Aggies Strike Gold: Bonnarens leads Lady Aggies to Victory

Photo by Krista Pylant

Drue Watkins
Sports Editor

On Jan. 27 in Commerce, Texas, the Cameron women’s basketball team upset the top-ranked Texas A&M-Commerce Lions in a high-scoring conference match-up, 94-87.

With the win, the Aggies now sit at 8-12 overall and 6-6 in conference play. The Lions drop to 14-6 overall and 10-2 within the conference, remaining the top seed.

Aggie sophomore wing Jamie Bonnarens dominated the game with 32 points, along with nearly grabbing a triple-double as she recorded 12 rebounds and seven assists. The 32 points tied her career-high in points from last year against UT Permian Basin.

Bonnarens said compared to last year, this year’s game was much more meaningful.

“I mean no disrespect towards UTPB,” she said, “but since Commerce is ranked number one in the conference, this just meant much more. It feels really good to get a game like this. I feel like I know how things are starting to go.”

Cameron head coach Emma Andrews said Bonnarens is an all-around great player to have on the team.

“Jamie’s a team player and has an incredibly high basketball IQ,” she said. “She’s patient and knows how to work the court. The team allows her to approach the game in her own way.”

The Aggies shot a season best 53 percent from the field and 54 percent from beyond the arc. Out of the 94 total points scored, 42 came from three-pointers.

The game escalated quickly from the start.

In the first five minutes of the opening period, the Aggies went on an 11-4 point run, establishing offensive consistency that would follow the entirety of the game.

With 3:30 left in the first, Bonnarens hit a quick-shot to put the Aggies up by eight, before the Lions went on a run of their own to cut the Aggies’ lead down to four at the end of the period, 19-15.

The start of the second period felt like the start of the first—offensive dominance by Cameron.

With under five minutes left to play in the second period, the Aggies were up by 12 points.

However, the Lions answered back with a 9-2 point run to tie the game at 38 heading into halftime. Bonnarens had already scored 17 of Cameron’s 38 points.

Bonnarens said everything was clicking for her.

“I’m just really happy that all of my shots were falling,” she said, “and I knew that I just had to keep it up in the second half.”

Andrews said the game plan remained clear at halftime despite the tie.

“It’s all about how you handle the game,” she said. “We know that every team goes on their runs, and with the game being tied, we knew it was all about how we come out, regroup and handle it.”

At the start of the third, both teams shot back and forth, with neither one gaining a real offensive or defensive edge. However, the Lions eventually took their first lead of the game at the halfway mark of the period.

This change in leader seemed to reinvigorate the Aggies’ production, prompting them to a 14-4 run and finishing the period off up by 10, leading 63-56.

Heading into the fourth period, the Aggies kept up their momentum by consistently scoring. A three-pointer by junior guard Parfitt McNair extended Cameron’s lead to 13 points.

The Lions’ attempt at a comeback faltered due to another strong run by the Aggies, who scored nine unanswered points to end the game.

Bonnarens said the team played really well, which helped her in the long run.

“My role is much more significant this year,” she said, “but I owe most of it to my team. This was the most fun game I’ve played and the ability to lead everybody helped.”

Cameron will stay at home for their next four games, with the most immediate one being against Texas A&M-Kingsville at 2 p.m. on Feb. 3.

Andrews said it’s a good feeling having a four-game home-stretch.

“You have your own home atmosphere,” she said, “and there’s no traveling on a bus all the time. The community and people really provide home games with a much better feeling heading into our match-ups.”

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