COLLEGE STATION- Karla Gilbert posted her second straight double double, as No. 23 Texas A&M defeated Washington 74-68 at Reed Arena.
The night was special for Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair, who had a banner raised to the rafters honoring his enshrinement to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.
“I wish I could have accepted [the banner] with about 25 assistant coaches who have worked with me throughout the years, and all my players,” said Blair. “You’re only as good as the staff and the players and the fans who have supported me in all 5 programs”
“We’re going to take it as a W, and we’re going to get better,” said Blair. “This basketball team is going to get there.”
Gilbert scored 11 points with a career-high 15 rebounds, to earn her second straight double double, and her third career double double. She was joined in double figures by Courtney Williams, who led the Aggies with 13 points, and Courtney Walker, who reached double figures for the seventh straight game with 10 points.
Jordan Jones, despite not reaching double digits in any one stat, very nearly had a triple double, earning eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists, to go along with four steals. All told, seven A&M players had eight-or-more points, including all eight starting players.
Washington (2-3) jumped out to an early lead, leading the Aggies 17-10 with 9:56 left in the first half. A&M immediately responded with an 11-0 run, and outscored Washington 20-4 over the next eight minutes. Walker hit two 3-pointers in the last 1:02 of the half to give A&M a 36-28 lead going into the break.
Texas A&M (6-2) continued its momentum after the half, scoring the first 11 points of the second half to take a 19-point lead, and did not trail the remainder of the game.
However, Washington was able to pull close, cutting the lead to three with 9:10 remaining. Williams answered by hitting a 3-pointer, grabbing a defensive rebound on the other end, and draining another 3-pointer to extend the lead to 61-52 with 8:02 to play.
The Huskies had another run in them, pulling to within four at 66-62 with 3:36 to play, and again Williams answered, hitting a layup to extend the Aggie lead to six, and Washington never got any closer.
The win keeps A&M perfect at home, and is the 63rd straight non-conference home win against an unranked opponent for the Aggies. A&M is 23-1 against unranked opponents at home since the start of 2011-12.
The Aggies travel to State College, Pa. to face No. 10 Penn State on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. Texas A&M returns home on Dec. 17 to host Nicholls State with a special tip time of 11 a.m.