GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

Texas A&M 77, Louisiana State 58


By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Texas A&M coach Gary Blair expected a letdown when his second-ranked Aggies opened the SEC Tournament after clinching their first regular-season league title this past Sunday.

He also expected his deep, talented group to play their way out of it.

Kayla Wells had 16 points while Alexis Morris added 13 off the bench as Texas A&M pulled away to defeat LSU 77-58.

It was the first game since the Aggies (23-1) beat No. 7 South Carolina 66-57 and cut down the nets in celebration of the title. He knew it'd be a bumpy start against LSU.

"We expected a letdown," Blair said. "But we did not panic."

Instead, Blair called on his bench, particularly Rutgers transfer Morris to gain a working margin and advance to the tournament semifinals for the fourth time in the past five years. They'll play either No. 16 Georgia or No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday.

Facing LSU (9-13) to start tournament play had to be a scary prospect for Texas A&M. Its only loss this season came to the Tigers 65-61 in overtime in January. LSU also limited the Aggies to their lowest point total of the season despite losing 54-41 in the rematch last month.

"It took us a little while to get going," Aggies forward Ciera Johnson said. "Then we did what we needed to do."

That happened right before halftime as Wells and Morris jump-started the offense to put away the Tigers.

Leading 24-22 with 1:54 left in the second quarter, Wells and Morris had four points apiece for a 32-26 Aggies edge at the break.

Wells and Morris were at it again in the third period. Wells had five points and Morris seven as the Aggies pushed the margin to 49-38.

The 5-foot-6 Morris was a big reason why and Johnson said her teammate brought energy to the lineup at a critical time. "That's what she does," Johnson said. "So we needed every one of her points today. We definitely needed that boost off the bench."

LSU could not respond and failed to advance past the quarterfinals for the sixth straight season.

"I thought our defense really failed us today," LSU coach Nikki Fargas said.

Khayla Pointer had 26 points to lead the Tigers.

LSU's defense gave Texas A&M fits for much of the first two quarters. The Aggies had a 1-of-10 stretch shooting and looked out of rhythm.

The Aggies relied on aggressive defense and offense to do damage to LSU. They limited the Tigers to just 10-of-36 shooting (28%) the first 20 minutes and successfully got the line when their shots wouldn't fall, making 9 of 10 free throws.

Morris had an impact for Texas A&M as leading scorer Aaliyah Wilson finished with just two points. Wilson had a career-high 15 rebounds, though.

Johnson, Jordan Nixon and N'dea Jones had 12 points each for the Aggies.

March 5, 2021


LSU
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
A. Trasi F 17 0-3 0-0 0-1 2-4 0 0 1 0 3 0
F. Aifuwa C 32 3-9 4-5 0-0 2-8 0 1 0 3 3 10
K. Pointer G 38 6-21 10-12 4-7 1-6 4 0 4 5 3 26
R. Spencer G 29 4-9 0-0 2-4 1-3 0 1 1 2 3 10
T. Young G 23 2-7 0-0 1-1 2-5 2 0 2 1 1 5
R. Payne 18 1-7 0-0 1-2 1-3 2 0 0 2 3 3
K. Seay 14 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 1 0 0
S. Shematsi 14 1-4 0-0 0-3 1-1 0 0 0 1 3 2
J. Cherry 7 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0 1 0
A. Petty 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Thompson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Ayres 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Lombard 1 1-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2
E. Ward 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   200 18-64
(.281)
14-17
(.824)
8-19
(.421)
13-34 9 2 9 15 20 58


Texas A&M
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
N. Jones F 35 5-8 1-1 1-1 4-9 1 1 1 0 3 12
C. Johnson C 28 4-9 4-6 0-0 2-6 2 0 3 2 4 12
A. Wilson G 35 1-5 0-0 0-0 5-15 2 2 1 4 1 2
J. Nixon G 33 5-13 2-2 0-4 0-0 1 1 2 5 4 12
K. Wells G 30 4-9 7-12 1-3 0-6 1 0 1 2 3 16
D. Pitts 16 1-3 0-0 1-3 0-2 0 0 0 0 1 3
A. Morris 8 5-6 3-4 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 2 1 13
Z. Green 7 2-2 0-0 1-1 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 5
M. Green 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 1 0 0
K. Green 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 1 1 2
M. Johnson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Jones 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Dreimane 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   202 28-56
(.500)
17-25
(.680)
4-12
(.333)
12-44 10 4 8 17 18 77



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