UK Women's Basketball

Texas A&M women shut down Kentucky 77-68

Texas A&M's Khaalia Hillsman blocked a shot by UK's Maci Morris in the third quarter as the Cats fell 77-68 at home.
Texas A&M's Khaalia Hillsman blocked a shot by UK's Maci Morris in the third quarter as the Cats fell 77-68 at home.

When Kentucky and Texas A&M meet, it never seems to end well for the home team.

The last four times the two teams have met, the home team has lost on its own floor. That trend continued on Sunday when the Aggies upended No. 24 Kentucky 77-68 in Memorial Coliseum.

The Cats led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, but couldn’t hold on with the Aggies riding a big second-quarter run, and then another one in the fourth to put it away.

Curtyce Knox scored a career-high 26 points and added nine assists for the Aggies, who had three players score in double figures. Knox hit a key 15-footer late in the fourth quarter to halt a Makayla Epps fueled comeback late.

Danni Williams added 19 points and Khaalia Hillsman 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Aggies, who outrebounded the Cats 38-26. Anriel Howard pitched in 11 boards to go with her nine points.

For Kentucky, seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator scored 20 points apiece, and sophomore Taylor Murray added 11 points and five assists.

The Cats (10-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) seemed to struggle after Taylor Murray went out in the second quarter with her second foul.

The Aggies went on a 9-3 run to end the half and grab one of their first leads of the game, 34-33, on an Anriel Howard put back after a scramble in the lane.

Texas A&M was able to grab the lead thanks to strong inside play from Hillsman, who had 12 points and six rebounds. Behind the junior center, the Aggies outscored UK 15-4 on second-chance points and 22-16 in the paint.

Knox added 12 points and four assists for Texas A&M, which was coming off a 69-59 loss at Georgia on Thursday night.

Turnovers were costly for the Aggies (12-4, 2-1) early in the third quarter when five miscues turned into eight straight points for the Cats, who grabbed a 45-39 advantage before Texas A&M found its footing again.

With an 11-4 run to end the third quarter, including six straight made free throws, gave Texas A&M a 50-49 lead going into the fourth.

The Aggies grabbed their largest lead of the game 69-62 on a Danni Williams three-pointer, which capped a 7-0 run for Texas A&M, which all was happening while UK went cold, going three minutes between field goals.

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

Next game

Kentucky at Alabama

8 p.m. Thursday (SEC Network Plus)