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Texas A&M Women's Basketball

Aggies drop penultimate regular-season matchup in Knoxville, 75-66

February 29, 2024

Needing a statement win heading into the SEC Tournament, Texas A&M (18-10, 6-9) fell at Tennessee (17-10,10-5) in its penultimate regular season matchup, 75-66.

The upset-minded Aggies entered Thursday’s contest as one of the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament according to ESPN’s most recent bracketology.

Janiah Barker paced A&M’s offense early, but Tennessee raced out to an early lead by outrebounding the Aggies 14-5 in the first quarter. 

 A&M outrebounded the Lady Vols by nine when the teams met at Reed Arena just six weeks ago, but that trend was reversed tonight, as Tennessee went on to outrebound A&M by ten in the first half and by 15 overall

Foul trouble was a significant story in the first half, as Barker picked up her second foul just seven minutes into the game, allowing Tennessee to go on an 8-0 run, which turned into an 11-4 run to close the quarter, as the Vols led 23-15.

Freshman Solè Williams provided a spark off the bench, immediately going on a 7-0 run by herself to bring the Aggies within three points late in the second quarter.

However, foul trouble returned as Lauren Ware picked up her third foul with 2:30 left in the half, and the Aggies did not score again in the quarter after that foul, giving the Lady Vols a 36-29 advantage at halftime.

Solè Williams led the Aggies with 20 points in the game. 

With their two best players in foul trouble, A&M failed to find a second-half spark to emerge victorious and potentially save their postseason hopes.

The powerful pair of Barker and Ware combined for just 14 points in limited action down the stretch.

It would take until late in the third quarter for Williams to put the team on her back. The freshman knocked down three straight triples and a tough layup on four consecutive possessions to bring the Aggies within four points.

The 11-0 Williams run gave A&M life, but Tennessee’s superstar Rickea Jackson posted 13 points in the third quarter to successfully nullify the Aggie run. Jackson finished with 27 points, six rebounds and three assists as she passed Tamika Catchings on the Tennessee career scoring list with 2,113 points.

The gap proved to be too insurmountable as Tennessee pulled away to win their tenth SEC game of the season over Joni Taylor’s squad.

The sparkplug freshman Williams finished with a career and season-high 20 points and was the lone bright spot in a lackluster performance in Knoxville.

The Aggies will return home to Reed Arena to host the Alabama Crimson Tide in their final regular season game on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. CT.

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Aggies drop penultimate regular-season matchup in Knoxville, 75-66

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