Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Aggies best Arkansas in Blair's return
“It’s a grind in the SEC,” Arkansas women’s Coach Tom Collen (right, shown with Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair) said Monday at the Downtown Tip-Off Club.
FAYETTEVILLE Nearly a decade removed from roaming its sidelines, Gary Blair proved Sunday he still knows how to win in Bud Walton Arena.
Blair led No. 24 Texas A&M to a 63-51 win over the No. 23 Razorbacks in his first game back in Fayetteville, improving to 2-0 against his former team and former assistant, Tom Collen.
The Aggies (12-5, 2-0) won their first road Southeastern Conference game in their inaugural season in the league. Arkansas fell to 12-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Texas A&M opened the game with an 18-4 run and never trailed. Arkansas hit only 25 percent of its field goal attempts in the opening half and trailed 30-17 at the intermission.
The Razorbacks used a 9-0 run to pull within 43-37 on a Sarah Watkins jumper with 8:37 remaining, but got no closer.
Texas A&M responded with an 11-0 run, quickly increasing its lead to 17 points. The Aggies held the Razorbacks without a made field goal for nearly four minutes during the stretch and Arkansas never got within single-digits again.
Watkins led the Razorbacks with a game-high 19 points and Keira Peak added 11. Courtney Williams led Texas A&M with 16 points, and Kelsey Bone added a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Texas A&M overcame 24 turnovers in the win. The game was a rematch of second round matchup in the NCAA Tournament last season, a 61-59 Aggies win.
Arkansas returns to the court Thursday with a home game against LSU.