Daniels’ double-double and eight blocks lead to win
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Arkansas 51, Mississippi State 35
|South Carolina 61, Ole Miss 43
|Kentucky 66, Auburn 48
|Vanderbilt 68, Georgia 48
|Tennessee 86, Alabama 56
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior Ashley Daniels scored her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds as the University of Arkansas posted a school-record eight blocks in a 51-35 win over Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Thursday.
The win moves Arkansas to 15-5 overall and 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference while State falls to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the league. Daniels’ 10 points is her fourth consecutive game in double figures.
“We made the decision to go into a zone and it was a difference-maker for us,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “On offense we were able to spread them out a bit and get the ball inside in the second half. We had to dribble-penetrate them and we made enough good plays to win.”
The win is the fourth consecutive win for Arkansas and the Razorbacks return home hosting three in a row as the season continues.
To say it was a slow start early is an understatement. Neither team’s offense was good, and it took Arkansas until the 2:04 mark in the first half to get the lead, 18-17. The comeback erased an eight-point Mississippi State lead in the first half. Freshman Calli Berna hit a three at the buzzer to push the lead to five at the break.
State had seven blocks and Arkansas had five at the break and both teams had 11 turnovers each at the halfway mark. Arkansas was just 1-for-5 from the free throw line, an area of the game that had been a strength for the Razorbacks in the first seven games.
Arkansas changed up the offense a bit to start the second half and began to dribble-penetrate and it put Mississippi State on their heels. C’eira Ricketts, who was scoreless in the first half, got a spark and scored a team-leading 14 points by the final buzzer. She had two steals and now needs just eight more to overtake the school record.
Junior Sarah Watkins finished with five blocks and Daniels added two for Arkansas. The Razorbacks shot 30.8% on 20-for-65 from the floor. Arkansas hit just two three pointers and struggled from the line, going 9-for-17 in the game. Watkins had eight points and 10 rebounds in the win.
“Statistically it wasn’t a pretty game,” Collen said, “but we hung in there and we are happy to go home with the win.”
Hot Shooting Delivers 61-43 South Carolina Win Over Ole Miss
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Markeshia Grant’s 20 points led South Carolina to a 61-43 victory over Ole Miss Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (16-5, 5-3 SEC) had a strong first half with four 3-pointers from La’Keisha Sutton, which set the pace for the rest of the game. Leading scorer and rebounder Grant hit 4-of-7 from behind the line, three of those coming in the second half to seal the Gamecocks’ victory.
The seniors each carried the scoring load for a half while junior guard Ieasia Walker set the table throughout the game, finishing with a career-high seven assists on the night. Sutton had the hot hand early hitting the first two 3-pointers she took before finishing the game with a career-high five from long range. In the second half, it was Grant who stepped up to stop an Ole Miss run with back-to-back buckets as she added 11 of her 20 points in the period.
“It was great for [Markeshia] and [La’Keisha] from a confidence standpoint,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “La’Keisha has been shooting the ball well [this week]. Markeshia has been slowly getting back to taking her shots, her normal shots where she’s not thinking about it, just taking shots within our offense. It was one of the keys coming into this game, to take shots within our offense, and we did a pretty good job with that.”
It was good ball movement that set the tone early for the Gamecock offense, getting Sutton open for her early 3s and getting the crowd on its feet right away. Defensively, the Gamecocks did what they do best, harass the ball and secure the glass, both of which had the Rebels on their heels. Clicking on all cylinders, South Carolina opened up a 26-7 lead with eight minutes left in the half.
After Sutton’s 3s opened the game, Charenee Stephens hit a layup and Grant picked up a transition layup for a 10-2 advantage. Ole Miss’ leading scorer Valencia McFarland hit a pull-up jumper to briefly stem the tide, but Sutton went right back to work. A 3 from the right corner set her up for a free-throw line jumper on the next possession. The Gamecock defense did not let up either, forcing turnovers on four of the Rebels’ next five possessions, the last two of which precipitated Sutton’s fourth 3 and a jumper from Walker. Grant’s long jumper from the top of the arc closed out the surge.
Trailing 35-16 at the break, Ole Miss stormed out in the second half, applying a half-court trap to disrupt the South Carolina offense. The Rebels’ renewed effort on the glass also helped them cut their deficit to eight points at 45-37 with 13:36 left to play.
Grant took control, righting her team with a 3-pointer from the right wing and adding a transition layup to stretch the advantage back to double digits at 50-37. Ole Miss would get not closer down the stretch as South Carolina cruised to its 16th win of the season.
Grant scored 11 of her 20 points in the second half, while 14 of Sutton’s 17 came in the first stanza. The Gamecocks’ hot shooting from long range, 50.0 percent (9-of-18) was its best of the season. Nine made 3s tied the season high and the most in the Staley era. Sutton’s five 3s reset the career high she established just four days ago with four at Vanderbilt. South Carolina won the battle of the boards 35-32 and turned 19 Rebel turnovers into 20 points. Meanwhile, South Carolina turned the ball over just nine times in the outing.
