Sunday’s match-up marked the return of TSU head coach Vernette Skeete to her former employer as she served as Texas A&M’s co-Associate Head Coach for the 2021-22 campaign.
TSU led 5-2 to begin the first quarter but they would commit five turnovers over the next few minutes which sparked a 12-0 run as the Aggies led 14-5. Kamryn Bates ended the drought for TSU with back-to-back buckets to draw within 14-9 but A&M answered with a. basket with 1:01 left to claim a 16-9 first quarter lead.
The deficit would increase to 19-9 early in the second quarter but freshman Micah Gray would arrive to the scene with a three-pointer followed by fellow freshman Jaida Belton’s block. A TSU turnover would lead to an Aggie basket and a TSU timeout as they trailed 21-12 with 8:07 remaining.
TSU would come out of the timeout with a jumper from Andriana Avent but Sydnee Roby countered with a basket to keep the Aggies’ lead to nine at 23-19. TSU would force an Aggie turnover and Gray trimmed the lead to 23-17 with a three-pointer. Both teams traded baskets over the next few minutes as another Gray trey saw the Tigers close the gap to 29-25 with 2:51 left. The Aggies scored the next four points to up the lead to 33-24 but Alisa Knight’s trey closed out the scoring for the half as TSU trailed only 33-27.
Gray started the second half off with a jumper as TSU narrowed the deficit to 33-29 with 9:42 left. However, the Aggies went on a 9-0 run as the deficit grew to 42-29. Gray once again put the team on her back as the freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla. scored seven consecutive points as her trey with 4:14 left drew TSU to within 42-36. The teams traded jumpers as the quarter came to a close as TSU was within six at 48-42 entering the final quarter.
The Aggies led by eight to open the fourth quarter but Gray again rose to the occasion with consecutive treys as TSU was within 50-48. Texas A&M countered with a jumper and two free throws to move within six but Avent answered with a putback as TSU trailed 54-50. A&M went on a 7-0 run to up the margin to 61-50 as the closest TSU get from that span was seven on a Belton bucket.
Gray led TSU with 27 points and three rebounds while Avent added 10 points and six rebounds. Belton had eight rebounds and four blocks while Donterria Brown had 11 rebounds.
TSU is back in action on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against Rice inside the H&PE Arena.