Aggie women complete historic comeback to beat Penn, 63-61
What a comeback, what a comeback, what a comeback.
The fifth-seeded Texas A&M women’s basketball team used the greatest comeback in NCAA Tournament history to defeat the 12th-seeded Penn Quakers, 63-61, in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Saturday night. The Aggies outscored the Quakers, 28-9, in the fourth quarter after trailing, 52-35, after three.
Khaalia Hillsman led the Aggies with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Danni Williams added 15 and eight rebounds. Additionally, Anriel Howard scored seven points and pulled down 16 rebounds, while Curtyce Knox added seven points and eight assists in the win.
A&M took an early 6-4 lead, but shortly after, it was the Quakers that took control of the contest. After the first quarter horn, Penn led by eight points, thanks to a strong performance from long range.
In the second quarter, Penn continued their hot shooting and pushed their lead to 12, 36-24, at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Quakers grew their lead to as many as 21, but the Aggies began to chip away. The lead dwindled to 17 midway through the fourth quarter. Down by 10 with 3:47 to play, Williams hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to eight. Shortly after, Hillsman completed a three-point play to pull A&M within six with 2:01 on the clock.
With 1:28 left, Knox hit a jumper to draw within four before a Williams three-ball and a Hillsman layup led to an A&M lead with 21 seconds left. From there, the Aggies went 3-of-4 from the line to seal the 63-61 win.
The Aggies now look ahead to a second-round contest in Los Angeles with the fourth-seeded UCLA Bruins on Monday. If they were to win there, a likely matchup with top-seeded Connecticut would await in the Sweet Sixteen.