South Carolina women upset No. 8 Tennessee 64-60
WATCH GAME HIGHLIGHTS HERE
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|South Carolina 64, Tennessee 60
|Kentucky 82, Ole Miss 41
|Florida 73, LSU 64
|Georgia 70, Mississippi State 60
|Vanderbilt 66, Auburn 61
|Arkansas 70, Alabama 52
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Markeshia Grant scored 27 points and South Carolina beat No. 8 Tennessee 64-60 on Thursday night for its first win over the Lady Volunteers since 1980.
The Gamecocks (18-5, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) were down 60-55, when Ashley Bruner hit a layup with 3:18 to play. The basket launched a 9-0 run for South Carolina to close out the game, and Ieasia Walker hit the go-ahead layup with 2:15 to play.
The Lady Vols had led 57-50 with 5:02 to play in the back-and-forth game, but a layup by Walker and a 3-pointer by Grant, one of seven by the senior, fired up the Gamecocks bench. Tennessee remained flat the rest of the way and missed five shots during South Carolina's game-ending run.
Tennessee outshot South Carolina 41.4 percent to 39.4 percent and held a 44-36 advantage in rebounding but had little answer for the Gamecocks guards. La'Keisha Sutton added 12 points, and Walker had 11.
Glory Johnson scored 13 points to lead Tennessee (16-6, 7-2). Ariel Massengale scored 12 points, and Shekinna Stricklen grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Lady Vols hadn't dropped a SEC game at home since a loss to LSU on Feb. 14, 2008, but have struggled in the first season since coach Pat Summitt announced she'd been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
It was the first victory for South Carolina in Knoxville and the Gamecocks' first win against Tennessee since a 56-52 victory on Jan. 23, 1980, when now-associate head coach Holly Warlick was a point guard for Tennessee. The Lady Vols had won 40 straight meetings since then.
South Carolina has been laying the foundation for one of its strongest seasons ever. It now owns the program's best record since the 2001-02 season which saw the Gamecocks finish 20-3 and reach the NCAA regional finals.
They've managed the feat with the same kind of sharp focus on defense that has been the hallmark of so many Summitt-coached teams. The Gamecocks entered the game ranked second in the nation in limiting opponents to 47.5 points per game and top in the nation with 20.1 3-point shooting defense.
That defense frustrated the Lady Vols all over the floor. They struggled to get second-chance points, hit just one 3-pointer and turned the ball over 11 times.
The Gamecocks' last win over a top 10 team came in a 71-52 decision over then-No. 6 Vanderbilt on Jan. 3, 2002, in Columbia. The highest ranked team the Gamecocks have defeated in coach Dawn Staley's four seasons was then-No. 14 Georgia on Feb. 25, 2010, when South Carolina left Athens with a 52-42 victory.
No. 6 Kentucky women match best start in history
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Freshman Bria Goss scored 19 points and No. 6 Kentucky matched its best start ever with an 82-41 victory over Mississippi on Thursday night.
The Wildcats (21-2, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) equaled the 1982-83 team and are looking to do something that team couldn't -- win an SEC championship to join the school's only other title team from the 1981-82 season.
Kentucky forced Mississippi (12-11, 2-8) into 36 turnovers, the most in a conference game this season, and didn't skip a beat even though leading scorer A'dia Mathies had an off night. Mathies, averaging 15.4 points, went 2 of 14 from the field and finished with 11 points.
Courtney Marbra scored seven points to lead Mississippi.
Kastine Evans scored 12 points and had a career-high seven steals, while Samarie Walker added 11 points as Kentucky won for the 18th straight time at home.
Whether Kentucky captures its second conference title in school history will likely be determined over the next three games. Kentucky heads on the road for games at LSU on Sunday, at No. 8 Tennessee on Feb. 13 and at Alabama on Feb. 16. The Wildcats already have a win over the Volunteers, who are two games back in the loss column after falling to South Carolina 64-60 on Thursday night.
Mississippi never got within single digits in the second half. Up 40-29, the Wildcats used a 15-3 run to put the game out of the reach that included five different scorers.
Crystal Riley hit a 3-pointer in the right corner, Walker cleaned up a miss from Mathies, Evans hit a jumper and after Bernisha Pinkett's strip and missed layup, the Wildcats grabbed three offensive rebounds before Walker finally scored to give Kentucky a 55-32 lead with 13:53 left.
