COLLEGE STATION, Tex. – No. 11 Mississippi State had the answers defensively for No. 13 Texas A&M for one half of a women’s basketball game Thursday night.
However, the Aggies rallied in the second half and pulled out a tough 64-58 win in the Top 15 showdown at Reed Arena.
Texas A&M improved to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in league play, while MSU saw a four-game losing streak snapped and fell to 21-5 and 8-4. The Bulldogs still kept sole possession of second place in the conference standings.
MSU led by as many as 11 twice in the first half, but Texas A&M scored the final five points of the half to trail 32-26 before grabbing the lead in the closing minute of the third quarter.
“We are disappointed but it was a heck of a game,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I love my team and I love how competitive we are. We are still a young, immature team at times. The end of the first half showed our youth and inexperience.
“We have a chance to lead by 11 or 12 at the half. We take a shot too early and then we are up only six at the half. I am really proud at how hard we competed. We faced two of the best guards in the nation.”
Morgan William led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Victoria Vivians added 13 points and Dominique Dillingham added 11 points. Chinwe Okorie had a team-high seven rebounds.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter, but Vivians hit a 3-pointer as the quarter expired to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead.
In the second quarter, two free throws by William ran the lead to 17-11. Another trey by William pushed the lead to 24-15 with 4:28 left in the half.
Back-to-back baskets by Breanna Richardson ran the lead to 30-19 with 1:45 left in the half before Texas A&M came within 32-26 at the break.
“We just didn’t cash in on enough of our offensive opportunities,” William said. “We made too many mistakes to win a game like that.”
Texas A&M continued its run with four straight points to start the second half. A 3-pointer by Vivians provided an answer and the Bulldogs led 39-32. The Aggies closed within one twice before finally taking the lead with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
Texas A&M followed with the first seven points of the fourth quarter and MSU was unable to recover.
For the contest, MSU hit 19 of 61 shots from the field (31.1 percent), 5 of 15 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 15 of 19 shots from the foul line (78.9 percent). Texas A&M hit 26 of 60 shots from the field (43.3 percent), 2 of 5 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 10 of 14 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent).
MSU held a 42-39 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 11 assists and 17 turnovers, while the Aggies had 11 assists and 15 turnovers.
Texas A&M received 22 points from Courtney Williams and 21 points from Courtney Walker.
MSU will not play this weekend but returns to the Humphrey Coliseum for a Thursday matchup with No. 18. The next-to-last home game of the regular season will tip at 6 p.m. and be shown nationally on the SEC Network.
Thursday’s Top 25 contest will be MSU’s annual “Think Pink” game, with the first 500 fans receiving free “Think Pink” T-shirts from OCH.
(From MSU Media Relations)