TUSCALOOSA, Ala (AP) — Texas A&M took care of business, making sure to not overlook Alabama ahead of the big regular season finale against South Carolina.
“Our kids accepted the challenge that was given to them because we had to win tonight to make Sunday’s game meaningful,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.
Jordan Nixon and Kayla Wells each scored 16 points and No. 3 Texas A&M won its ninth straight game, beating Alabama 73-67 on Thursday night.
Nixon and Wells combined to contribute 10 points during a 19-3 run for the Aggies to close the second quarter which essentially put the game out of reach for the Crimson Tide.
“We knew that it was a game of runs, and we knew that we need to pick it up a little bit more,” Wells said. “We stressed it in a timeout. We had to get it together and get some stops.”
After Texas A&M (21-1, 12-1 Southeastern Conference) led for most of the first quarter, Alabama used a 10-0 run to take a 26-23 lead in the second quarter. The Aggies then used that big run to end the half taking a 42-29 lead into halftime.
Alabama (15-7, 8-7) showed fight in the fourth quarter, after trailing by as many as 21 in the second half. The Tide opened the fourth on a 16-4 run and cut the deficit to 70-65 with Jordan Lewis’ 3-pointer with 1:25 left.
However, in the end, the deficit was too large for the Crimson Tide to overcome as the Aggies held on for the win.
Alabama Coach Kristy Curry said she knew the leadership of her team would push to make a run at the end.
“We had a lot a lot of yuckiness tonight, but our kids continued to respond with great energy,” Curry said. “And that was a heck of a comeback we just fell short.”
Texas A&M senior leader N’dea Jones, who had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, ended the initial Alabama fourth-quarter run with a layup.
Lewis led Alabama in scoring, finishing with 21 points, five assists, and four steals. Jasmine Walker had a double-double for Alabama with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Texas A&M: The Aggies were able to seal the game down the stretch at the free throw line, finishing the night 11—for-12.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide came into the game as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the SEC, but only went 4-for-15 from behind the arc in the first half which contributed to the large deficit.
Texas A&M plays for the regular season SEC title when they host No. 5 South Carolina.
Alabama closes out the regular season at No. 16 Arkansas on Sunday.