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    SEC Women's Hoops Today: November 30

    women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
    South Carolina 67, Xavier 56
    Auburn 74, Troy 47
    Georgia 85, South Carolina State 48
    Vanderbilt 83, Austin Peay 51
    Mississippi State 63, South Alabama 47

    Gamecock Offense Clicks for 67-56 Win at Xavier

    CINCINNATI – South Carolina picked up its third road win of the season with a 67-56 win at Xavier Wednesday night. Senior Markeshia Grant led four Gamecocks in double figures with a career-high 18 points, while freshman Aleighsa Welch was solid underneath with eight rebounds. The Gamecocks shot a season-high 44.9 percent and turned 23 Xavier turnovers into 26 points to improve to 6-1 on the season.

    The Gamecocks got the offense going early behind Grant who scored eight of the team’s first 10 points for a 10-2 lead just three minutes into the game. The rest of the team followed her lead with relentless drives to the basket that had the Musketeers wrong-footed throughout the half.

    After Xavier put together a 7-0 run to get back within one with 15:30 left in the half, the Gamecocks scored the next 10 points of the game, capitalizing on six straight Musketeer turnovers. Freshman Aleighsa Welch hit a free throw and a driving layup for a 13-9 edge, and La’Keisha Sutton drove the lane and pulled up for a jumper for two more. Sancheon White picked up a steal and drove home for the layup, and Welch hit another free throw moments later. Ashley Bruner capped the score-doubling surge with a drive through the lane, putting the Gamecocks up 20-10 with 9:13 left in the half.

    Xavier cut down on its miscues in the second half of the first period, but the Gamecocks kept up the offensive pressure, which yielded a steady parade to the free throw line, led by Welch as she was particularly assertive going to the basket. In the waning moments, Xavier’s Sabrina Johnson pulled her team within 10 at 20-30 with a bucket on a baseline out-of-bounds play, but the Gamecocks closed the half in a rush. Sutton hit a free throw, and White converted a traditional three-point play to send South Carolina into the locker room with a 34-20 advantage.

    The Gamecocks struggled out of the break, allowing the Musketeers to get within 31-38 behind Tyeasha Moss’ five points. Grant went back to work, though, hitting her second 3-pointer of the half and following that with a mid-range jumper from the left side to stretch South Carolina’s advantage to 45-33 with 12:22 on the clock. Xavier twice drew within nine points, but the Gamecocks would not allow the Musketeers any closer.

    Grant’s 18 points led all scorers and was followed closely by Welch’s career-high 16 points. Six of Welch’s game-high eight rebounds came on the offensive end. Sutton and White each added 10 points to the Gamecock offense, which again got a bulk of its scoring (39 points) from the bench.

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    Hasina Muhammad Scores Career-High 19 Points In 74-47 Auburn Win Over Troy

    AUBURN – The Auburn women’s basketball team improved to 5-1 on the season as it rolled past Troy, 74-47, Wednesday night at the Auburn Arena. The game marked the last of a three-game home stand for the Tigers. The Trojans fell to 0-6 on the season. Auburn freshman Hasina Muhammad came off the bench to lead the team with a career-high 19 points.

    “I thought we had a great scoring punch off the bench tonight with 48 points, and I’m so pleased with that,” Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner said. “It just gives us so many options with starting who we start and then having that punch coming off the bench.

    “I feel really good about the direction we are going. We are not where we want to be totally, but I feel like this game has given us another measure of ourselves as far as how we want to play basketball and how hard we want to play it.”

    Auburn’s 48 bench points were the most so far this season and marks the second-consecutive game that the Tigers’ bench has outscored the opponent. The Tiger bench scored 35 points to South Carolina-Upstate’s 34 on Sunday. Auburn had three players in double-figures on the evening, all of whom came in off the bench.

    Muhammad led the Tigers with a season-high 19 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two steals. She finished at 9-of-14 shooting from the floor in just 20 minutes of play. Camille Glymph also came off the bench for 14 points, with 12 of them coming from beyond the arc. Jassany Williams added 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, marking the third game this season for her to block at least four shots.

    Junior point guard Najat Ouardad picked up a team-high five steals, along with five points and five rebounds. Her five steals were the most for an Auburn player since DeWanna Bonner stole six against Tennessee on Jan. 25, 2009.

    As a team, the Tigers blocked 13 shots against Troy, the most since tying the school record of 17 against Alabama A&M on Nov. 19, 2009.

    The Tigers out-rebounded Troy 48-30 and picked up more than half of their rebounds on the offensive end. It was the first time this season that Auburn picked up more boards on offense than defense.

    “I thought our size definitely made a difference,” Fortner said. “I thought we were very aggressive on the offensive boards, which was something we wanted to do. Obviously getting more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds definitely is pretty nice to see.”

    Leading by just one point at 12-11 early in the game, Auburn went on a 9-0 run to take its first double-digit lead with 9:56 to go in the first half. Troy cut it back to eight with 5:08 left in the opening period, but the Tigers answered with an 11-2 run and led by 17 before a Trojan layup just before the buzzer cut it to 38-23 at halftime.

    Auburn ramped up the intensity in the second half and led by 26 following a Muhammad layup with 10:38 left to play. The Tiger lead would go no lower than 21 the rest of the game and went as high as 29 with 2:04 left as Auburn cruised to its fifth win of the season by 20 or more points.

    DeAngela Sword led Troy in scoring with 13 points and picked up three rebounds. Kourtney Coleman added eight points while Tenia Manuel scored six with a team-high five boards.

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    Lady Bulldogs Roll Over S.C. State

    ATHENS, Ga. --- Jasmine James notched 17 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals as the No. 15 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (6-1) beat the South Caroline State Bulldogs (2-3), 85-48, Wednesday night.

