COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Destiny Pitts had a season-high 18 points and No. 6 Texas A&M used strong free throw shooting late to hold on for an 80-70 win over No. 16 Tennessee on Sunday.
It’s the seventh straight victory for Texas A&M (19-1, 10-1 SEC) and improves the Aggies to 8-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Texas A&M had a two-point led late in the fourth quarter when Pitts was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 73-68. Jordan Nixon added two free throws after an offensive foul by Rennia Davis before a basket by Davis cut the lead to 5 with less than a minute to go.
Nixon made two more free throws after the Lady Volunteers fouled her with 37 seconds remaining. Davis missed a 3-pointer on the other end and Nixon was two more times in the final seconds and made 3 of 4 free throws to secure the win.
This game was originally scheduled for Dec. 31 but was postponed twice because of coronavirus issues.
Davis had 25 points to lead Tennessee (12-5, 6-3) after missing the team’s last game because of a medical reason.
Nixon finished with 15 points and Kayla Wells and Aaliyah Wilson added 13 each for Texas A&M.
The Aggies had a two-point lead entering the fourth but were down by 1 early in the quarter before a 5-0 run, with a 3-pointer from Pitts, put them back on top 59-55 with about seven minutes to go.
Texas A&M had extended its lead to 6 later in the fourth before a 5-2 spurt by the Volunteers cut the deficit to 65-62 with four minutes remaining.
A jump shot by Wilson extended Texas A&M’s lead to 5 points before Tennessee scored the next four points to get within 67-66 with about two minutes remaining.
Pitts added a 3-pointer for the Aggies soon after that, but Davis made a jumper for the Volunteers to cut the lead to 70-68 with 90 seconds to go.
Tennessee led by 2 after a free throw by Jordan Walker late in the third quarter. But the Aggies scored the last four points on the quarter with layups from Pitts and N’dea Jones to take a 51-49 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Aggies continue to prove they’re one of the nation’s top teams after another win over a ranked opponent and if they keep playing this well they should garner consideration for one of the top seeds in the NCAA tournament. The Volunteers will need to regroup quickly after losing two in a row with a tough stretch coming up with three games next week.
Tennessee: Visits Mississippi State on Tuesday before hosting top-ranked South Carolina on Thursday night.
Texas A&M: Hosts Missouri on Thursday night before playing its next two games on the road.
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