Adams leads No. 7 Texas A&M over Drexel
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Texas A&M showed no rust after a long layoff.
The No. 7 Aggies, who were off for nine days since last playing, came out strong behind Danielle Adams and a robust defense to roll to a 74-45 win over Drexel on Tuesday night in the Surf ‘N Slam tournament.
Texas A&M (10-1), playing its first game since a 79-50 win over Rutgers on Dec. 19, led from the outset. The Aggies used a 16-3 run midway through the first half to take a 25-7 lead with 8:55 left.
Adams scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half and the Aggies’ stifling defense held down a good shooting Drexel team.
“It was pretty shocking to me to see what we did against a pretty good shooting team,” Adams said. “We were trying to take the offense away and get them out of the flow of the offense.”
The Aggies will play host San Diego State (6-5) in Thursday night’s championship game. The Aztecs defeated UTSA in the first game, 72-52.
Adams made 9 of 14 shots to lead Texas A&M, which shot 47.7 percent. Adams, who averages 21.9 points, scored in double figures in her 20th consecutive game.
Texas A&M looked solid in every phase of the game as it held a 38-26 rebounding edge, limited the Dragons to 35.6 percent shooting, including a season-low 22.2 percent from 3-point range, and forced Drexel into a season-high 24 turnovers.
Drexel (7-3), which came into the game leading the nation in 3-point shooting at 45.5 percent, made just 4 of 18 from beyond the stripe.
Kamile Nacickaite scored 11 points and Jasmina Rosseel added 10 for Drexel, which trailed 42-22 at halftime.
Nacickaite and Rosseel, Drexel’s top two 3-point threats, struggled against the Aggies’ defense. Nacickaite, who came in tied for third in the nation in 3-point shooting at 50 percent, made just 2 of 5. Rosseel, second in school history in 3-pointers made, finished just 2 for 10.
“They took us out of our flow,” said Drexel coach Denise Dillon. “We’re trying to break the habit of missing some shots early and then having the intensity level drop.”
Considering the nine-day layoff, Texas A&M coach Gary Blair was especially pleased with his team’s effort.
“I thought we did a good job on the half-court defense,” he said. “This was a good ball club we played and a well-coached team.”
Tyra White scored 14 points for the Aggies and Adaora Elonu finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her second career double-double.
There was little drama from the beginning as Texas A&M jumped out to a 7-0 lead. After Ayana Lee scored for Drexel, the Aggies went on the 16-3 run that was started with White’s 3-pointer and finished with a jumper by Sydney Carter.
“You know that once they set the up-tempo game and creating shots with their defense, it’s definitely tough to climb back and get the momentum,” Dillon said.
Texas A&M shot 51.5 percent in the first half and forced the Dragons into 11 turnovers in taking a 20-point lead.