Lady Trojans taken down by A&M
The Lady Trojans lost 83-54 to the No. 6-ranked Aggies of Texas A&M on Thursday night at the Jack Stephens Center.
“You are always disappointed when you get beat,” head coach Joe Foley said. “It’s one of those situations where we were looking for some things, like if we could execute and get some good shots.”
Freshman Taylor Gault bested her career-high of 20 points against SMU with a 23-point effort to lead all scorers. Gault came out firing early, hitting a three-pointer from the corner for UALR’s first basket of the game. She went on to have eight of the Trojan’s first 11 points.
With 14:47 to go in the first half UALR was up 11-10 but the next eight minutes would prove to be a struggle as the Aggies put together a 19-4 run and led 29-15 with 6:19 left in the first half. The Aggies unleashed a fierce press and in a span of five possessions, the Trojans surrendered four turnovers. The Aggies had 19 points off 12 first-half turnovers for UALR.
During the Aggie’s run the Trojans missed several point-blank looks at the rim that should’ve fallen.
“I thought we started the game and did a very good job of getting looks,” Foley said. “The momentum killer was when we missed some shots inside.”
With 14 free-throw attempts in the first half, the Aggies had twice as many attempts as UALR. Aggie Sydney Carter went 6-6 from the line as she found a way to knife through the defense and locate the open shooter or draw the foul.
The Aggies led 45-23 at half and continued to exploit UALR in the paint in the second half, finishing with 38 points in the paint for the game
The Trojans opened the second half with a short 5-0 run but the Aggies quickly went on a 15-6 run to stretch the lead to 26 as they led 60-34 with 12:50 remaining in the game.
The Trojans held their own on the defensive boards with each team grabbing 20 for the game, but they were doubled-up in the offensive rebound category as A&M managed 22 to UALR’s 11. The Aggies 24-7 margin in second-chance points for the game was a hard stat to overcome.
Gault finished 8-of-17 from the floor and 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Junior forward Janette Merriex finished with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 from the three-point line.
Foley said he liked the effort he saw out of his team and was proud of the fact they never gave in and kept playing.
“I’ve always said experience is the best teacher,” he said, “and they’re getting a heck of an experience.”
The team’s next three games are on the road as they take on Louisiana Tech, Rice and Missouri State, before they return home to play Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Dec. 3, at the Jack Stephens Center.