Tolu Omotola scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in her home state of Texas, Monday evening.
No. 8/8 Texas A&M made Liberty's first-ever game in Texas a rather unpleasant one, Monday evening at Reed Arena. The Aggies raced out to a 15-2 lead and never looked back, posting an 81-49 victory. Despite putting three players in double figures, Liberty falls to 2-3 on the young season. Meanwhile, the Aggies remain unbeaten at 3-0, after handing the Lady Flames their most lopsided setback since a 76-43 loss to Marist on Dec. 29, 2006. Texas A&M notched the game's first nine points, including six by Adaora Elonu. Elonu's mid-range jump shot at the 16:17 mark lifted the Aggies' lead to 9-0. After Avery Warley got Liberty on the board with a layup off a nice give-and-go at 15:55, All-America candidate Danielle Adams scored six straight markers by herself. Adams' layup increased Texas A&M's advantage to 15-2, 13:37 before halftime. The Lady Flames pulled to within 17-6, when freshman Emily Frazier canned a left-handed layup at the 12:40 mark. A 7-0 Aggie run, capped by Kelsey Assarian's two made free throws at the 9:57 mark, gave the home team a 24-6 lead. Blue-clad Liberty countered with its best stretch of the opening stanza, resulting in a 9-2 surge. Dymond Morgan recorded four tallies during the run, but it was Danika Dale's pair of charity tosses at 7:45 which cut Texas A&M's advantage to 26-15. The Aggies then held the Lady Flames scoreless for the next 6:13 of action, running off 14 unanswered points during the span. Tyra White split a pair of free throws at 2:20, giving her team a 40-15 edge. Liberty notched the stanza's final four points, and the Aggies took a 40-19 lead into the locker room. Texas A&M shot 56.0 percent (14-of-25) from the floor and 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the line before halftime, as compared with Liberty's 28.6 (6-of-21) field goal percentage and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) mark from the charity stripe. The Aggies also took advantage of Liberty's 21 first-half miscues, converting them into 25 points. Liberty's best statistic during the first 20 minutes came in the rebound column, where the Lady Flames enjoyed a 20-12 edge, including a dozen offensive boards. Individually, Morgan scored six points to pace Liberty during the first period, while Warley and Rachel McLeod collected four rebounds apiece. Adams was the only player to reach double figures in the first half, tossing in 12 points for the Aggies. White added nine points, and Karla Gilbert grabbed a team-best three caroms. Tolu Omotola scored the second half's first two points on a right-handed hook from short range. Her hoop extended Liberty's overall run to 6-0 and made the score 40-21 with 19:20 left. But that was the last time the Lady Flames got the deficit under 20 points, and the Aggies proceeded to gradually build their advantage. Texas A&M took its first 30-point advantage at 59-29, when White scored on a putback of her own miss. The Aggies' advantage got as large as 36 points (75-39), before the home team wrapped up an 81-49 victory. Texas A&M's field goal shooting cooled off in the second half, and the Aggies ended the game at 48.3 percent (28-of-58). They got to the foul line 37 times, making 24 of them for a 64.9 percent clip. Texas A&M also scored nearly half of its points (39 of 81) off Liberty's 32 turnovers. Liberty ended up at 34.0 percent (16-of-47) from the field, and hit 55.6 percent (15-of-27) from the line. The Aggies picked up their rebounding after halftime and ended up winning the battle of the boards, 39-35. Texas A&M also came up with 19 steals on the night. Omotola and Morgan both achieved career scoring superlatives in a losing effort. Omotola, one of Liberty's four Texas natives, tallied a career-high 13 points and paced the team with seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Morgan equaled her career high with 13 points. LaKendra Washington made it a trio of Lady Flames in double digits, chipping in a season-best 10 points. Warley and Jasmine Gardner each collected six rebounds for the Lady Flames. Adams led all scorers with 20 points for the homestanding Aggies, while White contributed 15 points and six rebounds. Gilbert added 10 points and a team-leading seven caroms. Liberty will remain within the Lone Star State for its next game. The Lady Flames will play at No. 2/2 Baylor Friday, with tipoff set for 8 p.m. Eastern. Texas A&M will play its next two games in Cancun, Mexico, as part of the Cancun Thanksgiving Classic. The Aggies will meet Arizona in their first matchup of the tournament, Friday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.