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Kentucky Falls to Texas A&M in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals

Rob Dillingham scored 27 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, but Kentucky lost to Texas A&M 97-87 on Friday in the SEC Tournament.

scored 27 points, seven assists and four rebounds, but lost to 97-87 on Friday in the Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Kentucky (23-9) got 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals from . was in foul trouble most of the evening, finishing with 13 points in 18 minutes played.

Texas A&M got started early, making three of its first four shots and taking an 8-1 lead in the process. The Cats were able to get closer on threes from Reeves and Dillingham, making it 11-7.

The Aggies would go up 14-7 before the Cats mounted a run. An free throw, followed by a Dillingham basket made it 14-10. After A&M made a free throw, got a Reeves runner, a Sheppard steal and layup and a layup to lead 16-15.

The Kentucky lead lasted just 19 seconds, and A&M would actually score the next seven points to build a 22-16 lead. Sheppard hit a three to cut the deficit to three, then A&M got a putback basket to lead 24-19. Sheppard then hit another three and UK was within two, 24-22, with 10:21 left in the half.

Again, the Aggies would respond, this time with five in a row before a three got the Cats within four, 29-25. The teams would trade baskets before the Aggies ran off six in a row to lead 37-27 with 6:45 left in the half.

Kentucky would then have a run of its own. An dunk, a Sheppard three and a Dillingham layup comprised a 7-0 run to get the Cats within three, 37-34. But A&M had the answer again, scoring the next eight points to lead 45-34. A Wagner layup and free throw cut the deficit to 45-37, but the Cats would trail 48-42 at the half.

In the second half, Reeves got the scoring started with a three to get UK within three. Kentucky would get that close three times, including at 52-49, before A&M scored four in a row. From there, the Aggies would maintain the lead between five and seven points before a Dillingham three got the Cats within four, 61-57.

As they did all night, A&M had the response, this time in the form of an 11-3 run that built the Aggie lead to 12, 72-60. A&M would eventually lead by as many as 16 points, 80-64, before Kentucky made a run.

Dillingham hit a pair of free throws and a three to make it 80-69. After A&M got a Wade Taylor layup, Dillingham hit a three and Justin Edwards converted a dunk to make it 82-74 with 4:36 left.

After the Aggies extended the lead to 84-74, Kentucky got a Mitchell layup and two Reeves free throws to make it 84-78 with 3:46 to play. A&M scored the next four before a Reeves basket cut the deficit to 88-80 with 2:04 remaining. However, the Cats would not get any closer.

Kentucky now awaits its NCAA Tournament opponent, which the Cats will find out at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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