Aggies hold off Oklahoma 74-67 for Big 12 title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tyra White carried Texas A&M in the first half and Danielle Adams scored 17 of her 19 points in the second, helping the 11th-ranked Aggies hold off No. 12 Oklahoma 74-67 on Sunday for their second Big 12 tournament title in three years.

White had all of her 16 points in the first half and Texas A&M (25-7) relied on Adams in the second to answer every Oklahoma charge, giving the Aggies a good shot for at least a No. 2 seed when the NCAA brackets are announced Monday. Adaora Elonu added 10 points and hit two big free throws for Texas A&M in its third straight conference title game.

The Sooners (23-10) shot well in the first half, but the four-time tournament champions missed too many shots at the rim in the second to keep up. Amanda Thompson had 20 points and 19 rebounds, and Danielle Robinson scored 18 for the Sooners.

Adams had just three points in the first half, deferring to White, then took over when the game got tight.

The junior from Kansas City hurt the Sooners inside and out, hitting a 3-pointer and powering inside for putbacks and short jumpers. The tournament MVP scored eight straight points for Texas A&M midway through the half to quash a short Oklahoma run and had a three-point play after another Sooners spurt to put the Aggies up 63-59 with 4½ minutes left.

Oklahoma cut the lead to 67-65 when Thompson ripped the ball from Sydney Colson and hit a jumper with 1:11 left. But Colson answered with a runner and Elonu hit two free throws to keep Oklahoma from getting any closer.

Oklahoma and Texas A&M didn't go into the tournament as favorites — seeded third and fourth, respectively — but it's no surprise they ended up in the title game. These two teams have more victories than any other in the Big 12 the past four years and had won three of the previous four conference tournament titles.

They split the two regular-season games, each winning decisively at home.

Round 3 was a shootout early, with neither team playing much defense.

Oklahoma had a hard time finding White, who blew past her 10.5-point scoring average in the first half. The sophomore guard worked to get herself free, but the Sooners also made it easy at times, leaving her open for 3-pointers and allowing her to sneak in for uncontested putbacks.

White hit 6 of 7 shots and made all three 3-point attempts to score 16 points by halftime. Oklahoma wasn't much better against the rest of the Aggies, allowing them to hit 15 of 29 shots for a 40-34 lead.

Texas A&M couldn't pull away by more because it was wasn't much better defensively.

The Aggies allowed Thompson to slash and shoot her way to 13 points by halftime and fouled Joanna McFarland on consecutive three-point plays late in the half. Oklahoma hit 15 of 31 shots.