Baylor's Danielle Wilson goes up to block the shot of Texas A&M's Danielle Gant in the second half. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jan. 13, 2007
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -Texas A&M coach Gary Blair hopes Saturday's win over ninth-ranked Baylor is just the beginning of big things to come for the Aggies.
Takia Starks had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 19 Texas A&M beat ninth-ranked Baylor 60-52 Saturday for the Aggies' first win over a Top-10 team in six seasons.
The Aggies (12-3, 2-1 Big 12) came in 0-26 against ranked opponents in Blair's four seasons.
"Sure, beating Baylor meant something to me," Blair said. "We just beat the defending national champion from two years ago. That's pretty special.
"But we're trying to build, just like Baylor did. And we've still got a long way to go."
Morenike Atunrase scored 13 and A'Quonesia Franklin sank three 3-pointers and added 12 for the Aggies (12-3, 2-1 Big 12), who overcame 32 percent shooting and 19 turnovers to snap a 13-game losing streak in the series.
The players seemed giddier than their coach about the significance of the victory.
"This is a confidence-builder here," said La Toya Micheaux, who had 10 points and seven rebounds. "We came in having the mentality that, 'We can do this. It's ours.'
"And now we have the confidence to know we can take it to the top."
The Aggies beat a ranked team for the first time this season and defeated a Top-10 opponent for the first time since an 88-71 win over then-No. 5 Iowa State in January 2002.
Bernice Mosby had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Baylor (15-3, 2-2).
A&M outrebounded the Bears 48-35, the third time in four games Baylor lost the rebounding battle.
The Bears never solved A&M's league-leading scoring defense, either, shooting 35 percent (17-of-49). A&M also leads the Big 12 in 3-point defense, and limited Baylor to 0-for-3 from behind the line in the second half and 2-for-7 for the game.
The Bears opened the game with a 17-5 spurt as the Aggies missed 14 of their first 16 shots, many of them uncontested. A&M also coughed up four turnovers in the first 8 minutes.
After a time out, the Aggies mounted a quick 7-0 burst, finished by Starks' steal and pull-up jumper with 9:55 left in the first half.
Mosby and Rachel Allison scored inside to stretch Baylor's lead back to nine, but then the Aggies' defense took control, holding the Bears without a field goal for 8 minutes.
"That's two games in a row where we come out on fire and then the wheels come off," Mulkey said.
Franklin finished a fast break with a layup and sank a 3-pointer, and Katy Pound added a turnaround with 2:13 left in the half to give A&M its first lead at 26-24.
Baylor lost four turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the second half and A&M built a five-point lead.
But the Aggies went cold again, going 5 minutes without a field goal, and Jhasmin Player's free throws with 10:27 left tied the game at 42-all.
Franklin ended the A&M drought with her third 3-pointer and triggered a decisive 7-0 spurt.
Mosby hit two free throws with 8:23 to go, but Atunrase sank a 3-pointer with 5:05 left to put A&M up 52-44.
The Bears went 9 minutes without a field goal and got beaten up along the way.
Danielle Wilson bloodied her nose going for a rebound and Latara Darrett twisted her right ankle with 4:01 left. Darrett, Baylor's top 3-point shooter, spent the rest of the game on the bench with an ice pack on her ankle.
Wilson hit a jumper from the wing with 3:44 left to cut A&M's lead to 54-47, but the Bears got no closer than five after that.
The Aggies improved to 9-0 this season at Reed Arena.