College Station, TX (U-WIRE) -- Two phases of basketball have continually bitten the Texas A&M women's basketball team this season: a lack of height and a lack of experience. The shortage of those two phases was evident Wednesday night, as the Aggies dropped a 69-57 contest to No. 11 Texas.
The Longhorns (20-7, 13-3 Big 12) swept the season series for the third consecutive year. The Aggies (14-13, 4-12 Big 12) were nothing but a speed bump in the road to a hot Longhorn team that is now the winner of seven consecutive games.
"We knew we had to come in and win this game, and we came in and got it done," said Texas head coach Jody Conradt. "I thought our team played well tonight. I thought everyone gave great effort, and we did what we had to do to win. It was a game of runs."
The biggest run was the Longhorns' 7-0 run to close the first half. After A&M freshman A'Quonesia Franklin's lay up cut the Texas lead to 31-27, the Longhorns scored the next seven points, capped by a three-pointer by Texas senior Jamie Carey with five seconds left in the half.
"That was vintage Jamie Carey," Conradt said. "You hope she's not forced out that far to shoot it, but Jamie had excellent execution on the play. Jamie got the look, and it was not uncontested. It was deep."
Texas picked up right where it left off in the first three minutes of the second half. It established a strong inside game behind stellar play from posts, sophomore Tiffany Jackson and senior Annissa Hastings. Jackson connected on two lay ups, and after a Kala Bowers' lay up, the Longhorns led 45-27 with 16:55 left.
Hastings scored a career-high 19 points, while Jackson added 14. Hastings came in averaging only five points per game.
"We really weren't prepared for (Hastings) and her inside game," said A&M junior Tamea Scales. "Annissa played an outstanding game. Their inside game tonight is more than we expected."
The Aggies recovered from a slow start to fight back into the game. Down 13-4, Blair gathered his players together a few feet from half court and challenged them to come back.
The Aggies responded and cut the score to 23-17 on a lay up from Atunrase. The Longhorns continually answered A&M's best runs with clutch three-pointers and easy baskets in the paint.
"No one is ever to going to empty their bench against us," Blair said. "It's a tribute to our players."
Conradt agreed that A&M is a team that never quits.
"They won't go away," Conradt said. "That's been characteristic of how A&M plays when we come to College Station. This team has really improved. They're much better than when we played them in Austin."
(C) 2004 The Battalion via U-WIRE
Texas sophomore Tiffany Jackson steals the ball from A&M junior Tamea Scales during Wednesday´s game at Reed Arena. Jackson finished with 14 points in the 69-57 win.