No. 4 Texas A&M women beat SMU 70-62
DALLAS (AP) — Gary Blair promised Texas A&M would get better, and his team is undefeated.
Courtney Williams scored 21 points, Jordan Jones had 16 and No. 4 Aggies beat SMU 70-62 on Tuesday night. But they shot 38.5 percent from the field and were outrebounded by the Mustangs 49-42 in an uneven performance.
“We might be the most overrated No. 4 team in the nation,” Blair said. “But we’re going to go back to work, and we will get it right.”
Jones also had eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals as the Aggies joined No. 16 Georgia as the only Division I women’s teams with a 10-0 record.
Destynee Hives-McCray scored 15 points for SMU (4-5). Alicia Froling had 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, and twin sister Keely Froling added 12 points and a season-high 13 boards.
The Aggies managed to hold on after they had a 15-point lead trimmed to six with 1:20 left.
Jones hit her first three 3-point shots and scored A&M’s first 10 points. SMU frustrated the Aggies’ inside players and forced Blair to go to “small ball.”
“We just did what they wanted us to do, which was force the outside shot,” said Jones, who is from the Dallas suburb of DeSoto. “Once we started penetrating, then we were more efficient in scoring.”
Gabrielle Wilkins, the Mustangs’ leading scorer coming into the night at 11 points per game, was limited to five on 1-for-9 shooting. Wilkins missed her first six field-goal attempts.
Texas A&M’s leading scorer coming into the day also struggled. Courtney Walker, who was averaging 16.8 points, was 3-for-12 from the floor and scored nine points.
“She’s carried us. She’s due to have an off night,” Blair said. “She not due to have an off night defensively at the same time, which she had.”
The Aggies led 33-26 at the break. SMU opened the second half by committing three turnovers in the first three minutes.
“We were tight the second half - tight and shaky,” Mustangs coach Rhonda Rompola said. “When the going gets tough, we can’t panic. We can’t rush ourselves, and I think we tend to rush ourselves too much.
“We can play with the big dogs, but you don’t want to just play with the big dogs. We want to have an opportunity to come up with some wins.”
SMU: The Mustangs committed 20 turnovers resulting in 18 Texas A&M points. ... SMU’s roster features five freshmen and seven active players who weren’t on the team last season.
Texas A&M: The Aggies swept two road games against former Southwest Conference opponents, starting Sunday at TCU. ... A&M went into the game leading the nation in 3-point defense at 19.5 percent. SMU hit three of its first four from long range, but finished at 4 for 15 for 26.7 percent.
Texas A&M hosts Houston on Saturday.
SMU faces Indiana State in the opening round of the St. John’s Classic on Dec. 20.
SMU’s Froling sisters are freshmen from Australia. “They’re going to get better and better,” Rompola said. “This is a totally different type of basketball than they’re used to playing. Honestly, it may take them a year or two to really get where they could be playing this game.”
The typically talkative Blair was somewhat subdued on the bench by a case of laryngitis. “I could call more plays for me,” Jones said.