Texas A&M started the game on fire.
And the Michigan women’s basketball team never could extinguish those flames.
The Aggies dominated the game from the opening tip-off at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas.
Texas A&M started the game with an 11-0 run in its 69-41 win over Michigan.
The score was typical for No. 12 Texas A&M, which prides itself on tough defense and physical play. Michigan committed an abysmal 33 turnovers and shot just 31 percent from the floor. The Aggies finished the game with nine steals.
“We threw the ball away 40 times,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “We couldn’t get to the basket. We really couldn’t get much of anything going. That was really frustrating.”
The Wolverines had no players scored double digits. Michigan seniors Janelle Cooper and Ta’Shia Walker led the Wolverines with nine points each.
In addition to a tough Aggie defense, the Wolverines could not stop the Texas A&M offense. Texas A&M shot 49 percent compared to Michigan’s 28 percent in the first half.
Michigan cut the deficit to 22-14, when it went on an 8-0 run thanks to eight free throws.
But the Wolverines’ reliance on the whistle was not sustained; the Aggies continued to clamp down on defense to take a 35-22 lead at halftime.
“(Texas A&M) plays very good defense,” Cooper said. “They pressured us really well.”
Texas A&M continued to thrash Michigan in the second half, when it started with a 17-3 run.
“We have to start faster,” Borseth said. “We just don’t start fast. They start to score baskets, and it begins to fuel runs. We want to start fast but it just isn’t working.”
The Aggies dominated in nearly every facet of the game. Most important, they shut down Michigan’s perimeter threat. The Wolverines went 1-for-9 from three-point range, shutting down an integral part of their offense.
The Aggies cruised throughout the second half, never letting Michigan within 24 points.
The game against Texas A&M was the fifth of Michigan’s six straight road contests, and all but one has been against a major conference team. Although, a loss like yesterday’s hurts, Borseth knows that playing quality teams is something his team must do.
“You can’t mask wins by playing bad teams,” Borseth said. “You’ve got to beat good teams even though these games are frustrating, but, in the end, we hope that we can figure things by the end of the season.”