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    SEC Women's Basketball Today: November 20

    women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
    Arkansas 57, Utah 56
    Virginia 69, Tennessee 64
    Texas A&M 93, Mississippi State 47
    Georgia 67, USC 60
    Penn State 55, South Carolina 50

    Arkansas escapes with one-point win
               
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas women’s basketball team escaped with a one-point win, 57-56, over Utah in a non-conference match-up in Bud Walton Arena Sunday.
               
    Arkansas (4-1) struggled with Utah for much of the game but put together some last minute heroics to get the win over the Utes (1-2).
               
    “The team did a good job just to get to the last seconds of the game,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said.  “It is easy to get deflated but this team felt like they could win it.”
               
    Utah controlled the tempo, the pace and had the lead from the early minutes of the game.  They were up nine with 16:28 to play but the Razorbacks just kept chipping away at the score.
               
    Down one, 48-49, with about nine minutes to play, Arkansas got a tough basket from sophomore Dominique Robison to take the lead.  Robinson finished with a season-best and team-leading 15 points and eight rebounds.
               
    The game tightened up at that point but again Utah managed to grab the lead up four at the 5:28 mark.
               
    Robinson hit a layup with time running out on the shot clock cutting the lead to two.
               
    The teams traded misses and before junior Sarah Watkins ran a set play off an in bounds play and hit a huge three-pointer that gave Arkansas the lead, 57-56, with 2:22 to play.
               
    “The biggest play of the day was Sarah’s three late,” Collins said.  “It is a simple play and risky considering she didn’t have her best game tonight but we have confidence in her to hit that shot.”
               
    Arkansas’ defense then took over forcing a shot clock violation by Utah.  Arkansas ran the offense but missed their shot at the other end but Robinson again stepped up with a rebound that gave the Razorbacks the ball back.
               
    The Razorbacks ran the clock but were unable to score missing a jumper at the one-minute mark.  Utah took a timeout and then in bounded under the Razorback basket.  They drove the court but committed the charge with 43.6 seconds remaining.
               
    Both teams substituted and Arkansas missed both bonus baskets giving Utah one last chance.  The Utes called a timeout to set the play followed by an Arkansas timeout to adjust the defense. 
               
    Utah threw the baseball pass to half court with one second on the game clock where Robinson intercepted the pass sealing the Razorback win.
               
    “The defense was much better in the second half,” Collen said, “but Utah still stepped up and made the shots.  We battled tough and played together as a team in the last five to six minutes and that was the difference for us today.”
               
    In addition to Robinson, Arkansas got 12 points from senior Lyndsay Harris and nine from senior C’eira Ricketts.  Ricketts also had seven rebounds in the win.
               
    Arkansas scored four quick points but appeared sluggish and tentative in the opening minutes of the game.  The Razorbacks allowed Utah to go on a 9-0 run taking a 4-9 lead at the first media timeout.
               
    Collen made some key substitutions and Arkansas found more energy as the game progressed but Utah continued to expand its lead doubling up the Razorbacks, 8-16, at the midway point of the first half.
               
    Utah stretched the lead to nine and dominated the boards in the early part of the game.  In addition, the Utes were able to get Watkins in foul trouble further compounding Arkansas’ problems.
               
    Collen worked in another new lineup going small with Harris, Robinson, Townsend, Williams and Ricketts and Arkansas made a run closing within three, 20-23, around the eight minute mark.  The lineup change sparked the defense that forced a Utah miss, scored and got a steal closing the gap even more.
               
    Ricketts drove the lane and was fouled, hitting one to tie the game at 23.  The rest of the half was a much more closely played game with neither team really finding an advantage.  The period closed with Utah up 35-30 at the break.
               
    Watkins played just six minutes in the first half with foul trouble and Arkansas lost the rebounding battle, 19-13, in the first frame.
               
    Arkansas’ rebounding woes continued in the second half as Utah continued to managed the tempo and slow the game down, taking the Razorbacks out of their rhythm.
               
    Arkansas returns to the court hosting Grambling State Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.



    Cavaliers stun No. 3 Lady Vols, 69-64 in OT

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Chelsea Shine scored 18 points, including a key basket in overtime, and Virginia stunned turnover-prone No. 3 Tennessee 69-64 on Sunday.

    The Cavaliers (4-0) came into the game allowing just over 42 points a game under first-year coach Joanne Boyle, and dictated the pace against a Lady Vols team averaging 90.5 points.

    Taber Spani led the Lady Vols (2-1) with 22 points, including a 3-pointer 59 seconds into overtime that gave Tennessee a 61-58 lead, but the Cavaliers scored the next 11 points, the crowd at John Paul Jones Arena getting more excited with each basket.

    China Crosby had 13 points and Ataira Franklin 12 for Virginia, which beat Tennessee for just the third time in 16 games. Lexie Gerson and Ariana Moorer each scored 10.

    Shekinna Stricklen had 16 and Glory Johnson 15 for the Lady Vols, who missed 10 of 21 free throws.

