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No. 16 A&M crushes No. 10 Oklahoma behind Gant's double-double

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Danielle Gant celebrated her 21st birthday by scoring 21 points and leading Texas A&M (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) to its sixth straight win.

Gant also had 12 rebounds to lead the Aggies to a 73-59 victory over Oklahoma (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) on Thursday night, their third win in a row over a Top 25 team.

"A lot of teammates were saying that should be my goal," Gant said of scoring 21 points. "I was just going out playing hard."

Texas A&M (23-7, 11-5 Big 12) finished the regular season with wins in 10 of its last 11 games after starting conference play 1-4. With the win, the Aggies clinched the fourth seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament and a first-round bye.

Oklahoma State is the fifth seed and must play in the first round.

The Aggies led this one from start to finish and maintained a double-digit lead through most of the game.

Texas A&M had a seven point lead at halftime and opened the second half with a 12-3 run to take a 45-29 lead with about 16 minutes left. Gant had two straight jump shots to cap that run.

The Aggies put the game completely out of reach with a 17-7 run after that to stretch the lead to 62-36 with about five minutes left.

"It was just a very, very good defensive effort by our team," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.

Oklahoma (21-7, 11-5) didn't score a basket for an almost 7 1/2 minute span in the second half. The drought stretched from 13:01 until Jenna Plumley's jump shot with 5:32 left.

"We just needed to make some shots," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "They do a great job of pressuring the basketball. It was a very physical game, hard for us to get loose."

The Sooners finished the game with a 23-11 run, but their deficit was too much to overcome.

The Aggies beat No. 8 Baylor 72-53 on Saturday and got a 63-57 win over then-No. 19 Oklahoma State two games ago. Their last loss came in a 68-56 defeat at Oklahoma on Feb. 12.

"I just think they're playing with experience and swagger and teams with senior leaders do that at this time of the year," Coale said.

Courtney Paris' streak of 89 consecutive games with a double-double came dangerously close to being broken on Thursday night when she had 27 points and 11 rebounds. She had just one rebound at halftime and didn't get her 10th until there was just 1:21 left.

The last time she didn't record a double-double was Dec. 5, 2005. Her streak is the best in collegiate history and outdid Tim Duncan's record of 87 at Wake Forest. She has 94 double-doubles in 97 career games.

"One of the huge keys to the game was what we did to Paris on the boards," Blair said. "We were not trying to keep her from a double-double, but we just wanted to keep her from controlling the boards."

Texas A&M led by one point before going on a 10-0 run to take a 16-5 lead with about 14 minutes left in the first half. Oklahoma then scored nine of the next 11 points to cut the lead to 18-14 midway through the half.

The Sooners had cut he lead to three points before Texas A&M went on an 11-2 run to push its lead to 31-19 about four minutes before halftime. The Aggies got nine points from Takia Starks in that span.

Starks added 19 points and Morenike Atunrase had 10 for Texas A&M.

Oklahoma outscored A&M 7-2 the rest of the half to get within 33-26 at halftime.