DULUTH, Ga. — Courtney Williams’ jumper with 33 seconds remaining gave No. 19 Texas A&M the lead and the Aggies held on to beat ninth-ranked Tennessee 66-62 in the Southeastern Conference women’s basketball tournament semifinals Saturday, ending the Lady Vols’ bid for a fourth straight championship.
Courtney Walker had 18 points to lead four scorers in double figures for Texas A&M (23-9), which will face either Kentucky or Georgia on Sunday for the championship.
Taber Spani had a career-high 33 points for top-seeded Tennessee (24-7), the SEC’s regular-season champion. The Aggies, the No. 4 seed, are playing in their first SEC tournament.
Spani’s last basket tied the game at 62 before Williams gave the Aggies the lead following a Tennessee timeout with her second basket of the game.
Kamiko Williams’ driving attempt for the Lady Vols bounced off the rim and Walker made two free throws with six seconds remaining to pad the lead.
Kelsey Bone and Adrienne Pratcher each had 15 points, and Kristi Bellock had 12 for Texas A&M.
Meighan Simmons had 10 points for the Lady Vols. No other Tennessee player scored in double figures.
Spani made 11 of 13 shots from the field — including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
Despite 18 first-half points by Spani, Texas A&M used an 11-0 run late in the half to lead 35-33 at the break.
Spani continued her hot shooting after the break, scoring the first eight points of the second half. The junior opened the half with a jumper following a turnover by Bone and then sank two 3-pointers. Spani’s personal 8-0 run gave the Lady Vols a 41-35 lead.
The Aggies were scoreless for the first 4:33 of the half before Walker made one of two free throws. Walker ended Texas A&M’s field-goal drought with a jumper about 5 minutes into the half.
Tennessee led 50-40 before the Aggies answered with an 8-0 run and finally pulled even at 52-all on two free throws by Walker.
No. 7 Kentucky 60, No. 12 Georgia 38: Jennifer O’Neill sank 3-pointers on each end of a 15-0 run early in the second half that gave Kentucky the lead, and the Wildcats rolled past Georgia to earn a spot in the SEC tournament championship game.
DeNesh Stallworth had 18 points for No. 7 Kentucky (27-4), which will face No. 19 Texas A&M in Sunday night’s final.
The Wildcats, who lost to Tennessee in the 2010 and 2011 championship games, will play for their first championship since 1982.
Jasmine Hassell led No. 12 Georgia (25-6) with 17 points. Georgia, which made only 22.2 percent of its shots (14-of-63), led 24-19 at halftime and stretched the lead to seven points before Kentucky took control with its 15-0 run.
The Wildcats closed with a 13-0 run as Georgia didn’t score in the final six minutes.
A’dia Mathies had 11 points as Kentucky’s second scorer in double figures. O’Neill had nine points.