No. 5 Texas A&M 74, Iowa 58
Sydney Carter got Texas A&M off and running with a 17-point
first half and then shifted gears in the second half to get her
teammates more involved.
The fifth-ranked Aggies rolled to victory behind their senior
guard, beating Iowa 74-58 Saturday to win the Lucaya Division crown
of the Junkanoo Jam.
Carter finished with 21 points, hitting 6 of 16 shots from the
field and 9 of 10 from the foul line. Carter added four steals and
four assists in earning the MVP honors.
Adaora Elonu added 13 points for Texas A&M (6-0) and Kelsey
Bone scored 12 points, 10 in the second half.
The defending national champion Aggies enter a challenging
stretch with a game against No. 15 Purdue on Dec. 4, followed by a
visit to No. 2 Connecticut on Dec. 6. Iowa (4-2) hosts Virginia
Tech on Wednesday.
Texas A&M forced 25 turnovers, while only turning the ball
over 13 times.
”When we play teams who have never played us, or are not in our
league, the press seems to bother them more, because not a lot of
teams want to be pressed,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.
”Usually the best way to beat a pressing team is to press us back.
Nobody does it. Connecticut will. What a road trip that’s going to
Carter’s 17-point first-half effort enabled Texas A&M to
take a 36-27 lead into the break. The 5-foot-6 senior used her
quickness to slice through the Hawkeyes’ defense, either cashing in
on transition drives or picking up points at the stripe, where she
was 7 of 8 in the first 20 minutes.
”I was just attacking the basket,” Carter said. ”I noticed
that they were kind of closing out and they were already playing me
for the shot. I was just making sure I was doing a good job of
attacking the basket. If they took that away, then I was going to
dish to my teammates.”
Led by Carter, Texas A&M turned up the defensive heat to
open the second half and hit the Hawkeyes with a 10-2 run to forge
a 48-32 lead with 15:26 left in the game. The Aggies were up 55-34
with 13:30 left in the game after Elonu hit a driving layup as she
was fouled and converted the 3-point play.
Up to that point, the Hawkeyes were 3 of 8 with seven turnovers
in their first 15 possessions of the second half, getting outscored
19-7 during that stretch.
”That’s a part of me maturing and being the veteran that I
am,” Carter said of taking the focus off of her scoring and
setting up her teammates. ”It’s important to get my teammates
involved. Me having a good first half really opened it up for my
teammates in the second half. I’m not a selfish player at all.
Getting my teammates involved is really what we need. We have a
balanced team and everybody can score.”
Blair said that Carter’s intensity has powered the Aggies.
”I asked my team, what happens when Carter goes?” he said.
”Who is ready to take on that burden. She makes the rest of us,
because Tyra (White) was really nonexistent in the whole
tournament, and she’s pre-season All-American, Wooden Award nominee
. but all of the sudden, it’s Carter.
”Carter is not waiting for things to happen, she’s making
things happen, against the zone or the man, the smallest kid on the
court is going to throw her body in there. She also has to guard
the other team’s best player.”
Samantha Logic led Iowa with 16 points and nine rebounds,
including five offensive boards, and Jaime Printy added 14
”I thought the first five minutes of the game, we handled their
pressure pretty good,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. ”I think we
lost the game in the first four minutes of the second half. You
just can’t let them get on rolls and get those easy buckets like
”I thought Sam Logic competed out there. She looked like she
belonged. She wanted it, and I like that mentality out of a
freshman. She just hustles. She never stops. You love a kid who’s
diving for loose balls and trying to create situations and not
backing down as a freshman. She’s going against a couple
all-Americans, Carter and Bone, and she’s in there battling