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Texas A&M shakes early struggles, beats Arkansas-Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- It didn't take Texas A&M coach Gary
Blair long to see there was a mistake in his scouting report.

"Our scouting report said nothing about No. 24 (Arkansas-Little
Rock freshman guard Taylor Gault) and how well she could shoot,"
said Blair, whose defending national champion and No. 6-ranked
Aggies defeated UALR 83-54 Thursday night. "She came out and was
hitting shots everywhere. She can play. Our report said nothing
about her. I was getting hacked off because we had not recruited
her."

Gault scored 23 to lead the Trojans, but also had 10 turnovers.

"She is going to be a great player and will be very good in the
Sun Belt Conference," Blair said.

But the Trojans had little besides Gault, while the Aggies had
way too much balance and size. Kelsey Bone had 16 points and eight
rebounds, and Sydney Carter and Adaora Elonu scored 15 points each
for the Aggies (3-0). Skylar Collins added 14 points and Tyra White
had 12.

Janette Merriex scored 13 points for the Trojans (1-2), and
Marian Kursh added nine.

"I am disappointed that we lost," said UALR coach Joe Foley.
"But I think this is a game that we can learn some things from.
The kids saw at times they can compete.

"We started the game and his some outside shots, and if we had
not missed so many layups, it would have helped us. They would have
had to respect us inside."

Texas A&M got off to a slow start, allowing UALR to hit four of
its first five shots, including three 3-pointers, and jump to an
11-8 lead. But the Trojans made one field goal over the next 6:51
and the Aggies took control.

Gault's layup gave UALR a 13-12 lead with 14:06 left in the
half. Carter scored eight as the Aggies put together a 13-0 run to
take control of the game. The Aggies led 45-23 at halftime.

The Trojans got as close as 17 in the second half, but A&M
scored five straight to reject that threat.

UALR had 24 turnovers, and the Aggies outscored the Trojans 31-8
off turnovers and 24-7 on second-chance points.

The Aggies hit just two 3-pointers but were 19 of 23 from the
free-throw line. UALR was 11 of 16 from the line and 5 of 10 on
3-pointers.