Lady Bulldogs Fall At #6 Texas A&M
The Lady Bulldogs (3-1) could not overcome a slow start on the offensive end. After MSU scored the game's first two points on a pair of free throws, the Aggies (4-0) scored the next 17 points. MSU went more than 11 minutes without a field goal, while missing its first 12 shots from the floor.
"Our seniors have to step up and show our younger players the way," MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. "Toughness helped Texas A&M win a (national) championship. Hopefully this is a wake-up call for our team in terms of how hard you have to play and the consistency you have to play with to win any ballgame."
By the time Porsha Porter did score for MSU, the Aggies had sprinted out to a 25-6 advantage. A layup by Skylar Collins ran the A&M lead to 27-6. The Maroon and White closed back within 31-14 on a pair of free throws by Diamber Johnson.
The Aggies ran the lead back out to 24 twice before easing into halftime with a 43-21 advantage. In the opening half, MSU only hit on 5-of-24 shot attempts, while missing all seven 3-point attempts.
"I thought we eventually started taking the ball to the goal more," Fanning-Otis said. "When you have a team that plays as hard as Texas A&M does, if you don't get to the free-throw line, it's not going to be a game. Diamber started doing that, but as a team, we didn't embrace that.
"We didn't get the offensive rebounds you have to have, and we didn't play good transition defense."
The defending national champions opened the second half on a 22-5 run. A layup by Adaora Elon ran the advantage to 65-26 with 14:30 left in regulation.
The lead would grow to as many as 48 once and 47 twice before the Aggies closed out the victory.
For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 14 of 56 shots from the field (25.0 percent), 1 of 14 shots from 3-point range (7.1 percent) and 18 of 27 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent). The Aggies hit 38 of 68 shots from the field (55.9 percent), 1 of 7 shots from 3-point range (14.3 percent) and 16 of 25 shots from the free throw line (64.0 percent).
Texas A&M held a 53-27 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had eight assists and 18 turnovers, while the Aggies had 23 assists and 13 turnovers.
"We didn't do the small things today and they did," Fanning-Otis said. "You have to have extra effort to beat good teams, and this is a very, very good basketball team we played today. This game should be an eye-opener for us."
Johnson finished with 14 points, while Porter scored 12 points. Ashley Brown had a team-high five rebounds for MSU.
Kelsey Bone posted a double-double for A&M. Bone had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Others in double figures included Karla Gilbert with 12 points, Tyra White with 11 points, Adrienne Pratcher with 11 points and Elonu with 10 points.
MSU hosts Mississippi Valley State at noon Wednesday.