end of the first half. We only planned on staying in the zone for a few possessions, but I looked up and SMU was 7-of-32 in the first half so I said, ‘Let’s stay with them a little bit longer.’ We will work on man later when we go to South Carolina. We will get better. We played them last year and got beat up in Dallas and were not executing our offense. I was surprised how much zone they played against us. The difference was transition offense in the first half got us a lot of easy baskets. Since our threes weren’t falling, I thought our kids did a pretty good job of quitting shooting the three in the second half, just go and get the twos. I told Danni [Williams] ‘If you’re three isn’t going, quit trying to impress somebody.’ She has to get to the line and get some twos.”
On Anriel Howard’s night…
“I thought Howard was good as always. It was a good solid game. You just don’t notice it. She goes 4-of-8, 7-of-8 and grabs 16 rebounds, three assists with no turnovers. I know what Chennedy [Carter] did, but we couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for Anriel Howard. I thought Howard was the best player on the floor tonight. That’s a junior who is the unsung person on this team. She didn’t make All-SEC last year like the other three did for us and she might not make it again this year. But, we’d be dead in the water if we didn’t have her energy and what she brings to the table.”
On Chennedy Carter’s performance…
“I thought Carter was into the flow. She sees the floor so well. She would have had five more assists if we had a couple post players that could have hung on to the ball. She wanted to distribute. She can open the lane just with her dribble-penetration. She has the ability to score, you saw a little bit of that when she went for 46 against USC. She is a very unselfish kid and she was trying to find her teammates.”
On the matchup as a tune-up before South Carolina…
“We haven’t looked at one bit of film on South Carolina. I want to enjoy tonight and then worry like hell tomorrow. If I am not mistaken, South Carolina hasn’t played [since December 21] so all the others played in the league and I’m sure all the others won. To tell you the truth, we might have played the hardest team. SMU is a solid club who won 19 games last year. I thought we finally protected the home court and made the crowd like us tonight by how we played. We played the game with a smile on our face and we shared the basketball, 19 assists and only nine turnovers. I was able to get my bench some minutes, but I’m going to have to have more production. They played better when we were in Vegas but I’m going to need a little more production than the few points they had with as many minutes as they had. They are coming. They are young.”
Texas A&M Junior Forward Anriel Howard
On tonight’s game…
“I think that we’re definitely growing. It’s good to have this game and it’s good to see how all of us played pretty well together. We hustled most of the time. There are still some areas that we have to work on. But, I think that we’re growing for sure and that’s good to see.”
On her rebounding perspective…
“I like to get the rebound and kick it out. If I have a shot, of course I’ll go back up. But just being able to get an offensive board and being able to restart the shot clock, that’s another offensive possession for us so that’s good. It’ll help us with our offense and just get us going.”
On Chennedy Carter…
“She’s remarkable. I haven’t seen any other freshmen like her before. I’m glad I get to play with her this year and next year. Once she truly understands the program with what Coach Blair wants, we’re going to make it pretty far.”
On upcoming game against South Carolina…
“There are still some things, like I said, that we still have to work on but we executed a few things as well that will help us as we prepare for South Carolina. It’s our first conference game and we’re getting ready.”