GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP)Freshman Sydney Bowles scored a season-high 22 points and No. 13 seed Texas A&M beat 12th-seeded Vanderbilt 77-70 on Wednesday in the opening game of the SEC Tournament.
Texas A&M (8-19) advances to play No. 5 seed Mississippi State on Thursday. The Aggies have lost three straight in the series.
Bowles, averaging 8.3 points per game, scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers. Bowles’ fifth 3-pointer of the game extended Texas A&M’s lead to 69-52 before Vanderbilt scored the next 14 points to get within three with 2:25 left. Bowles ended Texas A&M’s nearly seven-minute field-goal drought with her sixth 3-pointer, setting a career-high.
Vanderbilt missed its final five field goals and Texas A&M made its first free throw of the second half with 23.5 seconds left to help secure the victory.
Aaliyah Patty added a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Texas A&M, which has won two of three following a six-game losing streak. Jada Malone and Sahara Jones also scored 12 points apiece.
Sacha Washington scored 17 points and Ciaja Harbison added 16 for Vanderbilt (12-19). Marnelle Garraud had 10 points.
Last year, the Aggies’ season came to an end in the first round of the conference tournament against Vanderbilt, 85-69.
— AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25