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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M women’s basketball earns first victory in Knoxville in crucial SEC matchup

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Photo by Morgan Engel

Senior forward Taylor CoopCooper played 20 minutes against Alabama. 

Texas A&M had 15 offensive rebounds on the day, but none more important than the final one by Khaalia Hillsman which transitioned into the game-winning put-back jumper with 4.3 seconds to go in the game – giving the Aggies (19-6, 9-3 SEC) a key 61-59 road win over Tennessee (16-9, 7-5 SEC) Sunday afternoon in Knoxville.
The Lady Volunteers went ice cold in the fourth quarter, going 0-of-11 from the field in the final 8:49 of the game. A&M capitalized on UT’s shooting woes, ending on a 14-1 run. The Aggie defense was superb in the final frame, holding the Lady Vols to just five points on 2-of-13 shooting (15 percent).
Danni Williams led the Aggies with a game-high 18 points. Hillsman followed with a double-double, scoring 10 while nabbing a game-high 15 rebounds. Curtyce Knox also recorded a double-double recording 10 points of her own, adding 10 assists.
UT was paced by Mercedes Russell, who scored a team-high 17 points. Russell needed 19 though, as she missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer which sealed A&M’s win.
Sunday’s victory was critical for A&M’s spot in the SEC standings, as the win over UT put the Aggies into outright third place and one game ahead of Kentucky. With four games left, the win helped A&M inch closer to earning a top-four seed and a double-bye in the conference tournament.
The Aggies were able to cut down the Lady Vols lead in the third quarter, but UT closed the period on an 8-0 run to take a 54-47 lead into the final frame. UT stretched their run to 12-0 after two quick buckets in the fourth quarter – which included their final one of the day – tying the Lady Vols largest lead of the contest at 58-47 with 8:49 left in the game.
A&M opened the third quarter on a quick 6-0 run to tie the game at 38 at the 7:15 mark – forcing UT to call timeout. The Aggies continued to battle, and took their first lead of the game at 47-46 with 2:17 to go. A&M’s lead was short-lived, however, as Alexa Middleton hit back-to-back three’s to put UT back on top 52-47 with 1:24 left in the quarter.
UT used a series of key first half runs to hold a 38-32 lead at the break with Williams and Russell pacing each team with 11 points apiece. A&M got within 22-19 early in the second quarter, but the Lady Vols proceeded on a 10-2 run to open their lead to 32-21 with 6:40 left in the half.
The Lady Vols held a 20-15 advantage following the first quarter as A&M shot just 32 percent from the field in the opening period. After UT jumped out to an early 7-2 lead A&M missed their first five shots of the game, the Aggies knotted it back up at 11 with 3:50 remaining in the quarter.
A&M returns to action this Thursday as the Aggies stay on the road to take on LSU at 7:00 p.m.

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