COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M was struggling offensively late in the game, so coach Gary Blair told freshman Courtney Walker she had to make something happen.
Walker scored 20 points, six in the final 2 minutes, but it wasn’t enough for the 10th-ranked Aggies in a 70-66 loss to No. 8 Kentucky on Monday night.
“None of our offense was working,” Blair said. “(Kelsey) Bone was getting double-teamed and turning the ball over. I just told (Walker) to do her best Michael Jordan act, and she was doing it. She gave us a chance at the end.”
DeNesha Stallworth had 12 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record seven blocks to lead the Wildcats.
Walker scored four quick points, the last two when she drove hard to the basket for a layup, to trim Texas A&M’s deficit to 66-64 with about a minute remaining.
“I was trying to be aggressive,” the soft-spoken Walker said.
Kentucky (23-3, 11-2 SEC) missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired, but it bounced off the rim and Stallworth batted the rebound to Bria Goss for an easy layup that made it 68-64.
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was relieved to get a little cushion with that play.
“I didn’t know if we could stop Courtney Walker again,” he said. “It was a really impressive stretch she had there.”
Walker was fouled on a made jump shot with 4 seconds left and purposely missed the ensuing free throw. But Goss grabbed the rebound and hit two free throws to seal it.
Texas A&M (20-6, 10-2) lost for the first time since a 65-62 defeat Jan. 10 at Kentucky in the first-ever meeting between the teams.
The Aggies reeled off eight straight wins after that, before Kentucky extended its winning streak to four games with Monday’s win.
“It was just a tough loss,” Texas A&M’s Kristi Bellock said. “We’re very upset with ourselves and how much harder we could have played from tip-off. It’s a learning experience and something to look at film and get better from. We’re a work in progress and we’re still working and we’re not done yet.”