- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Trailing by 11 points with three minutes left, all hope of a comeback for Texas A&M; seemed utterly lost. Then in the sudden blink of an eye, everything took a 180 degree turn.

“We all had to come together and motivate each other . we wanted the win,” Anriel Howard said. “We did not want to lose again. We picked up our energy and got the win.”

Courtney Walker scored 29 points, including 10 in overtime, and No. 12 Texas A&M; bounced back from two straight losses to beat No. 23 Tennessee 76-71 on Sunday.

“Role playing in this game goes unnoticed,” A&M; coach Gary Blair said. “The key times when (Danni Wiliams) went in the first half because (Walker) could not hit a thing, that gave (Walker) a chance to reflect on how they were guarding her . sometimes those things go unnoticed.”

Khaalia Hillsman added 14 points for the Aggies (16-7, 6-3 SEC).

After a sloppy first half, which ended with the Aggies on top 30-29, the third quarter was owned by Tennessee, which shot 60 percent to open a 51-40 lead. A&M; made just 2 of 17 shots.

A scary moment occurred in the fourth quarter in a hard collision that sent A&M;’s Jordan Jones to the floor, where she hit her head forcefully on the hardwood. She laid on the court motionless for several minutes, eventually being carried off by way of stretcher to the applause of the crowd.

She was transported to the hospital where she will undergo testing Sunday night. Her exit, however, was a turning point in the ballgame for A&M.;

“(Jones) was the one that helped us get our energy going . we felt like we could not tell her later tonight that we lost,” Walker said. “We had to tell her that we won.”

That is when Walker and the Aggies roared back, outscoring Tennessee 21 to 10 in the final period, which was capped by a game-tying field goal from Howard with five seconds remaining.

“Just turned around and shot it. I thought about (Jordan Jones) and said ‘I have to make it’,” Howard said.

Tennessee opened overtime with a free throw before Walker scored four points and Chelsea Jennings made two free throws for a 67-62 lead with 2:57 left.

Twice the Lady Vols closed within on and each time Walker answered and the Aggies went 7 of 8 from the line in the last 1:34.

“It was a great game. A&M; finished it out. We could not hold on,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. “They did some great things down the stretch there and we did not.”

Jordan Reynolds led the Lady Vols (14-9, 5-5) with 16 points.

The Lady Vols have now lost their last three road games, all ranked opponents, by a combined eight points and are now in danger of finding themselves out of the top 25 for the first time since February of 1985.

“It was extremely similar. To do so well and have a lead . to fight that hard and long to come up short . it is obviously something we have to fix,” Tennessee’s Andraya Carter said. “We have to be able to close games.”

___

TIP-INS

Tennessee: Bashaara Graves returned from an ankle sprain two games ago. She scored two points and added four rebounds.

Texas A&M;: Second leading scorer Courtney Williams went 0 for 7 from the field, scoring all three of her points from the free throw line. She eventually fouled out with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Tennessee plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Texas A&M; hosts No. 11 Mississippi State on Thursday.

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