Experience made the difference for Texas A&M on Wednesday night, and Aggies coach Gary Blair got to check something off his list of lifetime goals.
Courtney Walker led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the No. 12 Aggies held off No. 14 Duke 72-66 in overtime in women’s basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
And Blair finally had a win at the house Eddie Cameron built.
Rebecca Greenwell had 22 to lead the young No. 14 Blue Devils (2-1), and Azura Stevens added 12 points and 16 rebounds and freshman Angela Salvadores 11 points.
Jordan Jones added 14 points and Courtney Williams 12 for the Aggies, who improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Aggies beat Duke 63-59 last season in College Station on a night the Blue Devils’ All-America senior center Elizabeth Williams didn’t play, but that wasn’t at Cameron.
“I’ve completed my bucket list, so you might not see me here again,” said Blair, who had one loss in Durham as Arkansas’ coach. “Everything about this program is just class. They’re going to get better and they’re going to compete to win in the ACC. But they’re going to take some lumps.”
Texas A&M led 69-64 after following a Walker jumper with 1:17 to play in overtime, but Crystal Primm cut it to 69-66 on a layup with 35 seconds left. The Aggies added three single free throws to seal the win.
“It was a great basketball game,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “It’s like an NCAA tournament game, which is good. There are just very, very good lessons for us. I thought we fought hard.
“The reality is that you have to play that way the entire game, not just when you’re coming back.”
The Blue Devils outshot the Aggies 39.7 percent to 35.5, but they lost the rebound battle 49-44 and committed 20 turnovers to Texas A&M’s 13.
The score was 63-63 at the end of regulation, with Khaalia Hillsman scoring the tying bucket for Texas A&M with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Duke tied the score at 54 on a Salvadores jumper with 7:23 left and took its first lead of the second at 59-57 on Stevens’ follow with four minutes to play.
The Aggies were ahead 52-47 after three quarters after leading by as many as 11 points on two occasions early in the third.