College Station, TX -- The 200th win in Reed Arena was not an easy one to come by Thursday night. In a battle of the maroon and white, Texas A&M narrowly beat Mississippi State 64-58.
Head coach of the Bulldogs and ex-associate head coach of the Aggies, Vic Schaefer, did not get the happy homecoming he wanted Thursday night. Mississippi State was looking for its second straight win versus A&M, but was unsuccessful -- falling to 4-1 in the overall series versus the Aggies by a final score of 64-58.
"It never, hardly ever, works out playing a wounded team. They always rally around the wounded warrior and find a way," said Schaefer.
Despite the missed presence of Texas A&M senior guard Jordan Jones, due to concussion protocol, the Aggies were able to overcome the No. 1 defense in the SEC. Redshirt junior Curtyce Knox started in Jones's place, and regardless of only having finished with four points, she played 29 minutes, committed only one turnover and added five assists.
"I am so proud of how our kids responded," said Aggies head coach Gary Blair. "Give so much credit to Curtyce Knox and Shlonte Allen for rising up and being that 12th Man." "
The score was just 4-3 MSU with 3:25 left in the first quarter when MSU's Dominique Dillingham hit a shot clock buzzer beating three-pointer. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 10-7, MSU.
The Bulldogs' largest lead was 11 with 1:45 left in the second quarter. The score at the half was 32-26 in favor of Mississippi State.
A&M took their first lead since 9:11 in the 1st quarter with 1:14 left in the 3rd. The Bulldogs quickly retook the lead and then with 3 seconds left on the clock, Aggies senior Courtney Williams hit a long two-pointer to take the lead, 48-47, at the end of the 3rd. Williams led the team with 22 points.
The Aggies took their largest lead of the game 55-47 with 7:16 left in the 4th quarter after two free throws from senior All-American Courtney Walker. She had 21 points in the Aggie victory.
It was the seventh straight game that has come down to the final minute of play for the Aggies.
"I think it's a huge win, just showing that we've learned from the first couple of close games that we lost. We've had a long stretch of really close games," said Courtney Walker.
MSU's Morgan William led her team with 18 points.
The Aggies head to Ole Miss for their next game on Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs have a week off before their next game at home versus Kentucky on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.