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Adams scores 19 in A&M's win over Prairie View

Dec 29, 2009 - 5:27 AM By CHRIS DUNCAN AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE STATION, Texas(AP) -- Texas A&M went straight to its height advantage to cruise past Prairie View.

Danielle Adams scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds and the 10th-ranked Aggies pulled away in the second half of an 89-48 win Monday night over the undersized Panthers.

Tanisha Smith had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Tyra White added 11 points for the Aggies (10-1), who've won 62 of their last 67 games at Reed Arena.

A&M coach Gary Blair started four players six feet or taller and the Aggies took control with a 12-0 run early in the first half.

"We felt that with the size we had, we needed to go with a bigger lineup," Blair said.

A&M led by 14 at halftime, then opened the second half with a 16-2 burst to double the lead. The Panthers committed four turnovers and the 6-foot-1 Adams scored 10 points and picked off a steal during the run.

Adams went 5-for-9 from the field in the second half, overpowering any Prairie View defender who tried to stop her.

"It was our plan to get the ball inside," Adams said. "They were a lot shorter than us, so we planned to get the ball inside and power it down."

Latara Darrett and Gaati Werema scored 11 points apiece for the Panthers (3-6), who committed 23 turnovers. Prairie View scored only 19 points in the second half on 8-for-23 shooting (35 percent).

The Panthers had lost close games against Rutgers (50-45) and Texas Tech (67-60) in the last month, giving Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke hope that her team could stay close to the Aggies. Instead, they turned in what she called their worst performance of the season.

"We got what we deserved in the sense that we didn't come to play," Cooper-Dyke said. "It seemed like the girls were still on (Christmas) vacation for the most part."

The Aggies pushed the lead to 43 before Blair began pulling his starters.

A&M outrebounded Prairie View 54-38 and held the Panthers without a 3-pointer in six attempts. The Aggies, the Big 12's top 3-point shooting team, went 2-for-11 from 3-point range.

A&M's full-court pressure smothered Prairie View in the first half. The Panthers missed eight consecutive shots and gave away five turnovers in a 5-minute span and A&M built a 22-12 lead.

A&M missed its first four attempts from long range and 20 of its first 32 shots overall, so the Aggies relied on their swarming defense to maintain the comfortable lead.

"Defense kick-starts our offense," Adams said. "If we play good on defense, the offense will come to us."

Dominique Smith's backdoor layup cut the Aggies' lead to 26-21 with 4:56 left in the half. A&M's defense then took control again and the Aggies finished the half with a 17-8 spurt to take a 43-29 lead.

Werema hit 4 of 6 shots and scored 11 points in the first half for Prairie View - the rest of the team shot 8-for-29 from the field (27.5 percent).