BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – (AP) Kayla Wells scored a season-high 25 points to lead No. 18 Texas A&M to an 88-43 rout of Texas Southern on Thursday night.
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair collected his program-best 439th victory with the Aggies, surpassing Shelby Metcalf. Blair is third among active coaches and 12th in Division I with 847 wins. He announced on Oct. 28 his planned retirement at the end of the season.
Wells, Qadashah Hoppie, and Jordan Nixon were a combined 11-of-18 (61%) shooting from 3-point range against Texas Southern (0-5). The Aggies entered leading the nation in shooting from long range at 43.4% and extended their winning streak against non-Power Five opponents to 24.
Hoppie finished with 14 points and Nixon had 12 points and five assists. Aaliyah Patty added 10 points for the Aggies.
Texas A&M opened the game on a 15-5 run and led 27-11 after the first quarter. Alisa Knight’s jumper cut the Texas Southern deficit to 31-20 in the second, but the Aggies closed on a 18-5 run for a 24-point halftime lead.
Shalexxus Aaron scored 16 points to lead Texas Southern.
Texas A&M has a 10-3 advantage including 9-0 at home in the series. It was the first meeting since Dec. 29, 2002.
- Texas A&M improves to 9-1 to start the season. A&M is on a 24-game winning streak against non-power five conference opponents, dating back to last mid-major defeat against Lamar on Nov. 29, 2018.
- Texas A&M is 10-3 against TSU all-time, and this is the first meeting since Dec. 29, 2002.
- The Maroon & White is 9-0 against the Tigers in Aggieland.
- Texas A&M made 61.1% of its 3-pointers, going 11-for-18 while Texas Southern went 6-for-18.
- This is the ninth time this season where the Aggies outperformed their opponents from deep.
- Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Qadashah Hoppie, Jordan Nixon, Kayla Wells, Aaliyah Patty and Sydnee Roby for the second time this season (2-0).
- Texas A&M put up the most points this season in the first quarter (27) and the first half (49).
- The Maroon & White capitalized on 25 turnovers, scoring 40 points off the opportunities while Texas Southern scored five points off the Aggie miscues.
- Texas A&M led the rebounding margin 44-41.
- The Aggies are 9-0 when grabbing more rebounds than their opponent.
- The Aggies held the Tigers to 43 points, the second-fewest allowed points in a contest this season for the team. Four players scored in double figures for A&M for the sixth time this season.
- Kayla Wells led the Aggies, scoring a season-best 25 points while draining all four of her 3-pointers. Wells has scored in double-digits in every game this year. She has now scored 10-or-more points in 75 games throughout her career.
- Wells has now played in 135 games for the Aggies, which is 9 games from breaking Karla Gilbert’s program record of 143.
- Qadashah Hoppie was second on the team in points scored, registering 14 points and going 5-for-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from deep. McKinzie Green registered a career-high four steals while scoring a season-best eight points.
- Jordan Nixon poured in 12 points, going 3-of-6 from 3-point land. Nixon recorded a career-high six rebounds in the effort.
- Sahara Jones led the team off the bench with seven rebounds, also setting a career high in the process.
- Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Fame head coach Gary Blair improves to 847-334 overall with a 439-171 record since arriving in Aggieland in 2003-04. Blair breaks men’s basketball coaching legend Shelby Metcalf’s record for the most basketball victories at Texas A&M, recording his 439th win leading the Maroon & White tonight.
- Gary Blair is 2-1 versus TSU head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, dating back to her days at USC.
Head coach Gary Blair Opening statement…
“I really like what McKinzie (Green) was doing, getting some of those open-court steals. We hadn’t had those in a very long time and that’s the speed that she can bring to the table. Our goal on defense was to keep them under 25%. They hit 30%, they hit some tough shots, I give them credit. They had 14 offensive boards, we have to do better but at the same time, we got 15. I thought my guards rebounded a lot better. We shot them out of the zone then the kids shared the ball against their man to man and we kept hitting. We’re a good three-ball shooting team and I’m pleased with the team, pleased with the crowd that came out and I was really pleased with how all 14 players were ready to play tonight.”
On breaking Shelby Metcalf’s record…
“I felt like back in the day when they had Shelby (Metcalf) and Nolan Richardson and some of the great coaches in the Southwest Conference here, it wasn’t all about X’s and O’s. It was about their personalities coming forward and Shelby had some of the most classic lines you’ve ever heard in your life. You need to realize who Shelby Metcalf was. He was a special guy, and his stories are legendary. I’m proud because it’s here at A&M and I got it done in the first third of my 19th year and I’m proud of that.”
Graduate Guard Kayla Wells on bouncing back and her offensive performance today…
“I knew this game was super important for us bouncing back, and I felt really good to shoot around (before the game). I have been feeling really good in practice and I know that I need to get up a certain amount of shots in order to make an impact with my team so that’s what I did today.”
Junior guard McKinzie Green on the defensive performance …
“I feel like it was an outstanding game for us on the defensive end. We didn’t play our best defensive game against Texas, so we made it a priority to play a lot better defense. We just made it a point to play better game after that game.”
The Aggies hit the road to play TCU at Noon ET on Sunday, Dec. 12.