Saturday, March 09, 2013

(19) Texas A&M 66 - (9) Tennessee 62

When Tennessee led Texas A&M by 10 points midway through the second half, Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick said her players got comfortable.

Courtney Walker and the Aggies got busy.

Walker had back-to-back baskets to start No. 19 Texas A&M's comeback, and Courtney Williams delivered the go-ahead jumper with 33 seconds remaining as the Aggies beat ninth-ranked Tennessee 66-62 in the Southeastern conference semifinals Saturday, ending the Lady Vols' bid for a fourth straight championship.

Taber Spani had a career-high 33 points for top-seeded Tennessee (24-7), the SEC's regular-season champion. The Aggies, the No. 4 seed, are playing in their first SEC tournament.

Meighan Simmons had 10 points for the Lady Vols. No other Tennessee player scored in double figures, but Warlick focused on the Lady Vols' defensive problems.

"It boiled down to us getting stops, and we couldn't get any stops," Warlick said. "Texas A&M was persistent and they hit big shots. We didn't have an answer."

Spani, a senior averaging 10.2 points, made 11 of 13 shots from the field -- including five of six from 3-point range. She set her previous career high with 24 points against Vanderbilt on Jan. 24. It was her only game with 20 or more points in the regular season.

Spani became the first Tennessee player to score 30 points against a conference opponent this season.

"I was just trying to do everything I could to keep us in the game, hopefully with a W," Spani said. "Unfortunately, we came up short."

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