Texas A&M makes first Final Four
DALLAS — Sydney Carter scored 22 points and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor — when it counted the most.
The Aggies (31-5) are going to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history after a 58-46 victory over the top-seeded Lady Bears last night in the Dallas Regional final.
Baylor and All-American Brittney Griner, who played in the Final Four last year in the 6-foot-8-inch center’s freshman season, will have to settle for the Big 12 regular season and tournament trophies the Bears (34-3) won this season.
Texas A&M had lost eight straight against its Big 12 rival, including three this season.
This time, coach Gary Blair’s team led from start to finish after Carter had a 3-pointer, an assist, and a jumper in the first two minutes for a 7-0 lead.
“Tonight was our night, we didn’t back into it,’’ Blair said. “We won the game fair and square.’’
Sydney Colson added 12 points for Texas A&M, including some important scores after two free throws by Griner had gotten Baylor within 48-41 with 4 1/2 minutes left.
Colson blew by Griner and missed, but was fouled and made both free throws. Right after that, Colson had a steal and took it all the way for a layup and was fouled again. With the A&M bench going wild, and the stunned Baylor players sitting and staring ahead, Colson finished the 3-point play to make it 53-41.
Griner had 20 points and nine rebounds, but she struggled all night, making only 6 of 18 from the field, including a missed dunk attempt.
Melissa Jones, the only senior who played significant minutes for Baylor, scored 13 points and had seven rebounds.
Tyra White had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies. Adaora Elonu had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Danielle Adams, the Aggies’ All-America post player and their leading scorer, had a subpar game. The senior finished with 6 points and four rebounds. She was 3 of 12 from the field, and missed all five 3-pointers.
Texas A&M plays Stanford Sunday in the first national semifinal.