COLLEGE STATION- No. 19 Texas A&M suffered its first loss of the season, falling 83-68 to No. 10 Oregon in a women’s basketball game at Reed Arena.
The Aggies (2-1) and Ducks (3-0) traded blows in the first half, with Texas A&M taking a 34-28 lead at the break. The Ducks closed the third quarter on an 11-4 run, capped by a Lexi Bando 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the period to take a 57-49 lead.
Lulu McKinney and Danni Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to draw the Aggies to within five with 3:31 to play, but Oregon responded with layups on each of their next two possessions to start a 12-2 run that put the game away.
Four Aggies scored in double figures for the third straight game, led by Chennedy Carter, who had a career-high 23. Carter became the first Texas A&M freshman to score double digits in each of her first three games. Williams added 17, Hillsman added 10, and Howard notched her third straight double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Aggies return to action on Wednesday, November 22 at 6 p.m. to host Little Rock on SEC Network +.
· The No. 19 Aggies suffer their first loss of the season, falling to 2-1. No. 10 Oregon moves to 3-0 and advances to the final of the Preseason WNIT.
· The Aggies had four players score in double figures for the third time this season.
· Chennedy Carter scored in double figures for the third straight game. She is the first Aggie freshman to score double figures in each of her first three games in the Gary Blair era.
o She had a career-high 23 points, marking her first career 20+ point game
· Danni Williams scored in double figures for the eighth straight game, dating back to last season, and the 34th time in her career
· Khaalia Hillsman has scored in double figures in all three games this season and 47 times in her career
· Anriel Howard had a double-double for the third straight game. She is tied for fifth at Texas A&M 16 career double doubles.
o She has scored in double figures 23 times in her career, including all three games this season
o She has had 10+ rebounds 31 times in her career, including all three games this season
· The Aggies are 55-11 in Reed Arena since the start of the 2013-14 season
· Since 2004-05, the Aggies are 92-7 against non-conference opponents at home
· Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 12th all-time in career wins with a 741-305 record in his Hall of Fame career and is 333-142 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M.
· The Aggies return to action on Wednesday, November 22 at 6 p.m. to host Little Rock on SEC Network +.
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
On tonight’s game…
“The better team was Oregon and they showed their experience with five starters back. We made the game chaotic in the first half. We overcame some foul problems and we had all of the momentum and the ball to start the second half but you cannot win a ballgame at this level unless you have an inside game. Tonight we had no inside game. We’ll learn from this. Give Sabrina (Ionescu) a lot of credit. When an All-American is not having her best shooting [game], she fills up the stat sheet. That’s what All-Americans do. We lost transition threes in the second half after stopping them in the first half. When we had a chance to build that lead in the first half, we didn’t stretch it out like we could have.”
On going forward…
“This is going to be a win-win situation for both teams. They won the game, we won because we played a team of this caliber and we’ll get better in the film room, then get better on the practice floor. We’ve got a lot of other teams at this level coming in and we will get better.”
On Texas A&M’s offense…
“I’ve got all the trust in the world of Danni (Williams), but we cannot just be a two-guard team with Chennedy (Carter) driving and scoring and Danni shooting the outside shots. We’ve got to be a complete team, and tonight we weren’t.”
Texas A&M Junior Guard Danni Williams
On tonight’s performance…
“I give Lexi (Bando) credit, she was playing me tough but a lot of my shots were just short because I think I was rushing. I was just trying to get that one to get in a rhythm but it happens.”
On Texas A&M’s defense…
“I think first half we did a really great job, they only had one three in the first half and the second half they got more. I think they are just used to playing in a transition game the whole time, they said they weren’t tired so I do think that some it got into us. They played really well, we just got to focus more and be more concentrated on the defensive end.”
Texas A&M Freshman Guard Chennedy Carter
On playing after getting the fouls…
“I got two fouls quick in the first quarter and coach sat me on the bench for a little bit and he trusted me and told me just to go in and play solid and not to get a third fouls before half time so that is what I did. Just was trying to compete and be a little less aggressive.”
Oregon Head Coach Kelly Graves
"I thought that the second half, we just got in to some flow offensively. We ended up with 55 points in the second half, were in the first half we were trying to score too early in the possession, trying to take advantage of that post matchup. Making Hillsman guard the ball screens, I think it just got us a little stagnate. We really never got into a flow, but second half our emphasis was come out and getting the ball to the second third fourth side of the floor, and then see if they broke down defensively. We started getting some pretty good looks after that. "
On Ruthy Hebard perfect night from the field...
“I didn’t realize that she hadn’t missed any. We have come to expect that of her, she is a great finisher and I thought her teammates did a great job of giving her the basketball, were she could just put it in. There were a couple moves where she was off the block and turned, ripping through defenders for the layup on the opposite side. I thought they were big time moves, those were Ruthy moves. We needed every one of them tonight, and she is a great player, there’s no question about it."
Oregon Sophomore Forward Ruthy Hebard
On making all 10 of her shots...
“I think just being aggressive and going to the rim.”
On Oregon’s slow start…
“I think we came out, of course a little slow and then during the game we definitely picked it up. I think we just need to click a little more, get the feel for each other. After that we just clicked better.”
On frustrating Hillsman…
“We did a lot of black, which is double team of the post, so we doubled teamed her a lot. I think that is what frustrated her and that’s why our guards got easy steals and that leads to the easy turnovers and blocks.”