Excited states in the odd-odd neutron deficient nucleus Ta-162 (Z = 73, N = 89) have been studied for the first time. The gamma spectroscopy analysis using gamma - gamma - gamma coincidences revealed a strongly coupled rotational structure that was established up to large angular momentum states. The rotational band was assigned to the configuration pi h(11/2)9/2 circle times nu i(13/2)1/2 based on its rotational and electromagnetic properties. The data are interpreted within the framework of total Routhian surface calculations, which suggests an axially symmetric shape with a gamma-softminimum at beta(2) approximate to 0.16 and gamma approximate to 6 degrees. The crossing of the signature partners observed in heavier (N >= 91) odd-odd nuclides in this mass region is found to be absent at N = 89. This might be correlated with a change in S-band structure above the paired band crossing at these neutron numbers.