CANCUN, Mexico -- Tyra White kept Texas A&M unbeaten by making big plays down the stretch.
White scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half, including a clutch 3-pointer that put the Aggies up 10 in the final 2:42 and No. 8 Texas A&M held on for a 87-78 win over Arizona on Friday night in the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic."She hit a clutch shot in the first half when we were dying on the vine out there and then she hit the big three in the corner too" late in the second half, Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "She is just getting solid and learning her step-up role."Sydney Colson and Adaora Elonu each had 13 for the Aggies (4-0).Texas A&M led by five early in the second half before scoring 12 of the next 14 points to extend its lead to 58-43 with 15:38 left in the game. Elonu had five points during the spurt.The Aggies extended their lead to 20 before the Wildcats (4-1) rallied scoring the next 13 points to close their deficit to seven. Clinging to a 74-67 with 4:33 left, White hit her big shot."We got it to 20 and then had to hold on for dear life, missing free throws down the way. Give our kids credit," Blair said. "We gave up too many points, but we responded and made some adjustments. Our defense has to get a lot better. Our thinking on offense has to get better too."Texas A&M has scored more than 80 points in its first four games, marking the first time in school history that the team has achieved that.Davellyn White scored 16 points to lead five Arizona players in double figures. Shanita Arnold added 15 and Candice Warthen had 14."Obviously, we're disappointed with this loss but our team fought hard tonight," Arizona coach Niya Butts said. "We battled back time after time and without Ify Ibekwe, one of our best players, who was in foul trouble. I'm proud of our effort tonight. We have to come back again tomorrow to face another tough opponent in Bradley."Blair was impressed with Arizona."They are a very much improved team. Shanita Arnold was probably the best player on the court tonight," Blair said. "She played really well for them and she blew by our guards, every one we put out there on her. They shot nearly 60 percent in the second half and that kept them in the ball game."Texas A&M was down by as many an eight points in the first half, but a 21-4 run, sparked by eight from Colson, pushed the Aggies in the lead for the first time with 4:47 left in the period.The Aggies went into the half leading 42-35.Texas A&M will face Michigan on Saturday night.