Texas A&M pummels Georgia to roll into Elite Eight

DALLAS -- Texas A&M coach Gary Blair spent the week making sure his team was focused on Georgia with a possible rematch against Baylor looming in the next round of the NCAA tournament.

Just 10 minutes into Sunday's regional semifinal, there was no doubt he'd gotten through to the Aggies.

Danielle Adams had 23 points and a career-high 14 rebounds and Texas A&M built a 31-point halftime lead on the way to a 79-38 win over Georgia and a spot in the Dallas Regional final.

"Coach Blair and everybody, all the coaching staff just made the point, just to focus on Georgia and not look towards the next game," Adams said.

The Aggies move on to a fourth meeting with top-seeded Baylor, which beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 86-76 in the other semifinal.

The 41-point victory was the most lopsided NCAA tournament win in school history for A&M, and Georgia's 38 points were the second-fewest in regional history.

"I kept looking up at halftime and I was telling [people]: 'I can't believe it,' " Blair said. "I was telling the officials: 'I don't know what happened.' I've never had an NCAA game like this against this quality of a team."

Texas A&M (30-5) led 13-0 and was up 27-2 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half. The Aggies raced to the lead thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers and stifling defense that limited the Lady Bulldogs to a 1-for-14 start from the field.

"It wasn't pretty," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "And if you're Georgia, it wasn't any fun."

The win gives Texas A&M its first 30-win season and puts the Aggies in the regional final for the second time and first since 2008.

"It's a dream come true to us," Adams said. "We just have to keep our focus and just keep pushing towards the next game and just focus on each team."

Jasmine James scored 10 points to lead Georgia (23-11).

The Aggies are the only team in the tournament to have held each of their first three tournament opponents to under 50 points and their average margin of victory in those games has been more than 34 points.

Blair raved about his team's defense and was particularly pleased with the job Adams did in holding Porsha Phillips to six points.

"Nobody ever looks," Blair said of Adams' defense. "They just look at how many points she scores or how many charges she takes. She's a very, very underrated defensive player."

Tyra White added 14 points for A&M and Sydney Colson chipped in 11.

Landers, who was in the regional semifinals for the 19th time, called a pair of timeouts in the first 10 minutes to try and get his team on track, but it didn't help. Phillips missed an uncontested layup on Georgia's first possession, setting the tone for a tough first half.

Texas A&M hit more 3-pointers (eight) than Georgia did field goals (six) in the opening half. The Aggies got 3s from five different players before halftime, including three from Colson. The Aggies were shooting better than 57 percent from 3-point range by the break, while Georgia shot under 21 percent overall in the first 20 minutes.

"They did a really good job of pressuring us and disrupting us on the defensive end and not letting us knock down or be able to get the shots we're typically able to get," James said.

The Aggies' last 3 of the first half came when Adrienne Pratcher hit one just before the shot clock expired to stretch the lead to 46-15 with just under 3 minutes left, and Texas A&M was up 48-17 at the break.

"They have terrific athleticism," Landers said of the Aggies. "They're very well coached. There's other quick teams in the country, but there may not be another quick team in the country that applies their athleticism as A&M does, which is constant."

Texas A&M, which beat McNeese State and Rutgers to reach the round of 16, has lost to Baylor three times this season. The Aggies are looking for their first trip to the Final Four.

"That's been in the back of our minds," Sydney Carter said of the rematch with Baylor. "We've played them so close and we've never been able to finish."

The Lady Bulldogs are headed home again after reaching the regional final last season before losing 73-36 to Stanford.

Georgia looked as though it may have put its cold-shooting first half behind when Khaalidah Miller hit a 3-pointer early in the second half. Problem was, the Aggies hadn't cooled off and they answered with back-to-back 3s by Carter and Adams for a 54-20 lead. Those were the last 3s for A&M, which finished with 10, their most ever in an NCAA tournament game.

Georgia's shooting improved a bit in the second half but the Lady Bulldogs still managed to shoot only 25 percent for the game. It was their lowest shooting percentage of the season and the second-worst in regional history.

The Aggies made 13 of 17 free throws, and Adams missed her first free throw of the tournament with about 11 minutes left after hitting her first 20 attempts this postseason.

Texas A&M used its reserves heavily after the first 10 minutes, often having three on the floor at a time. But regardless of who was on the court, the Aggies kept scoring. The Aggies were up by 34 points with 14½ minutes remaining before using a 10-4 run, fueled by four points by Pratcher, to push the lead to 72-32 with 8 minutes left.