SEC WOMEN:

A&M runs away from UA

By: ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Published: Friday, February 28, 2014
Texas A&M's Jordan Jones drives past Arkansas' Keira Peak on Thursday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
Photo by Texas A&M Athletics
Texas A&M's Jordan Jones drives past Arkansas' Keira Peak on Thursday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M’s women’s team made sure its coach could enjoy his trip back to Arkansas.

The No. 17 Aggies took control early Thursday night as they scored the first 13 points of the game on their way to a 77-54 victory over Arkansas in front of an announced crowd of 6,631 at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.

Jordan Jones led Texas A&M (22-7, 12-3 SEC) with a game-high 19 points to go along with her 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

“This team goes as Jordan Jones goes,” said Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair, who spent 10 years as Arkansas’ women’s coach and will be inducted tonight into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in Little Rock. “She’s your leader, she’s your captain, and she has to be your catalyst.”

Courtney Williams added 18 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists for the Aggies, while Courtney Walker finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as Texas A&M shot 59 percent from the floor.

Texas A&M dominated inside, outscoring Arkansas 30-18 in the paint and outrebounding the Razorbacks 43-35.

“They were very relaxed at the beginning of the game and very methodical in getting open shots,” said Arkansas Coach Tom Collen, a former assistant to Blair. “It seemed like in the first eight to 10 minutes of the game they knocked down every shot they took.”

Junior Jhasmin Bowen led Arkansas with 11 points and six rebounds and junior Calli Berna finished with10 points, but the Razorbacks shot just 25 percent (16 of 64) from the field for the game, including 4 of 20 (20 percent) from beyond the three-point line.

Jessica Jackson went into the game as Arkansas’ leading scorer, averaging 16.6 points a game, but she was held to nine points. Senior Keira Peak, the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.9 points, finished with six.

Arkansas (18-10, 5-10) trailed 43-32 at halftime after giving up the most points it has allowed in a half this season. The Razorbacks missed their first six shots before Berna made Arkansas’ first field goal, a three-pointer at the 16:14 mark that cut Texas A&M’s lead to 13-3.

Arkansas made five of its next six shots from the field to pull to within 19-11, but Texas A&M’s offense didn’t slow down as the Aggies built a 28-15 lead with 9:13 left in the first half.

The Razorbacks made just 9 of 34 field goals (26.5 percent) in the first half, and things didn’t get any better in the second half as they made only 7 of 30 shots (23.3 percent).

Freshman McKenzie Adams scored on a layup to pull Arkansas to within 49-38 with 16:10 left, but Texas A&M responded with a 12-0 run to build a 61-38 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Arkansas never cut the lead to fewer than 17 points after that.

“We are obviously disappointed with the way we played,” Collen said. “I don’t think we gave A&M a very good game, and that’s the most frustrating thing for me.”THURSDAY’S GAMES Texas A&M 77, Arkansas 54 Auburn 70, Alabama 65, 2OT South Carolina 67, Georgia 56 Florida 73, Vanderbilt 68 Kentucky 81, Mississippi State 74 Missouri 75, Mississippi 72 Tennessee 72, LSU 67

Sports, Pages 19 on 02/28/2014

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