The Gamecocks are back in action at Colonial Life Arena on Sun., Jan. 29, against Mississippi State. Tipoff for the second game of the homestand is set for 2 p.m.
No. 6 Kentucky women coast past Auburn, 66-48
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- A'dia Mathies scored 20 points and No. 6 Kentucky forced 30 turnovers in a 66-48 victory over Auburn on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (19-2, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) took control with a 33-10 run that carried over into the second half. Kentucky moved within two wins of matching its best-ever start, 21-2 in the 1982-83 season.
Mathies helped ensure the Tigers (10-11, 2-6) didn't really challenge in the second half. When Auburn scored the first four points to pull within seven, Mathies answered with a jump shot and a 3-pointer.
When Auburn whittled six points off an 18-point deficit, she scored on a 3 and a drive.
Meagan Conwright shot 5 for 6 and had 10 points -- six more than her season average -- for the Wildcats. Samarie Walker had only six points on 1-of-11 shooting for Kentucky, but grabbed 15 rebounds.
Blanche Alverson led Auburn with 15 points while Morgan Jennings had 10 on 5-of-6 shooting. The Tigers have lost five of six.
Mathies shot 2 for 8 in the first half but kept firing way and hit three 3-pointers. She was coming off a 1-for-7, 2-point performance against Florida.
The Wildcats, who lead the nation in turnover margin, committed only 13.
They shot 36 percent (23 of 64) but made up for it by grabbing 21 offensive rebounds, including eight by Walker.
Kentucky kept pulling away with big spurts. The Wildcats scored 18 straight points to take a 29-16 lead late in the first half after falling behind by five.
They held Auburn scoreless for 8 1/2 minutes and started the run by forcing turnovers on five consecutive possessions.
The Tigers had only two field goals over the final 10 minutes of the half to fall behind 31-20, committing nine turnovers during that stretch.
Foggie leads Vandy women past No. 17 Georgia 68-48
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Christina Foggie's career-high 34 points and seven 3-pointers helped Vanderbilt top 17th-ranked Georgia 68-48 on Thursday night.
Tiffany Clarke added a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Commodores (15-5, 3-4 Southeastern Conference), who snapped a three-game skid that dropped them out of the Top 25.
Anne Marie Armstrong led the foul-plagued Bulldogs (16-5, 5-3 SEC) with 15 points. Meredith Mitchell scored 12 for Georgia, but committed her fourth foul 48.6 seconds before halftime and didn't start the second half.
Foggie outscored Georgia 10-2 during an almost four-minute stretch midway through the second half to stretch Vanderbilt's five-point halftime lead to 10 at 49-39. She started it with a three-point play on a fast break followed by a 3-point shot, then added another trio of treys during a 13-2 run to push it to 64-43.
Mitchell and Armstrong combined for Georgia's first 14 points, with Armstrong going on her own 7-0 run during the Bulldogs' 9-0 spurt for a 14-8 lead.
Vanderbilt went on its own 10-0 run with Foggie starting it off and ending it with her first two 3-pointers. Foggie missed her first three attempts from behind the arc and her first four shots, but sank the next three treys.
The Bulldogs were playing their third straight game without guard Jasmine James, sidelined by a sprained knee.
No. 7 Tennessee women bounce back to beat Alabama
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Tennessee was determined to bounce back from the second-worst loss in program history. With a matchup against slumping Alabama, it was an easy task.
Shekinna Stricklen scored 14 points and Glory Johnson added 13 to lead the No. 7 Lady Vols to an 86-56 win over the Crimson Tide on Thursday night.
Kamiko Williams and Isabelle Harrison chipped in 10 points apiece for the Lady Vols (15-5, 6-1 Southeastern Conference), who rebounded from a 72-44 setback at No. 2 Notre Dame on Monday.
"We were happy with the pace we played," said Tennessee assistant coach Holly Warlick. "Obviously, we wanted to score. We wanted an up-tempo game. I thought the first half, Alabama hung tough with us."
Kyra Crosby had 15 points and five rebounds as the Crimson Tide (10-11, 0-7 SEC) lost their seventh straight.
Tennessee jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game's first 2 minutes and was comfortably ahead for most of the opening half. The Vols led by 15 points at the break.
"To have a good start, I think that helps our team a lot, gives us a lot of confidence and warns people for next time," said Johnson
The Vols had only four turnovers compared to Alabama's eight. Tennessee also won the rebounding battle 24-17.
"What I thought happened in the first half is if we'd made some free throws, maybe kept the score a little bit closer, it might've been a different type basketball game," said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. "But from the effort standpoint, Tennessee is a very good basketball team, and I thought we competed."
Tennessee scored 25 points off 22 turnovers, including 11 steals.
The Vols shot 45 percent from the field (32 of 71) but just 21 percent of its 3-point attempts (4 for 19). Alabama's performance from long range was much worse; the Tide went 1-for 14.