A&M women give Blair 500th win

February 20, 2008 7:20:52 PM PST
Danielle Gant scored 22 points to lead No. 21 Texas A&M to a 60-46 win over Iowa State on Wednesday night and give coach Gary Blair his 500th career victory. The Aggies have won six of seven leading up to Saturday's meeting with rival Texas.

Texas A&M (19-7, 7-5 Big 12) took a commanding lead midway through the first half and led by double-digits through most of the game.

Iowa State cut the lead to 10 points on a layup by Heather Ezell with about nine minutes left. A&M went on an 8-2 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Morenike Atunrase to push the lead to 54-38 with less than five minutes to go and Iowa State wouldn't threaten again.

The Cyclones (16-9, 5-7) were coming off an upset of then-No. 15 Oklahoma State and meet ninth-ranked Baylor Saturday.

The win makes Blair, who is in his fifth season at Texas A&M, the 36th Division I women's coach to reach the milestone.

Blair's overall record is 500-220 and the victory is his 92nd with the Aggies. Before taking over in College Station, Blair spent 10 years at Arkansas where he was 198-120. His first head coaching job was at Stephen F. Austin, where he was 210-43 in eight seasons. His teams have finished with a losing record just once in his 22 seasons as a head coach.

The Aggies led by 17 points with about 17 minutes left before Iowa State got consecutive 3-pointers from Ezell and Kelsey Bolte to cut the lead to 38-27. Gant hit a jump shot for Texas A&M before Iowa State scored four quick points to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since midway through the first half.

Texas A&M scored the next four points to stretch its lead back to 44-31 with about 12 minutes left.

Ezell led Iowa State with 14 points and Alison Lacey had 11.

The Cyclones were ahead 5-4 early before the Aggies scored 26 of the next 30 points to take a 30-9 lead about three minutes before halftime. Sydney Colson made two 3-pointers in that span for the Aggies. The Cyclones went on a 10-4 run to close out the half and cut A&M's lead to 34-19 at halftime.

The Cyclones shot poorly in the first half and didn't get a single offensive rebound before the half. They finished with six offensive rebounds.

Texas A&M had a season-low four turnovers while Iowa State had 12.

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