Kentucky would make it 30 with just over 8 minutes left and take its first 40-point lead in the final 1:27 as Mississippi shot 27.3 percent in the second half.
The Rebels were without inside presence Nikki Byrd, who was averaging 13.1 points and 9.5 rebounds but was hurt late in the Rebels' loss on Sunday to Auburn. Leading scorer Valencia McFarland was held to six points, well-short of her average of 13.6 per game.
Kentucky freshman Azia Bishop didn't dress because of an unspecified violation of team rules.
No matter, the Wildcats kept on rolling after an early hiccup.
Kentucky jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but after Mathies' layup the Wildcats went more than 6 minutes without a field goal before Brittany Henderson's putback of a Mathies' miss gave Kentucky an 18-16 lead.
Mississippi, which is beginning a stretch of five of its final seven regular-season games on the road, took its only lead, 14-12, after consecutive baskets by McFarland, but couldn't extend it because the Rebels kept sending Kentucky to the foul line early.
Kentucky finally got going and Keyla Snowden hit a 3-pointer from the right corner that gave Kentucky its first double-digit lead, 29-18, with 6:05 left. Mississippi, which came in averaging 17.5 turnovers per game, committed three in the final minute to finish the half with 20 and trailed 37-23 at the break.
UF Women’s Basketball Defeats LSU for First Win in Baton Rouge Since 1996
BATON ROUGE, La. – Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) notched her first double-double of the season, Ndidi Madu (Antioch, Tenn.) scored a season-high 12 points and Florida defeated LSU, 73-64, at the Pete Maravich Center on Thursday evening for its first win in Baton Rouge since Jan. 21, 1996.
The Gators (14-8, 4-5 SEC), who led wire to wire against the Lady Tigers (14-8, 4-5 SEC), earned just their fourth-ever victory in Baton Rouge, halting an eight-game slide in the Maravich Center.
Thursday’s win capped a tough three-game Southeastern Conference road trip for Florida, which was coming off a heartbreaking 73-72 double-overtime loss at Arkansas where the Gators missed 14 free throws.
Against the Tigers, the Gators stepped up and answered each time LSU cut their lead to six points, the last time coming with 4:15 remaining in the game as the Tigers were in the midst of a 6-2 run.
Florida responded with a 6-0 spurt, with field goals from Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.), Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) and Stewart, who put back an offensive rebound.
Stewart also was big on LSU’s next offensive possession, as she blocked two shots, marking the 21st consecutive game she has swatted at least one.
LSU scored the next two points of the game and cut Florida’s lead to seven points, 64-57, with 2:41 remaining, but Lanita Bartley came through with a tough driving layup. LSU star LaSondra Barrett netted her first field goal of the game, but Bartley answered again with two free throws, before Stewart snatched an airball from a teammate and put it in as the shot clock was winding down, as she collected her season-high 10th rebound to accompany her 12 points that resulted in the sixth double-double of her career. The points also gave Florida a 70-59 lead with 64 seconds remaining and the Gators hit 3-of-4 free throws to seal the victory.
“This was a total team effort in every way, starting with the way we prepared,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “The midset our team had in practice and not being discouraged when it would be real easy coming off that disappointment at Arkansas to linger. Throw on top of that a little extra adversity in not having Jordan Jones available tonight, this win couldn’t be better. I couldn’t be prouder. It’s an awesome team win. Historically, we haven’t played well here at LSU so it’s a great program win, as well.”
Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.), the Gator’s second-leading scorer and top three-point threat, missed Thursday’s game because of a concussion incurred during UF’s double-overtime loss at Arkansas on Sunday. Jones had started 43 consecutive games prior to being sidelined.
Florida came out a bit cold in the second half, hitting just 1-of-7 to start after converting 48.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes, but still held a 40-30 lead six minutes into the period.
The Gator’s cold spell continued with 2-for-11 from floor at the 11:57 mark of the game, but they began to slowly heat up, converting 11 of their final 14 shots of the game to hit 50 percent (27-54) overall, as well as 52 percent (13-25) in the second half.
“It was a shared responsibility,” Butler said of the shooting performance. “We had so much more focus on playing great defense than we did hitting shots. We just weren’t as concerned about that. We just were concerned with our defensive effort and executing that plan. We also wanted to focus on rebounding with them because they are quite a bit taller than us.”
