LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Chennedy Carter could only watch the final 22 seconds after fouling out. She had done plenty before that to put Texas A&M in position to get a big win.
Carter scored 27 points as the injury-depleted Aggies beat No. 8 Oregon State 76-70 on Saturday night in the Maui Jim Maui Classic. Kayla Wells added 20 points and Ciera Johnson had 11, and N’Dea Jones grabbed for the Aggies (8-2), who won their fourth straight.
“This goes down, in 16 years, this goes in the top five or six wins besides the national championship,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. “To win short-handed. … Having Chennedy go for 24 (in the first half) and then hurt her foot — she wasn’t the same after that — but N’Dea Jones stepped up big-time. Ciera (Johnson) could score as long as they didn’t have the 6-8 girl (Joanna Grymek) in there. Kayla Wells made some big shots.”
Carter. the 5-foot-7 sophomore point guard who was last year’s national freshman of the year, was hampered for most of the second half with a gimpy ankle. She committed her fifth foul with 22 seconds left and the Aggies holding a 70-68 lead.
“I went on a driving layup and I kind of went wrong on my foot and I felt it,” Carter said after being named MVP of the tournament. “It didn’t feel too good, but I always have to put my team first. I just did what I could (in the second half). I had to play hard defense. I couldn’t do much on offense, but they came through for us.”
Aahliyah Jackson made a free throw with 9.4 seconds to go and Jones made two with 7.4 seconds remaining after grabbing the rebound of Jackson’s missed second shot to push the Aggies’ lead to 74-70. Wells then made two free throws with 5 seconds to go to cap the scoring.
Katie McWilliams had 19 points on 9-for-13 shooting for Oregon State (8-2), which fell to 5-1 in three years of the tournament it hosts on Maui. Aleah Goodman added 14 points and Mikayla Pivec had 10.
“It was two good teams,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “They came out and they were the aggressive team from the beginning on both ends of the floor. Shot aggressively, defended aggressively, rebounded aggressively. They beat us to the punch for probably the first five or six minutes of this game before we matched it. After that it was a great game, but you’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
The Beavers overcame a 16-point first-half deficit and tied the score at 56-all on a steal and breakaway layup by Goodman with 8:15 to play. It capped Oregon State’s 12-3 run.
Texas A&M responded with a 9-3 run of its own — with Wells scoring seven points in the flourish — to take a 65-59 lead with 5:35 to go.
Carter, who finished 10 for 24 from the field, scored 22 of the Aggies’ first 33 points en route to a 42-32 lead at halftime.
She briefly left the game in the third quarter to get an ankle taped, but quickly returned. Her 3-pointer immediately after returning gave the Aggies a 51-41 lead with 4:28 left in the third, but those were the final points she scored in the game.
Texas A&M: After Aaliyah Wilson, a sophomore guard averaging 14.9 points, suffered a knee injury in a 70-63 win Friday night over UC Riverside, Aggies coach Gary Blair said Carter was his team’s only reliable scoring option. Carter responded with 22 of her 26 points in the second half of the win over UCR. Wilson watched the OSU game from the bench and entered the gym on crutches.
Oregon State: The Beavers’ five wins here were all over teams from mid-major conferences.
Oregon State returns to Corvallis and hosts Duke on Thursday to open a stretch of four straight at home.
Texas A&M hosts Southern California on Wednesday.
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