GAINESVILLE, Fla.- No. 17 Texas A&M finished the regular season with a 83-72 victory over Florida at the O’Connell Center. The Aggies, at 13-3, match their program-best conference record.
Texas A&M (23-7, 13-3 SEC) finishes 13-3 in league play for only the third time in program history, matching the 2006-07 Big 12 Championship and the 2010-11 National Championship teams. Additionally, the Aggies finish the regular season 7-1 on the road in conference for the first time in program history.
Texas A&M jumped out to a 9-2 start, and led for a much of the first half, taking a 35-34 lead into the break. Tori Scott scored 12 points in the first half.
Despite never trailing in the second frame, A&M could not put Florida (18-11, 8-8 SEC) away for much of the second half. The Aggies finally expanded the lead to double digits with 6:49 to play, which was enough to seal the victory, scoring a season-high 83 points in the process.
Four Aggies scored in double figures, including Karla Gilbert who had 23 points and three blocks, moving her into second on A&M’s single season block list and within one of the Texas A&M single season block record.
Jordan Jones had a career-high 14 assists, the fifth-most in a single game in A&M history. Jones has 10+ assists in back-to-back games. She is 26 assists off of the Texas A&M single season record and ranks fourth on that chart currently.
Achiri Ade had a double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Tori Scott also matched a career-high with 19 points, while Courtney Walker had 17 points to reach double figures.
The Aggies return to action on Friday, March 7 for the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament in Duluth, Ga. Game time and opponent are yet to be determined.
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
“It was a great ballgame. On senior day it’s tough to win at anybody’s facilities but I think the difference in the ballgame was we continually held the lead in the first half even when we were not playing our best and we were in a lot of foul trouble. They called it real tight early, Williams for them got two quick fouls and all my guards were in foul trouble but Jordan (Jones) played the whole second half without getting a foul. I thought Tori Scott’s defense on Bonds was tremendous. Bonds is always going to try to score and what you want to do is try to hold her down. She’s a great player, one of the top-10 in our league, first-teamers. ”
On Florida’s play:
“Florida has done a tremendous job all year with their injuries and transfers and everything that has gone wrong. Amanda (Butler) should get a lot of votes for Coach of the Year because I think she’s done a tremendous job. You don’t know how hard it is when basically she loses three starters and she’s doing it with a volleyball player or somebody like that coming off the bench. But give them credit, they’re going to NCAA Tournament, they have eight wins and they’ll do fine if they can get hot and if they can get Bonds and Peoples both hot at the same time.”
Texas A&M Senior Karla Gilbert
On answering Florida’s run into the half:
“I felt like it was very important to stay on top. This is the last game of the regular season so wherever we go from here, this is what we’re building off of. After this game everything is one-and-done so it was important that we stayed ahead and kept stretching it.”