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No. 11 Kentucky Falls to No. 19 Texas A&M

Maci Morris, left, and Rhyne Howard try to contain A&M’s Chennedy Carter. (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Maci Morris scored 11 points, all in the second half, but it was not enough as the 11th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team fell to No. 19 Texas A&M 62-55 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky (23-6, 10-5 SEC) struggled from the field for most of the game, hitting just 22 of 61 (36.1 percent) of its shots, including just five of 22 (22.7 percent) from behind the arc. Texas A&M made 23 of its 56 field goal attempts (41.1 percent) in the game. The Aggies also took advantage of their superior size to win the rebounding battle 47-28. A&M also led in points in the paint, 32-14, and second-chance points, 12-5.

Tatyana Wyatt was the only other Kentucky player in double figures, scoring 10 for the Cats. Taylor Murray had nine points and five assists, while Rhyne Howard was held to just seven points in the game.

Texas A&M (22-6, 11-4) grabbed an early 11-2 lead behind Chennedy Carter, who had seven points and two assists in the run. The Aggies would eventually take a 16-4 lead with 2:41 to play in the period. And after one period, A&M held a 19-7 lead. Kentucky made just three of its 13 shots (23.1 percent) from the field, while Texas A&M made half (eight of 16) of its field goal tries.

Early in the second period, A&M extended its lead to 22-7 before Kentucky assembled a run. Behind five points from Howard, the Cats scored 12 straight to cut the lead to 22-19 with 4:10 remaining in the half. Kentucky’s run would ultimately be 18-3, and the Cats would take their first lead, 26-25, with 1:24 to play in the half. Late in the half, A&M would re-take the lead, 28-26, and that would be the halftime score. Amanda Paschal and Wyatt each had six points to lead Kentucky.

In the third period, Kentucky tied the game at 28 apiece on a pair of free throws by Morris. After Carter hit a three-pointer to give the Aggies a 31-28 lead, Morris made her first basket of the game, a three-pointer from the left wing, to tie the game at 31-31. The game would be tied again at 33, 35, 37 and 39 before Kentucky took a 41-40 lead on a jumper by Jaida Roper. But the lead would be short-lived, as the Aggies scored the next nine points to lead 49-41 with 1:29 left in the third period. A&M would hold a 51-44 lead after three periods.

Kentucky would chip away at the A&M lead in the fourth quarter. Trailing 54-48, the Cats would score five in a row to trail by just one, 54-53, with 6:16 to play. But A&M answered with the next four points to lead 58-53 with 5:12 remaining. But the Cats could not get any closer.

Texas A&M got 24 points from Carter, the SEC’s leading scorer.

Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, visiting Georgia in the regular season finale for both teams. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.

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