College Station, TX -- The #16 ranked Texas A&M Aggies faced off against the unranked Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Conference opener on Sunday afternoon. The Aggies earned their fourth straight SEC season opener win with a final score of 73-62.
"It’s an SEC win, you cherish these things," said Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair. The game began with three minutes of play passing by without a basket from either team. Georgia opened the scoring and went on a 9-2 run. UGA led for almost seven and a half minutes. The Aggies caught up quickly and ended the first quarter down only two with a score of 13-11.
Danni Williams provided a spark off the bench for the Aggies, hitting a three to start the second quarter. The Aggies went on a 7-0 run and never looked back. Blair praised his bench players, saying they were the difference in the game. The first half ended in favor of the Aggies, 33-26.
Courtney Walker hit two free throws for the Aggies with 3:33 left to play in the third to extend the lead to 11. Walker surpassed former standout, Lisa Langston, in career points scored with 1,635. Despite a double-double effort from Shacobia Barbee, who received a technical foul in the third quarter, the Bulldogs could no longer keep the game close.
The Bulldogs were down 55-38 at the end of the third quarter. Georgia head coach Joni Taylor commented on the lead her team held in the first quarter that was quickly erased. "I think they were a little confused because we came out in a zone and it’s a zone that’s a little different than what we’ve done in the past. They adjusted to it and then we didn’t."
The Aggies' Courtney Williams left the game early in the fourth quarter due to an apparent leg injury, but was able to return later in the quarter. She also surpassed a former Aggies great, Morenike Atunrase in career points scored with 1,324. The Aggies continued to stretch their lead, the largest deficit coming for the Bulldogs at 18 with 8:22 left in the fourth.
A&M leads the overall series with Georgia, 5-1. The Aggies now head to Fayetteville to face Arkansas and the Bulldogs head home to Athens to face Missouri. Both games will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 7.