Stewart scored 10 of her team-high tying 12 points in the second half, while Madu was the star of the first, when she scored all 12 of her season-high effort, nailing 5-of-7 from the floor during those opening 20 minutes when Florida found itself in foul trouble.
Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) added 10 of her 12 points in the second half, while Bonds dished a game-high five assists with nine points and Andrea Vilaró Aragonés (Barcelona, Spain) collected a career-best and game-high four of UF’s 11 steals.
Adrienne Webb scored a game-high 19 points, while Jeanne Kenney and Courtney Jones both added 10 points for LSU, which has lost five consecutive SEC games.
Less than eight minutes into the game, three Gators had been whistled for two personal fouls each, but that didn’t stop Florida from staying focused and maintaining a lead throughout the entire first half, taking a 33-24 advantage into the locker room.
Deana Allen, a native of Houma, La., located 58 miles outside of Baton Rouge, picked up two fouls in the first 1:58 of the game and an already shorten Gator bench got leaner as Allen had to come out of the game to prevent even more foul trouble.
Florida missed its first four shots from the floor before Ndidi Madu knocked down a 15-footer. Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) followed with a bucket inside, taking a great pass from Andrea Vilaró Aragonés (Barcelona, Spain) with the shot clock winding down and Florida held the early lead.
Bianca Lutley knocked down a three-pointer for LSU, shortly before UF’s Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) was whistled for her second personal at the 15:22 mark, when two Gator seniors starters were forced to the bench with foul trouble.
Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) powered up a short shot, but LSU countered with one from Taylor Turnbow and the Gator’s lead remained at one. After Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) converted a driving layup, George, who is UF’s leading scorer and rebounder, collected her second foul at the 12:08 mark and went to the pine.
LSU took advantage of George’s foul by knocking down two free throws and were back within one point.
Madu stepped up again and hit a mid-range jumper before nailing the third three-pointer of her career and gave Florida a 13-7 lead.
LSU scored again, before Bonds completed a three-point play and gave the Gators a seven-point lead with 9:11 on the clock.
The teams traded scores for the next minute, with Madu knocking down a 15-footer for the Gators.
With Florida holding a four-point advantage, the Gators used a 7-0 spurt over a 1:14 span thanks to jumpers from Bonds, who nailed one with her toe on the three-point arc, Madu with her second trey of the game and Vilaró Aragonés, and Florida held a 25-14 lead with 6:35 remaining in the first half.
LSU countered by scoring the next six points of the game, as Florida was carless with the ball and that led to a pair of uncontested Tiger layups.
Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) halted the run with a three-pointer. Adrienne Webb followed with a short jumper, but Vilaró Aragonés nailed a three-pointer on a dish from Svete that gave Florida a 31-22 lead with 1:40 remaining in the first half.
The teams traded baskets to end the period, as Bartley capped the frame’s scoring with a driving layup with 24 seconds left.
“When one person went out of the game, another person came in and stepped up,” Butler said. “Vila (Andrea Vilaró Aragonés) played great. Azania’s play was huge. Ndidi’s play was huge. Our seniors, collectively, were great. It’s hard to single out one or two players because it really was a team effort.”
Florida returns to action on Sunday, when the team plays host to Ole Miss in the O’Connell Center beginning at 2 p.m. ET. It will be Breast Cancer Awareness Day and all fans who wear pink receive $1 general admission. In addition the first 500 fans will receive a FREE We Play 4 Kay pink t-shirt to show their support of breast cancer awareness and survivors.
Georgia Gets Past Mississippi State, 70-60
ATHENS, Ga. - Jasmine Hassell and Khaalidah Miller scored 16 points each as the No. 21 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (17-6, 6-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (13-9, 3-6), 70-60, Thursday night.
“Tonight’s game was wild," said head coach Andy Landers. "We did a lot of good things. We almost created a lot of good plays, but we didn’t finish, which made this just a wild basketball game.”
Hassell also recorded six rebounds and one assist, while Miller notched seven rebounds, two assists and a team-high and career-best six steals. Meredith Mitchell also scored double digits, with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Erika Ford came close to a double-double with eight points and seven rebounds.
Anne Marie Armstrong led the Lady Bulldogs on the boards with eight rebounds and also contributed nine points, five assists and four steals.
“Anne Marie just gets better and better," continued Landers. "She has such a good sense for the game and she’s unselfish. That’s what makes her so much fun to watch. She’ll help her teammates on defense and run the risk of her man scoring. She’ll pass when other people are open and she is too. She’s a fun player to coach and watch.”
