High point of OC alum Fussell not enough as Aggies best Texas
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:26 pm
By: By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M hadn’t lost to Texas in almost four years, so to look up at the scoreboard and see a nine-point deficit with about 15 minutes remaining didn’t sit well with the sixth-ranked Aggies.
They picked up their play and pretty soon they were back on top and on the way to another win.
Danielle Adams had a career-high 34 points and 12 rebounds as Texas A&M rallied for its 10th straight win, an 80-65 victory over rival Texas on Wednesday night.
Obion Central product and Longhorn freshman Chassidy Fussell scored a career-high 26 points for the Longhorns (11-7, 0-4).
Fussell, who entered the game averaging a team-leading 16.6 points, had 17 by halftime. She cooled off a bit after halftime and her first points of the second half didn’t come until a pair of free throws with just under 13 minutes remaining.
“I thought we played them pretty well for a good bit of the game, but they really intensified their pressure in the second half, got a couple of steals and it was like a feeding frenzy all of the sudden,” Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said. “I thought we lost our poise. We turned the ball over, gave them some easy baskets and then I think they gained a lot of confidence when we turned the ball over in that stretch.”
Texas A&M had built its lead to seven before the Longhorns got within four with six minutes to go. The Aggies scored seven straight points to push the lead to 72-61 about three minutes later.
Adams scored in double digits for the 26th straight game to help Texas A&M to its ninth straight win over Texas. The Aggies outscored the Longhorns 40-10 in the paint thanks to the Adams’ performance.
“Danielle Adams, we had no answer for her,” Goestenkors said. “On the inside, the outside she just pretty much did what she wanted to do.”
Adams, who has struggled to improve her endurance played a career-high 39 minutes.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know I played 39 minutes,” she said. “I looked at the paper and it said 39 minutes and I was pretty shocked. It’s just the extra conditioning I’ve been putting in.”
It was a rare close game for the Aggies, who have won each of their last nine games and 12 games overall this season by at least 25 points.
“We haven’t had a close game since Duke when we lost,” said Texas A&M’s Sydney Colson. “This was finally a test for us. Just to get out and be behind we realized we needed to come back out and fix a lot of things.”
Texas has led at halftime in two of its three previous Big 12 losses and trailed Baylor by just two points at halftime before losing 87-72.
“I feel like its always in the second half where we just lose our focus and fall apart as a team,” Fussell said.
The Aggies had a five point lead before Goestenkors received a technical foul for arguing a call and Adams hit both free throws to make it 61-54 with about 8 minutes to go.
Texas was up by nine before the Aggies got a spark off the bench from Maryann Baker. Baker scored, forced a turnover and had the assist on a three point play by Tyra White to start a 9-0 run that tied it at 43-all with about 13 minutes remaining.
“She just makes plays,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said of Baker. “I thought Maryann was the difference in the ball game with the energy she gave our team and the key plays.”
Baker finished with 14 points and White added 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Longhorns led by four at halftime and a 3-pointer by Kathleen Nash early in the second half capped a 6-0 run that pushed their advantage to 39-31.
Nash finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas A&M led by one point with about five minutes left in the first half before Texas used a 10-5 scoring spurt, led by five points from Chelsea Bass, to take a 33-29 halftime lead. The other time they were behind at halftime this season was in their only loss of the season — 61-58 at No. 3 Duke.