NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Once again, it was Joyce Walker’s time to shine at the Southeastern Conference women’s basketball tournament.
LSU’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer was honored at halftime Friday of the No. 4-seeded Lady Tigers’ 75-69 loss to No. 5 Texas A&M in the SEC tournament quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena. She is the school’s representative on the 2018 Women’s Legends Class, honoring former athletes from a variety of women’s sports.
A three-time All-American during her career (1980-84), Walker scored 2,906 points, the third-most in SEC history. She still ranks second in steals at LSU, fifth in assists, 11th in blocked shots and 12th in rebounding.
A double foul with less than four minutes left to play led to a lengthy delay and, ultimately, LSU’s last lead.
With 3:55 left, LSU’s Ayana Mitchell and Texas A&M’s Danni Williams collided near midcourt going for a loose ball. Both players were whistled for fouls, but Williams also drew a technical for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“At that point you can choose any player to shoot two free throws and then get the ball,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas explained.
Instead of choosing Mitchell, who was 3 of 5 at the line Friday but came in only a 49.6 percent free-throw shooter, Fargas tabbed Chloe Jackson. LSU’s top free-throw shooter at 76 percent entering the game (she was 4 of 4 Friday), Jackson made both for a 65-64 lead.
Texas A&M quickly took the lead back with 3:14 remaining on a three-point trip by Khaalia Hillsman after she was fouled by Yasmine Bidikuindila. Up 67-65, the Aggies never trailed again.
Greenville's got next
The SEC women’s tournament returns to Greenville, South Carolina, for a three-year run from 2019-21. The tournament was held there in 2005 and 2017.
The SEC men’s tournament returns to Nashville from 2019-21 after going to St. Louis next week. Nashville is the semi-permanent home for the men’s tournament, but every few years it is played elsewhere and the women’s tournament returns here.
LSU is 36-38 all-time in the SEC tournament. The Lady Tigers won their only previous tournament meeting with Texas A&M, 71-65 in 2015. … The last time LSU went winless in the SEC tournament was in 2010, when the No. 4-seeded Lady Tigers lost to No. 5 Vanderbilt 63-61. … The Aggies’ comeback from a nine-point second-quarter deficit is their biggest in an SEC game this season. … Chennedy Carter and Hillsman scored all 19 of Texas A&M’s fourth-quarter points.