Lady Vols drop heartbreaker to Texas A&M

KNOXVILLE, TN- Texas A&M’s Khaalia Hillsman scored the game-winning putback with four seconds left as No. 24/25 Tennessee fell to the Aggies, 61-59 on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Mercedes Russell led the Lady Vols (16-9, 7-5 SEC) with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her 14th double-double of the season. Texas A&M (19-6, 9-3 SEC) outscored UT 14-5 in the fourth quarter to maintain third place in the conference standings.

Alexa Middleton scored 14 points and recorded four assists, and Jaime Nared added nine points and seven rebounds. Danni Williams led the Aggies with 18 points. Hillsman logged a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Curtyce Knox notched a double-double of her own, finishing with 10 points and 10 assists.

After holding a 20-15 advantage following the first quarter, Tennessee opened the second quarter with a 12-6 run over the first three minutes to build an 11-point lead. Texas A&M kept the score close as the Lady Vols went into the half ahead, 38-32.

Russell led the Lady Vols with 11 points in the first half, while Williams led the Aggies with 11 points of her own. Tennessee shot 46 percent from the floor in the opening half, with 18 points in the paint. Meme Jackson and Middleton combined for 12 points on mid-range jumpers.

Texas A&M came out of the gates hot in the second half, tying the game at 38-38 at the 7:21 mark of the third quarter. The Aggies took their first lead of the game after a Jasmine Lumpkin jumper with just over two minutes to go in quarter put Texas A&M in front, 47-46. Alexa Middleton answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 Tennessee run to close out the third.

Texas A&M started the fourth with a 12-5 run, and Knox knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the game at 59 with 2:44 remaining.

Courtesy: University of Tennessee Athletics

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