No. 3 A&M beats No. 5 South Carolina 65-57 for SEC title

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South Carolina forward Victaria Saxton (5) and Texas A&M forward N'dea Jones (31) fight for a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The third-ranked Texas A&M Aggies have insisted all year that they should be considered one of the nation's best teams.

When given the chance to shine against another top-5 team on Sunday, they proved it.

“We needed to win this game to solidify who were were and what we’ve earned," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said.

Aaliyah Wilson scored 17 points and N’dea Jones added 16 to lead Texas A&M to a 65-57 win over fifth-ranked South Carolina to give the Aggies their first regular-season Southeastern Conference title.

Jones said they had a team meeting before the season to set their goals and make sure everyone knew how important being vigilant about coronavirus protocols would be to their season.

“We knew that we could win it," she said. “We just needed to follow protocols and stay with it and we could be here."

It’s the 10th straight victory for the Aggies and their ninth win over a ranked opponent this season, which leads the nation. Texas A&M (22-1, 13-1 SEC) snapped a seven-game skid against South Carolina and finished the season 13-0 at home after playing in front of a season-high 2,700 on Sunday.

“We’re the two best teams in the SEC and we had to prove it night in and night out," Blair said. “Now it’s up to both of us to throw this season away and start all over at the SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament."