LSU women fall at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Courtney Walker scored 22 points, making a critical layup in the final minute as No. 19 Texas A&M edged the No. 16 LSU women’s basketball team 72-67 at Reed Arena on Sunday.

With Texas A&M (18-6, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) leading by a point, Walker made a layup with 54 seconds left to extend the Aggies’ lead to 70-67.

Jeanne Kenney then missed a jumper for LSU, and Texas A&M made two free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Texas A&M held the Lady Tigers scoreless for the final 5½ minutes of the first half, using its defense to go on a 12-0 run that spanned the halves to take a 29-24 lead.

LSU remained close throughout but never regained the lead.

Courtney Williams added 16 points for the Aggies, who benefited from shooting 25-for-35 on free throws, including 24-for-30 in the second half.

Danielle Ballard turned in a solid all-around effort for LSU with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

The Lady Tigers (18-6, 7-4 SEC) dropped into a fifth-place tie with Florida.

“We knew this was going to be a hard-fought game,” LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. “Both teams did a lot of good things to position themselves to win. I thought A&M did what they needed to do down the stretch especially with their board play. They got a lot of second and third opportunities. They were the better team, and they played with a lot of toughness.”

Raigyne Moncrief scored 11 of her 15 points during the second half and had nine rebounds and four steals for LSU.

Theresa Plaisance added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Jeanne Kenney was limited to six points and two assists over 19 minutes before she fouled out.

Karla Gilbert scored 12 points, and Tori Scott added 11 points for Texas A&M.

LSU was 27-of-67 from the field and 2-of-11 on 3-pointers.

The two teams went back-and-forth during the opening moments of the game. With LSU ahead 15-13 at the 9:48 mark, the Lady Tigers put together seven of the next nine points to take a seven-point lead at 22-15.

But the Lady Tigers were held without a field goal for the last 5:43 of the first half, and the Aggies scored eight straight points to take a 25-24 edge at halftime.

The teams battled throughout the second half, with LSU trailing 68-67 with less than a minute left. Walker then made a reverse layup on a putback to put the Aggies back up by three.

The Lady Tigers misfired on four jumpers during the final minute.

After a midweek bye, LSU hosts No. 6 South Carolina at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and carried on the radio on WBRP-FM, 107.3.