    In the overtime, after Spani's 3-pointer, Moorer hit a pair of free throws, and then a foul-line jumper, one of only three baskets she made in 16 tries. Shine followed a turnover the Tennessee with a short baseline jumper, and Crosby hit 3 of 4 free throws to make it 67-61.

    The Lady Vols never had an answer, and each time they failed to score and Virginia came away with the ball, the crowd of 6,450 at John Paul Jones Arena got louder and more excited.

    Stricklen had a chance to give the Lady Vols the lead near the end of regulation when she was fouled while scoring, but she missed the free throw, one of 10 misses in 21 tries for Tennessee. The Lady Vols also had 24 turnovers that the Cavaliers turned into 27 points.

    Crosby broke a 56-all tie with 36.6 seconds to go in regulation, hitting a desperate shot from the baseline with the shot clock running down. After a timeout, Spani calmly swished a 12-footer from the left baseline with 22.8 seconds to go, pulling Tennessee even again.

    Moorer's last chance drive in regulation was cleanly blocked just before the buzzer.

    The Cavaliers tightened their defense and Tennessee continued to be sloppy early in the second half as Virginia opened the half on a 14-6 run. The Cavaliers led by as many as nine and by 47-40 when the Lady Vols began asserting themselves on the offensive glass and rallied.

    Tennessee scored eight straight points, taking its first lead since the first half, but Shine scored inside and Crosby's three-point play boosted the Cavaliers' edge back to 52-48.

    The Lady Vols pulled even three times, but only led once thereafter.

    It was the first road game for Tennessee since coach Pat Summitt announced in the offseason that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. She received a warm welcome when she came out onto the floor just before the game.

    Virginia used a 12-2 run to take a 24-20 lead in a sloppy first half. The Lady Vols turned the ball over at least seven times in the drought, and went almost 5 minutes without scoring.

    Spani, who hit the floor hard at one point and went back to the locker room, led Tennessee with 12 points in the half, and Gerson led the Cavaliers with eight.



    Bone leads Aggies past Mississippi State 93-47

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Kelsey Bone had 20 points and 13 rebounds to help No. 6 Texas A&M handle Mississippi State 93-47 on Sunday and get Aggies coach Gary Blair his 600th career victory.

    He has won 192 with the Aggies.

    Texas A&M (4-0) was up by 25 points early in the second half before going on a 14-0 run to make it 65-26 and put the game out of reach. The Lady Bulldogs, who made just five field goals in the first half to get in an early hole, had four turnovers in that span.

    Mississippi State (3-1) was led by Diamber Johnson's 14 points.

    Karla Gilbert added 12 points and Tyra White and Adrienne Pratcher scored 11 points each for the defending national champion Aggies.

    Mississippi State couldn't contend with Texas A&M's stifling defense from the outset. The 6-foot-4 Bone made it nearly impossible for the Lady Bulldogs to get the ball in the lane for easy shots and they were unable to connect from long range, going 1 of 14 from 3-point range.

    They shot just 25 percent to A&M's almost 56 percent and were forced into 18 turnovers. More than half of Johnson's points came off free throws as she was just 3 of 16 on field goals.

    Bone, in her first season with the Aggies after sitting out last year following a transfer from South Carolina, has improved in each game this year and Sunday was the 10th double-double of her career and first at Texas A&M.

    It was the first meeting between these schools who will play in the same conference next season when the Aggies leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.

    It's Texas A&M's last home game until the Aggies host No. 23 Southern Cal on Dec. 18. They will play five straight games away from College Station, starting with a post-Thanksgiving tournament in the Bahamas followed by games at No. 16 Purdue, No. 4 Connecticut and TCU.

    Blair becomes the 22nd Division I coach to reach 600 wins and is one of 13 active coaches in the division to reach the mark. Blair had 210 wins at Stephen F. Austin and 198 at Arkansas before taking over in College Station in 2003.

    He was honored with a video played in the arena after the win featuring congratulations from several former players and his family. After the video his team presented him with a bouquet of roses and a framed Texas A&M jersey bearing the number 600.

    Mississippi State scored first with a pair of free throws from Porsha Porter before Texas A&M scored 17 straight points, led by eight points by Bone to make it 17-2 about seven minutes into the game. Porter finished with 12 points.

    The Lady Bulldogs missed their first 12 shots and didn't get a field goal until a jump shot by Porter with less than nine minutes left in the first half. By then the Aggies had extended their lead to 25-6.

    Mississippi State made just five baskets in the first half, but made 11 of 12 free throws to leave A&M ahead 43-21 at halftime.



    Lady Bulldogs Victorious Against Women of Troy

    ATHENS, Ga. - Meredith Mitchell put up a career-high 21 points and notched five rebounds as the No. 12 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (4-0) defeated the No. 23 USC Women of Troy (1-2), 67-60, Sunday afternoon.

    “I thought our kids were well prepared," said head coach Andy Landers. "(Assistant) Coach (Cameron) Newbauer did a great job of getting the information we needed and getting it to the team in a way they could understand. I thought we were the aggressive team and most of the time, the aggressive will win it.”

