Kushkituah- Florida

Tennessee's Kasiyahna Kushkituah (11) is guarded by Florida's Kristina Moore (14) during an NCAA women's basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the Florida Gators in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, January 31, 2021.

The University of Tennessee women’s basketball team was defeated on Sunday afternoon by Texas A&M, 80-70, at College Station, Texas. After the loss, the No. 16/19 Lady Vols fall to 12-5 on the year and 6-3 in the SEC. The No. 6/5 Aggies rise to 19-1 on the season and 10-1 in the conference.

Fab Five

A&M finished the game with five players over the double-digit point mark. Destiny Pitts led the group with 18 points off of the bench. Jordan Nixon had the next 15 along with five boards and five steals. Aaliyah Wilson and Kayla Wells each recorded 13 points. Ciera Johnson rounded out the bunch with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

“It was a hard-fought basketball game, against a terrific team in A&M,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper said. “They are deep, they have a lot of different weapons that are very efficient. We played well throughout the game, unfortunately, that fourth quarter, we put them on the free-throw line too many times and we didn’t get on there enough.”

Take Your Free Pass

This evening's matchup was neck and neck until the final quarter of the game when Tennessee put A&M on the free throw line 22 times. The Aggies nailed 17 of those attempts and even produced two, 5-0 runs to help outscore Tennessee, 29-21, in the final stanza.

The Lady Vols were outdone on the free throw line tonight. A&M took 34 shots from the charity stripe, compared to just 15 from Tennessee. Nixon led the Aggies with 12 made free throws on 14 attempts, she finished with 15 points.

“That’s gonna be hard to overcome anywhere, home or away,” Harper said. “We will look at it and see if there is anything that we can do better.”

Halftime Adjustments

Tennessee shot 45.2% from the field in the first half and held a tied-up ball game into half. However, A&M was able to shore itself up on the defensive end and stop any advancements from the Lady Vols.

As a unit, Tennessee shot 35.3% from the field in the third quarter, and 38.9% in the final frame, plus a 12.5% stroke from behind the arc. During those quarters, they were outscored by 10 points.

“I do credit A&M’s defense, but we didn’t get the post touches that we did in the first half,” Harper said. “We didn’t get clean looks, we missed some easy buckets that we needed to knock down as well. You know, just nothing easy and you also know that we aren’t getting to the free-throw line at the same clip that they are so we can’t put points on the board.”

Rennia Davis and Rae Burrell were the only Lady Vol players to score in the fourth quarter. Davis dropped 13 points and Burrell finished with eight. The other Tennessee players went 0-6 to close out the game.

Up next

Tennessee will have a quick turnaround as it will finish its three-game road trip facing off against Mississippi State at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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