BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M women's basketball team raced out to a 30-point lead in the second quarter and coasted to a 74-55 win over the North Texas Mean Green Sunday afternoon inside Reed Arena.
Texas A&M (2-0) had four players register double digits in the scoring column and two players grabbed 10-plus rebounds as the Aggies started 2-0 for the fourth-consecutive season.
After logging just two points in the opening game win against A&M-Corpus Christi, Barker registered a game-high 18 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Aicha Coulibaly recorded her first double-double of the season and the 10th of her career with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with two assists and two steals.
The Aggies also got strong contributions from Sahara Jones, Endyia Rogers and Lauren Ware. Jones had 10 points and five rebounds. Rogers notched 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Ware led the Aggies with 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and she added eight points.
Texas A&M owned a 16-3 edge in steals for the game. Kay Kay Green suffocated the Mean Green (2-1) offense with a career-high five steals in just 11 minutes on the court.
Following a game-opening bucket by North Texas, Coulibaly hit a 3-point field goal to give the Aggies a 3-2 edge 90 seconds into the first quarter and the Maroon & White never looked back.
Ol' Sarge's charges closed out the first stanza on a 12-2 run to take a 29-13 lead into the first intermission. It was the highest first quarter scoring output for the Aggies since Dec. 12, 2021 - a 32-point outburst against TCU. Barker highlighted the opening act with 12 points, on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, five rebounds and two steals.
The Aggies tenacious defense limited North Texas to three field goals in the second quarter and the Maroon & White stretched the advantage to 30 points before settling on a 47-19 margin at halftime. Texas A&M outrebounded the Mean Green 18-7 in the quarter, including 9-0 on the offensive boards.
Texas A&M hit a funk in the third quarter, getting outscored by UNT, 17-12, in the period. North Texas cut the gap to 20 on three occasions but were unable to get the deficit to the teens.
The Mean Green continued to chip away with a 15-2 run cutting Texas A&M's lead to 66-54 at the 2:09 mark of the fourth quarter. Late layups by Coulibaly and Ware and a three-pointer by Rogers held North Texas at bay.
Texas A&M dominated the glass in the first three quarters with a 45-25 rebounding margin, but the Mean Green held the advantage in the fourth quarter 16-8.
Up Next The Aggies are set to hit the road for their first road trip of the season when they travel to Purdue on Nov. 16 for a 6 p.m. ballgame.
Head Coach Joni Taylor
On what went wrong in the second half compared to the first...
"In the second quarter we did not share the ball the way we had in the first. In fact, we had 10 assists in the first quarter and did not have an assist at all in the second quarter. I also do not think we came out of the locker room the way that we needed to. We missed some shots we don't usually miss and the players shooting really don't miss. I think we allowed missing shots on offense impact us on the defensive end."
On team chemistry improving throughout the season...
"It is part of our growth process, so again, it is not that it is a complete shock. It is not okay, and that is part of our maturity. We have to figure that piece out."
Sophomore Forward Janiah Barker
On if she was anxious to put her last game behind her...
"I was, a lot my teammates and coaches told me 'Don't even worry about the last game, go onto the next game', They really believed in me, and I am so grateful to be in that position, even though I didn't play as well last game."
Senior Guard Aicha Coulibaly
On how it felt to be recognized pregame for scoring 1,000 career points...
"It was good, I feel like it's always a blessing. It was a goal a long time ago for me, but I didn't reach it last year since I missed a couple of games. It feels good, but it doesn't really matter because I just go out to help my team and get the win."
RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
- A&M recorded its seventh straight victory against the Mean Green and advanced to a 16-4 all-time record against North Texas.
- The Maroon & White start the season 2-0 for the fourth-straight year.
- Joni Taylor's career record improves to 151-95 all-time and to 11-20 in her two seasons with the Aggies.
- The Aggies scored 29 points in the first quarter, the most since scoring 32 in the fourth against TCU on Dec. 12, 2021.
- Texas A&M put up 49 points in the first half, the most it has scored in a half since Dec. 9, 2021, versus Texas Southern.
- The Maroon & White held the Mean Green to just nine points in the second quarter, the first single-digit quarter of the season for the A&M defense.
- The Aggies had four players that scored in double-figures with Barker (18), Coulibaly (14), Rogers (12) and Jones (10) for the first time since March 1, 2023, versus Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
- Texas A&M had a season-high 16 steals that led to 23 points off turnovers.
- Texas A&M began with a starting lineup of Endyia Rogers, Aicha Coulibaly, Sahara Jones, Janiah Barker and Lauren Ware (2-0).
- Led A&M with 18 points, shooting 8-14 (57%) from the field.
- Registered the first double-double of her Aggie tenure and the 10th of her career, scoring 14 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.
- Grabbed 10-plus rebounds for the 10th time in her career.
- Led the team in rebounds for her second-consecutive game, grabbing 12 boards and swatting away three shots.
- Scored seven points off the bench, the second time this season she has led the Aggies in scoring off the bench. Kay Kay Green
- Tallied a career-high five steals in only 11 minutes in her season debut.