The Lady Bulldogs took a quick lead with a 15-4 run that lasted the first six minutes of the game. In those six minutes, Hassell scored eight of her 11 first-half points.
Georgia led for all but 28 seconds of the opening half, when Mississippi State led by one, 22-21. With 4:10 left on the clock, Ford put Georgia back on top with a layup that sparked another 15-4 run, which Georgia used to end the period up 36-26.
In the first half, the Lady Bulldogs once again dominated the turnover and steal margins. Georgia committed eight turnovers and recorded 12 steals, while Mississippi State notched 15 turnovers and only three steals.
The second half started with another big surge, this time a 14-4 Mississippi State run during the first six minutes of the period tied the game for just the second time of the night, 40-40. A jumper and subsequent free throw by Hassell sparked a 15-0 Georgia push that lasted four minutes. The Lady Bulldogs eventually led by 22 points on three occasions, lastly at 70-48 with 2:15 left.
The Lady Bulldogs will now travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face Alabama on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised regionally on SportSouth. Georgia's next home game is a week from Sunday, when the Lady Bulldogs host Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. in an SEC Network televised tilt.
Clarke, Dores down Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team finally got a road win behind the impressive play of junior forward Tiffany Clarke, defeating Auburn, 66-61, on Thursday, February 2, at Auburn Arena. The Commodores improved to 17-5, 5-4 in SEC play, while the Tigers fell to 11-12, 3-7 in league action.
Clarke scored 26 points on 9-11 shooting from the field and an impressive 8-9 from the foul line. She also grabbed eight rebounds.
Vanderbilt also got 10 points and eight rebounds from center Stephanie Holzer, while guard Jasmine Lister contributed 13 points and six assists.
Auburn was led by the trio of Chantel Hilliard, Camille Glymph and Morgan Jennings, who scored 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively. Jennings grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
For the first time this season, Vanderbilt found itself tied at the half (33-33). The Commodores have led at the break in all 16 wins and trailed at the break in all five losses.
Vanderbilt used strong shooting for its portion of the score, shooting 50% in the opening half (11-22). Auburn used a balanced attack, with eight different players scoring in the opening frame.
The second half was all Clarke, as the Tigers just did not have an answer for her. She scored 18 of her 26 in the second frame, going 7-9 from the field. While the Commodores were never able to pull away, Auburn never managed to tie the game in the second half.
The Commodores are back in action on Sunday, February 5, when they travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State. Tipoff with the Bulldogs is set for 2:00 p.m. CT.
Razorbacks win program-best sixth consecutive SEC game Thursday
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Ashley Daniel’s 12 points led the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to a program-best six consecutive Southeastern Conference wins with a 70-52 victory over Alabama in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
The win moves Arkansas to 17-5 overall and 6-4 in the SEC. The Razorbacks have a bye Sunday before hosting South Carolina Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.
“This win means a lot,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “It’s pretty hard to win six in a row in any sport in this league. We are getting better. Tonight wasn’t a pretty game but the team got the message at the half and found the energy they needed to finish strong.”
Daniels’ 12 points paired with six rebounds for the game. Junior Sarah Watkins scored 11 points in 18 minutes and senior Lyndsay Harris has 11 points with three, three-pointers. Sophomore Keira Peak led the team with eight rebounds.
The Razorbacks won the rebounding battle, 53-32, and forced 20 turnovers in the win.
Arkansas started the game 0-for-6 from the floor and Alabama grabbed a quick lead, 6-3. The Razorbacks found the offense and went on an 11-2 run over the next 7:14 effectively shutting the door on a struggling Crimson Tide team.
Although the first half was sloppy at times with 22 combined turnovers, Arkansas dominated the boards and shut down the Bama offense not allowing a Crimson Tide field goal for a 14:52 stretch.
The half closed with Arkansas up 26-16, shooting 33.3 percent on 11-for-33 from the floor. Daniels had nine points and five rebounds to lead the Razorbacks. Alabama shot just 18.2 percent going 4-for-22 in the first half.
Bama’s shooting woes continued in the second half as they started the first seven minutes without a field goal, going more than 21 minutes with just one basket from the floor.
Arkansas continued its steady effort and was able to play all 13 players in the game as they cruised to the win.
Arkansas returns to the court hosting South Carolina who has big wins this year over Georgia and most recently Tennessee, who are nationally ranked.