NASHVILLE-- The No. 5 seed Texas A&M women's basketball team defeated No. 4 seed LSU, 75-69, in the quarterfinals of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament today at Bridgestone Arena. With the win, the Aggies advance to the semifinals to play No. 2 Mississippi State on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Texas A&M (24-8) was led by SEC Freshman of the Year Chennedy Carter, who finished with a game-high 27 points. She was 12-for-12 at the free throw line, including a clutch 6-of-6 with under a minute left in the game to seal victory. Khaalia Hillsman added 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to record her ninth double-double of the season and her second of the SEC Tournament. Danni Williams and Jasmine Lumpkin also posted double-figure points with 15 and 10, respectively.
There were 25 lead changes in the game with each team building as much as a nine-point advantage. The Lady Tigers held a 39-34 lead at halftime, but A&M opened the third quarter by scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 45-39 lead. LSU eventually retook the lead in the fourth quarter, 59-58, with 9:03 remaining in the game but shot only 29.3 percent from the field in the final frame. Texas A&M who shot 53.8 percent in the fourth quarter, took the lead for good at 3:14 on a jumper by Hillsman that put the Aggies ahead, 66-65.
LSU (19-9) was led by Ayana Mitchell and Raigyne Louis, who had 17 points apiece.
The Aggies, 9-4 in SEC Tournament history, advance to the SEC semifinals for the fourth time in six years. They won the championship in 2013. Since current head coach Gary Blair was hired in 2003-04, Texas A&M is 23-11 in conference tournaments with three tournament titles.
Mississippi State (31-0), which had a double-bye in the tournament as the No. 1 seed, defeated Kentucky, 81-58, in today's other quarterfinal action. The Bulldogs, who have never won the SEC Tournament, are making their third consecutive semifinal appearance.