4:00 PM ET, February 17, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Texas A&M's eight turnovers were its fewest of the season. Texas Tech had 24.That statistic combined with a career-high 29 points from Takia Starks helped Texas A&M (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a 70-56 win over Texas Tech on Sunday."I'm just proud of my players that they are starting to value the basketball and value the possessions more and more," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.Texas A&M (18-7, 6-5 Big 12) has won five of its last six games and the loss is Texas Tech's fifth straight.The Aggies, who have won the last five against Texas Tech (14-11, 2-9), led from start to finish in this one and the Lady Raiders were foiled by their turnovers. Texas Tech has committed at least 17 turnovers in four of the five losses in this skid."There were several factors in this game and I think the biggest key today was taking care of the basketball," said Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry.Texas A&M led 54-43 before Texas Tech scored five straight points to cut the lead to six points with about eight minutes left. The Lady Raiders wouldn't get any closer though as the Aggies responded with an 11-2 run, fueled by two 3-pointers by Starks to take a 65-50 lead.Starks was 4-of-7 on 3-pointers."It's just disappointing to not do a better job than what we did," Curry said of guarding Starks. "She just made some plays. You've got to give her credit."Starks didn't have much to say about her individual performance."I don't worry about the points, I was just glad we got the win," she said.Blair is impressed with the way Starks, a junior, has improved in her time at Texas A&M."She can create her own shots and that's what separates ... good college players from average ones," Blair said.Texas A&M led by nine early in the second half before Texas Tech scored four quick points to make it 39-34 with about 15 minutes to play. The Aggies answered by scoring seven straight points to push the lead to 46-34 about two minutes later.Dominic Seals led Texas Tech with 18 points and eight rebounds and LaVonda Henderson added 12 points.The Aggies led 15-4 early in the first half after a sloppy start by the Lady Raiders who had six turnovers in the first six minutes. Texas Tech calmed down for a bit after that and went on a 9-2 run to 17-13 with 11 minutes left in the half.Texas A&M pushed its lead back to eight points on a free throw by A'Quonesia Franklin about a minute later. That point made Franklin the 20th player in school history to reach 1,000 points for her career.The Aggies led 34-28 at halftime.Danielle Gant added 15 points and had nine rebounds for the Aggies and Franklin had eight points, five rebounds and five assists.Despite Texas Tech's recent struggles, Curry said she is proud of the effort of her team."The bottom line is how hard these kids are trying and competing," Curry said. "They are staying positive and they are getting better. We're growing and learning and getting better."Texas A&M wore specially made uniforms with pink accents and the Lady Raiders wore pink warmup shirts and shoe laces on Sunday to promote breast cancer awareness. Blair will donate $3,245 to breast cancer research after pledging to give $5 for each student who bought a ticket to Sunday's game."I want to thank all the students for coming out today," Blair said. "It cost me a lot of money today, but at the same time I was able to help a lot of people. I cannot think of a better cause."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||20-39 (.513)||25-58 (.431)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-6 (.333)||7-14 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||14-20 (.700)||13-25 (.520)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|