After a win against Alabama on Thursday night, the Texas A&M Aggies looked to add to their 9-game win streak, and post-season resume, with a home win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. Beating the Gamecocks would have also seen the Aggies jump their opponents in the SEC regular-season standings to 1st place and cement a top 4 seed for the SEC Tournament.
The opening quarter was a back and forth game between the Aggies and Gamecocks. The Gamecocks were 7-for-15 on the field, while the Aggies were 8-for-16. The Aggies came out shooting first, but after going on a 2-0 scoring run, Aaliyah Boston led the Gamecocks to an early lead. However, that 2-point lead did not last for long.
Once an offensive foul sent Boston to the bench, the Aggies used that to their advantage and never looked back. Their largest lead of the quarter came at the 3:19 mark after a three point jumper by Ciera Johnson put the Aggies up 11-6 on the Gamecocks. The quarter ended with a buzzer-beater jumper by Aaliyah Wilson. The Aggies finished the first on top 17-14.
The Aggies came out red hot to start the second. Destiny Pitts hit a three-pointer 2-minutes into the quarter to give her team a 7-point lead. On the next drive, a layup by N’Dea Jones off of an assist from Wilson extended the Aggies lead to 9, with 7:43 remaining. The Gamecocks answered with a 6-0 scoring run. They took a 1-point lead with a little under 3-minutes to go, but the Aggies took the lead back and went into halftime in front by a score of 35-34.
Again, the Aggies dominated the opening proceedings of the third-quarter. They mustered another run as they scored 10-unanswered-points to push away from the Gamecocks. As a result, The Gamecocks were kept quiet for over 7-minutes before Zia Cooke scored their 1st point of the third quarter from the free-throw line. The Aggies saw their largest lead of the game at the 1:27 mark after a three-pointer by Jordan Nixon gave them a 15-point lead over the Gamecocks.
Unlike the previous 2 quarters, the Aggies started to let their foot off the gas at the beginning of the fourth. Their defense allowed a 9-0 run for the Gamecocks after holding them to only 8- points in the third quarter. Boston was able to cut her team’s deficit to within 5, with 5:30 left. Another basket from downtown by Boston bought the Gamecocks within 3-points with exactly 3-minutes on the clock. The Aggies were ahead 60-57.
However, the Gamecocks never got any closer to that. They missed 8 of their last 9 shots, and the game ended with a score of 65-57. With this win, the Aggies were crowned regular-season SEC Champions. This was their first time holding that title in franchise history.
With the Aggies and Gamecocks finishing the regular season in 1st and 2nd place, respectively, this game provided a look into what a potential second-round meeting at the SEC Tournament could look like between both teams.