No. 6 Kentucky Slips by No. 20 A&M, 65-62
LEXINGTON, KY - Texas A&M (12-5, 2-1) had strong play inside from junior Kelsey Bone and senior Kristi Bellock, but it was not enough to hold off the constant pressure from No. 6 Kentucky (15-1, 3-0). Bone recorded her fourth straight double-double with 27 points and 15 rebounds. Bellock recorded her third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Aggies and Wildcats did not take long to get the pace of play going as the game started fast and furious with Bone scoring the first four points of the game on the way to an Aggie 11-7 lead at the first media timeout. Bellock scored four points in the first four and half minutes, senior Adrienne Pratcher rounded out the scoring for the Aggies with three points.
The following four minutes did little to slow the game down; the Aggies and Wildcats were up and down the floor as the visiting team was able to maintain the six point lead at 19-13 with just less than 12 minutes left in the half.
Texas A&M and Kentucky traded baskets following the timeout before the Wildcats scored four straight points to cut the Aggie lead to two. The visitors responded with four points of their own, two apiece from Pratcher and freshman Courtney Walker to make the Aggie lead 29-23 with under six minutes remaining in the half.
At the break, Texas A&M held a considerable advantage on points in the paint at 24-12 and in rebounding 21-13. The Aggies were led by Bellock at the break with a game-high 14 points and six rebounds. Bone also impressed on the inside displaying several post moves on the way to 10 points in the first 20 minutes, Bone also had five boards in the opening frame.
The second half started just as fast as the first, Bone got to the free-throw line to make one-of-two shots. Kentucky responded with an offensive rebound and three-pointer by DeNesha Stallworth. On the ensuing possession Kentucky forced a Texas A&M turnover leading to Bria Goss layup to cut the Aggies lead to 38-36 after just over one minute played in the second half. The Stallworth three-pointer ignited a 10-4 Wildcat run over three minutes to give the home side their first lead of the game at 44-42 with 15:52 remaining in the game.
Bone led the Aggie response with five straight points to reclaim the Aggie lead at 47-44 at the 15:12 mark in the second half. The Wildcats countered a couple possessions later with a Bria Goss three-pointer to knot the game up at 47 points apiece.
Later in the game Kentucky used a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 60-55 with under four minutes to play. The Aggies failed to make a field goal for a three minute stretch and were 0-for-6 from the floor during the Wildcat run.
Bone attempted to bring the Aggies back scoring nine straight points for the Aggies, including a big offensive rebound and put-back to cut the Wildcat lead to 63-59 with less than two minutes to play.
In the final minute Pratcher went to the line for a one-and-one, Pratcher made the first and Bone collected the offensive rebound and scored to cut the Wildcat lead to 64-62 with only 38 seconds remaining. Kentucky made one of two free-throws to gain a three point advantage on the ensuing possession. The Aggies set up a play to get freshman Peyton Little a shot to tie the game and it fell off the side of the iron.
For the game Texas A&M led Kentucky in points in the paint 38-24 and in rebounds 42-32, including nine offensive boards leading to nine Aggie points. The Aggies shot 45 percent from the floor in the game, but had 21 turnovers leading to 17 Wildcat points.
The Aggies will return to Reed Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m. to face-off with Auburn. Sunday's game will be the final half-price holiday hoops game and will be youth basketball day, youths can wear their jersey and get in free.