    After heading into the locker room with a 26-19 lead, the Lady Bulldogs started the second period with a 14-2 run and never looked back. Georgia shot 48.1 percent from the floor in the second half, including double-digit efforts from Mitchell and Khaalidah Miller, 11 and 12 points, respectively.

    “The great thing about Meredith's performance was that it was all within reason," continued Landers. "I didn’t think one of her shots was ill-conceived. They were the shots I wanted her to take. She was driving the baseline, pulling up on the boards and then coming off of two screens she made a three. It was good day, about as good as it gets.”

    Miller tied her season high with 17 points and added four rebounds to her fourth consecutive double digit scoring effort his season.

    Jasmine James and Jasmine Hassell led Georgia on the boards with nine rebounds each. James also recorded seven points and six assists, while Hassell added nine points to her season-high rebounding effort.

    “Everyday is not going to be a great day for everybody," said Landers. "Michael Jordan wasn’t great everyday. Everybody on the basketball team has to find a way to do something. They can work together. Maybe it’s going to be shot, maybe it’s going to be a rebound, or maybe it’s going to be a steal. When players learn to think like that, they become more confident. I thought Jasmine James was terrific with the ball.”

    Three USC players recorded double-digit scoring efforts, but it was not enough to overcome Georgia.

    In the first half, Georgia held the Women of Troy to 24.1 percent from the floor and scored 12 points off of USC turnovers.

    The Lady Bulldogs play again Saturday, November 26, as they take on No. 14 Georgetown at the Lady Rebel Round-Up in Las Vegas. Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m., when they host South Carolina State.



    Gamecocks Fall to No. 11 Penn State, 55-50

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite 25 offensive rebounds that helped South Carolina to 34 more shots, No. 11/12 Penn State escaped Colonial Life Arena with a 55-50 victory in women's basketball action Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks led much of the game, including an eight-point margin in the final six minutes, before the Lady Lions' frontcourt wore them down. Nine of junior Ashley Bruner's career-high 18 rebounds came on the offensive end, and junior Ieasia Walker added 15 points and five steals to the Gamecocks' solid team effort.

    "We knew [Penn State's height] would be their advantage," South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. "They certainly took up a lot of space. I thought our kids fought. I thought we did as best we could with the height advantage. We look forward to playing them because we know we're going to be challenged in that way."

    Penn State's offense was efficient early in the game for a quick 8-5 lead, but the Gamecocks' aggressive guard play sparked a 9-2 rally that put the Gamecocks up 14-10 five minutes into the game. Walker got the spurt going with a pull-up jump shot, and La'Keisha Sutton put back her own miss for a 9-8 Gamecock lead. After Talia East hit a jumper in the lane for the Lady Lions, Bruner scored and Sutton drilled a three from the right wing for a 14-10 South Carolina advantage.

    Missed shots and turnovers led to a three-minute offensive stall for both teams. The Lady Lions righted the ship first, scoring the games next six points to reclaim the lead midway through the period. Turnovers on Penn State's next two possessions let the Gamecocks get back in the scoring column. Sutton's free throws broke a 16-16 tie and after three more Penn State turnovers Markeshia Grant's transition jumper from the right wing put the Gamecocks up 20-18 with 3:26 left in the half. Penn State closed the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 26-22 lead into the locker room.

    The Gamecocks started the second half with two free throws from Charenee Stephens and a 3-pointer from Grant to take a 27-26 lead. Penn State quickly answered back with six straight points, capitalizing on a pair of South Carolina turnovers. The Gamecocks worked inside-out to tie the game at 34-34 with 14 minutes left to play as Walker hit a driving layup and spinning jump shot followed by a put back from Stephens and a Bruner free throw.

    Walker's big 3-pointer from the right corner kicked off a 16-6 Gamecock surge that spanned the next nine minutes. Aleighsa Welch added two more points, and Walker hit another three to give South Carolina a 42-36 advantage. Tina Roy came off the bench with back-to-back buckets, and Sancheon White and Bruner combined for three more points to give the Gamecocks a 50-42 lead with 5:47 left to play.

    After the Gamecocks had handled Penn State's height advantage through much of the game, the Lady Lions ramped up the interior defense down the stretch. South Carolina continued to attack the basket but found open looks more difficult to come by, which switched momentum into Penn State's favor. Maggie Lucas netted eight of the Lady Lions' final 13 points to propel her team to the victory.

    South Carolina struggled with offensive efficiency, hitting just 25.0 percent from the field, compared to 50.0 percent for Penn State. The Gamecocks out-rebounded the taller Lady Lions, however, 40-39, including a 25-5 advantage in offensive boards. Defensively, South Carolina forced 23 turnovers, which it turned into 17 points.

    Walker was the only Gamecock in double figures, but Bruner narrowly missed her first double-double of the season with nine points. Bruner's 18 rebounds were a game high, as were her nine offensive boards. Sutton handed out a team-high three assists.

    The South Carolina women's basketball team continues its three-game home stand next week, opening and closing the Thanksgiving weekend of Gamecock home events with a Wed., Nov. 23 matchup with College of Charleston at 7 p.m. and a Sun., Nov. 27 contest with Presbyterian at 1 p.m.