No. 12 Lady Vols finish strong to drop No. 14 Texas A&M
Jaime Nared scored 23 points and Mercedes Russell had a double-double Thursday as No. 12 Tennessee dominated the fourth quarter to pull away for an 82-67 victory over No. 14 Texas A&M.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jaime Nared scored 23 points and Mercedes Russell had a double-double Thursday as No. 12 Tennessee dominated the fourth quarter to pull away for an 82-67 victory over No. 14 Texas A&M.
Russell had 18 points and 13 rebounds to help Tennessee rebound in its first game since falling out of the top 10. Tennessee (18-4, 6-3 SEC) entered the night having lost four of its last six games after a 15-0 start.
In a game that featured 30 lead changes, Tennessee broke away by outscoring Texas A&M 25-8 in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M (17-7, 6-3) had led 59-57 at the end of the third period.
Chennedy Carter scored 25 points and Jasmine Lumpkin had a career-high 22 points for the Aggies. All of Lumpkin's points came before halftime, and she attempted only one shot in the second half.
Anastasia Hayes scored 16 points, Rennia Davis had 11 and Meme Jackson added 10 for Tennessee.
The two teams had gone to overtime in their first meeting three weeks ago - a 79-76 Texas A&M victory - and went back and forth again for most of the rematch. The first half alone featured 22 lead changes.
Tennessee closed the second quarter with seven straight points to grab a 45-41 halftime lead. Texas A&M stayed close because of a huge performance from Lumpkin.
Lumpkin entered the night averaging just 5.7 points and had reached double figures just five times all season, but the senior guard/forward looked like an All-American during the first half of Thursday's game. She shot 10 of 11 from the floor in the first two quarters.
Although Lumpkin wasn't a factor after halftime, Texas A&M still headed into the fourth quarter with the lead.
But everything changed in the final period as Tennessee silenced Texas A&M. Carter scored 23 points in the first three quarters, but she shot 1 of 5, committed three turnovers and scored just two points in the fourth.
Texas A&M: The Aggies' lack of depth has hurt them in the fourth quarter against Tennessee this season. Texas A&M missed 18 straight shots late in the first Tennessee game and squandered a seven-point, fourth-quarter lead before rallying to win in overtime. This time, the Aggies were dominated down the stretch.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols benefited from a huge performance from Nared, who had been struggling lately. Nared had shot a combined 11 of 35 in the three games leading up to this one. She was 8 of 15 on Thursday.
Texas A&M hosts Auburn on Sunday.
Tennessee is at Vanderbilt on Sunday.