The ninth win in a row for the Texas A&M women’s basketball team carried special meaning.
Texas A&M did more than add to its streak Saturday night — it also won its first Big 12 tournament championship. The No. 4-seeded Aggies held off No. 3 Oklahoma State 64-59 in the title game at Municipal Auditorium.
The Aggies, 26-7, tied a school record for victories in a single season.
It was anything but easy, however.
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Texas A&M built a nine-point lead with 16 minutes left in the game. Oklahoma State, though, made its run. And it got pretty dramatic.
The Aggies led 58-56 when its guard, A’Qunoesia Franklin, was whistled for traveling with 47.6 seconds remaining. But Oklahoma State guard Andrea Riley, guarded by Takia Starks near the sideline just across half court, lost the ball out of bounds with 42.8 left.
The Aggies went up by four when Morenike Atunrase found Danielle Gant streaking along the free throw line, and she made a layup with 35.8 to go.
Over? Not quite.
Riley came down and nailed a rainbow three-point shot from 25 feet away on the right wing to slice the Aggies’ lead to 60-59 with 25.4 remaining. After Franklin sank two free throws to make it a three-point game with 22.9 left, Riley hoisted a three-point shot from the right wing, but it lodged and stuck between the rim and backboard with 12.3 to go.
Possession arrow: Texas A&M. Franklin converted two more free throws with 10.2 to go, and that was that.
Franklin paced the Aggies with 19 points. Atunrase added 14 and Starks 10.
Oklahoma State, 25-7, got 28 points from Riley.
Texas A&M led 33-24 at halftime.
The Aggies did a lot of their damage from beyond the three-point arc, sinking five out of nine three-point field goals in the opening 20 minutes. The Aggies got 10 points from Franklin, who along with Atunrase went two for three from that distance.
Riley had 10 points before the intermission.