COLLEGE STATION, Texas – With eight Big 12 games remaining, the defending national champion Texas A&M Aggies finally feel as if they're becoming the team they want to be.
"It's nice to finally get chemistry with this team," senior Sydney Carter said. "We've been waiting so long to say we're clicking and we're gelling. It's a transition from last year where we knew each other like the back of our hands. We carried that so long, it was a key reason why we won last year."
Kelsey Bone had a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds and No. 18 Texas A&M won its third straight, 62-51, over Kansas on Saturday night.
The Aggies never trailed, but saw a big second half lead dwindle to four points with less than two minutes remaining. A three-point play by Bone extended the lead to 58-51.
A steal by Tyra White gave the Aggies the ball back after that and Carter added a pair of free throws. A layup by Bone after another turnover by Kansas made it 62-51 with 42 seconds left.
Bone, who is in her first season with the Aggies after transferring from South Carolina and sitting out a year, outdid her previous season-best of 20 points, which came against Mississippi State.
"I wish we had a few more games against Kansas, because her two best games against Kansas were her best," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "She's starting to know when to pull it out or make that pass in there. It's taken her a while to realize what a shot is, what a good shot is and what a great shot is."
Bone's performance was a key to Texas A&M outscoring Kansas 34 to 22 inside on Saturday.
Carter added 15 points for Texas A&M (16-5, 7-3).
The Jayhawks (16-6, 5-5), who have lost three straight, got 11 points each from Angel Goodrich and Aishah Sutherland.
Carolyn Davis, who entered the game averaging a team-leading 18.1 points a game, was limited to six points after getting into early foul trouble dealing with Bone.
"She was getting deep catches and at that point any great post player can score," Davis, who had 10 rebounds, said of Bone. "With my defensive pressure, I should have been able to get in front to of her."
Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson was disappointed that Davis picked up her third foul less than one minute into the second half, which changed the way she could handle Bone.
"She got deep, and Carolyn got in foul trouble and then she's hesitant," Henrickson said. "We've got to get into somebody a little bit harder and make them put the ball on the floor. Bone got right in front of the rim and got high percentage shots."
Texas A&M was up by 17 points early in the second half before Kansas used a 22-10 run to get to 50-45 with about seven minutes remaining. Davis got the run going with two buckets and CeCe Harper capped it with a 3-pointer.
The Aggies missed seven shots and had five turnovers in that span to allow Kansas to get back in it.
Carter got A&M back on track with a 3-pointer after Kansas cut the lead to five. The Jayhawks responded with a 6-2 run to get to 55-51 before Bone's key 3-point play.
The Aggies used an 8-0 run to open the second half and extend their lead to 40-23 with just under 18 minutes remaining. Bone scored six of the points in that span.
Texas A&M jumped out to an 8-0 lead powered by four points from Bone and was ahead 32-23 at halftime.