No. 12 Texas A&amp,M 65, Missouri 55

Danielle Adams was supposed to play for Missouri.

Instead she led Texas A&M to a win over the Tigers on

Wednesday night.

Adams and Tanisha Smith, who are both from Kansas City, scored

19 points each and No. 12 Texas A&M got a 65-55 victory over

Missouri.

The win ended a two-game skid for the Aggies and was their sixth

straight win over Missouri.

Adams signed with Missouri out of high school but did not

qualify academically and played at a junior college before coming

to A&M.

“There was a lot of emotion there for me, knowing (Missouri)

coach (Cindy) Stein for so long and now playing against them was

emotional,” Adams said.

The Tigers (11-10, 1-7 Big 12) never led in the second half, but

got within one point several times.

The last time Missouri had a chance to take the lead, Texas

A&M (16-4, 4-3) scored 10 straight points, including four in a

row by Tyra White to extend the lead to 61-50 with a minute

remaining.

The Aggies made four free throws after that to secure the

win.

Stein talked to Adams for a few minutes after the game. She said

her former recruit has improved greatly since high school.

“I think she’s playing extremely well,” Stein said. “She

plays smart. She’s playing defense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen

her play defense before.”

Jessra Johnson had 15 points for the Tigers who have dropped

three in a row.

Smith had seven steals and White added eight points and had six

rebounds for A&M.

Adams had to sit for large portions of the game after getting

two quick fouls in the first half and getting her fourth with about

13 1/2 minutes left. She returned for the last 6 minutes of the

game in her first meeting against Missouri.

“When we were running our stuff when we had Danielle in we were

as good offensively as we have been all year,” Texas A&M coach

Gary Blair said.

A little excitement came when the 6-foot Smith tried a dunk on a

fast break with about 30 seconds remaining. She sailed toward the

basket and grabbed the rim, but the ball slipped out of her hand

before she could put it in.

Smith, who said she has been able to dunk for about two years,

was also excited to play her hometown team.

“I think there was a lot of emotion for all the Kansas City

kids,” she said of herself, Adams and White. “We all three were

recruited to Missouri and not to (criticize) our home state, but I

think we made a good choice by coming here. It’s our style of play

out here. We get after it.”

The Aggies led by seven before Missouri scored six straight

points to cut the lead to 43-42 with 12 minutes remaining. Texas

A&M answered with five straight points by Kelsey Assarian to

push the lead to 48-42 midway through the half.

Stein said it was hard to keep getting so close, only to see

A&M pull away repeatedly.

“Their defense makes it tough,” she said. “Nothing is easy.

The one thing I love about our team is our kids are really

competitive and they’re fighting and scrapping and we’re trying to

get one. Every one is hard but we’re going to show up every game

and do the best we can.”

Texas A&M went on a 5-0 run, all on points by Adams, to open

the second half and push its lead to 33-27.

Adams scored 10 of Texas A&M’s first 12 points but got her

second foul soon after and went to the bench with about 13 minutes

left in the first half and didn’t return until after halftime.

The Aggies led by five for most of the first half and were up by

that margin after a layup by Tanisha Smith with 1 1/2 left in the

first half. The Tigers scored four straight points after that to

trail 28-27 at halftime.

Christine Flores added 11 points for Missouri.

Texas A&M was without starting point guard Sydney Colson who

is out with a left leg injury. Blair said he isn’t sure how long

she’ll be out, but that she could play Saturday at Nebraska.