    “I’m proud of our team for the way it shot the ball," said head coach Andy Landers. "We shot very well from the floor and the best we’ve shot from the free throw line this season. We did some things that were good and we did some things we’d like to have do-overs on. We left a couple of fast-break layups on the table tonight. We left a couple of chip shots underneath out there.”

    Georgia started the game with a dominant 16-0 run in the first 6:38 of the game and never looked back.

    The Lady Bulldogs scored 18 of their first-half points by connecting on 60 percent from behind the three-point line. Khaalidah Miller paced the three-point effort with a pair of treys early in the period.

    Georgia started the second period slow, after entering the locker room with a 40-29 lead. After scoring just six points in the first three minutes of the second stanza, the Lady Bulldogs doubled their lead in just 4:24 minutes with a 15-2 run.

    In the last two minutes of the game, Krista Donald hit a jumper and connected on four shots from the free throw line, accounting for six of her seven points of the night.

    Georgia shot 78.9 percent from the line tonight, aided by Donald's 5-of-6 and Jasmine Hassell's 6-of-8 free throw efforts.

    Erika Ford recorded her second consecutive double-digit scoring effort this season with 10 points; Ford also had three rebounds, two assists and four steals.

    “We’ve said it before, but she’s got a sense and really smooth body control," continued Landers. "She’s got the power package to go along with it. She has elusiveness, she’ll go around you and make a play. She’s a really enjoyable player to coach.”

    In all, four Lady Bulldogs had double-digit scoring efforts and Georgia shot 50.8 percent from the floor. Hassell and Miller scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

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    Vanderbilt Beats Austin Peay

    CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The No. 25/22 Vanderbilt women's basketball team hit the road for the first time this season and took an 83-51 victory over Austin Peay. The Commodores now stand at 7-0 while the Lady Govs fall to 2-4.

    Sophomore guard Christina Foggie led Vanderbilt with a career-high 25 points, shooting 7-13 from the field and making all eight attempts from the free throw stripe. She added five assists and three steals.

    Three other Commodores joined Foggie in double-figures. Center Stephanie Holzer scored 15 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Senior Jordan Coleman, who scored a career-high 17 against Austin Peay last year, continued her success against the Lady Govs by scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds. Freshman Kady Schrann added 11 points in her first collegiate road contest. Tiffany Clarke led Vandy on the boards with 10 rebounds.

    Austin Peay was led by 13 points, five rebounds and four steals from Shyra Brown. Leslie Martinez contributed a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

    Vanderbilt's size and speed were too much for the Lady Govs to overcome. Austin Peay was whistled for 22 fouls in the contest and saw Vanderbilt outscore them in the paint, 34-12. The one strength for Austin Peay was the bench, which outscored the Vanderbilt bench, 30-23. It was the first time this season the Commodore reserves were outscored.

    Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was especially pleased with her team's steady performance in its first road contest.
     
    "I liked our confidence and I liked our composure," said Balcomb. "I really liked the way we continued to let our defense dictate our offense."

    Vanderbilt forced 22 turnovers, scoring 19 points off those miscues. Foggie explained that the Commodores were ready to play on the road.

    "Going on the road is a little bit different, but we were confident and managed to stay level-headed," said the sophomore.

    Coleman, the team's lone senior, said there was no concern of a hangover coming off the win over then-No. 12/14 Oklahoma. "We didn't want to be that team that was hung-up on a big win," explained Coleman. "We came out here focused and did what we needed to do."

    Coleman was particularly proud of Foggie's career night. "She's done an incredible job," said Coleman. "I can't even explain it, I'm just so proud of her."

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    FANNING-OTIS NOTCHES CAREER VICTORY NO. 600 AS MSU DOWNS SOUTH ALABAMA 63-47
     
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State women’s basketball coach Sharon Fanning-Otis joined some elite company Wednesday night.
     
    Fanning-Otis recorded career victory No. 600 as the Lady Bulldogs won their third straight with a 63-47 victory over South Alabama at Humphrey Coliseum.
    “Any milestone is always special,” Fanning-Otis said. “It is a reflection of the young ladies, the staff and the fans. I haven’t scored a point in my coaching career. It is a credit to the players for the way they have represented this program.
     
    “Still, it is only one win and I want it to carry over to the next one.”
     
    Fanning-Otis becomes one of 14 active Division I coaches with 600 or more victories. A former head coach at both the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and the University of Kentucky, Fanning-Otis is now 600-445 in her 36 seasons as a Division I head coach.
     
    In her 17th season at MSU, Fanning-Otis has posted a 273-217 record. Fanning-Otis has led the Lady Bulldogs to 11 postseason appearances, including the only six NCAA appearances in the program’s history.
     
    “When you achieve records such as this, it is an important day,” Fanning-Otis said. “To be able to do that with such a wonderful group of young ladies is what makes this really special. Hopefully, there will be many, many more wins this season.”
     
    The Lady Bulldogs (6-1) were rarely threatened after erasing an early 7-2 deficit. MSU scored the game’s next 19 points, while holding South Alabama (5-2) scoreless for 9 minutes, 26 seconds.
     
    “We were really doing a good job of getting to the paint,” MSU senior Diamber Johnson said. “We pretty much lived in the paint in the first half. Our shots were falling and we were rebounding better. It was a really good stretch there and gave us the separation we needed for the rest of the game.”
     
    The Lady Bulldogs shot only hit 1-of-11 3-point shots in the opening half but did shoot 40 percent overall, while building a 29-17 halftime advantage. Defensively, MSU held South Alabama to 14.7 percent shooting in the opening half, as the Lady Jaguars at one time missed 13 straight shots and finished 5-of-34 for the half.
    South Alabama closed within 36-30 on a 3-point basket by Jennifer Johnson with 14:19 left in regulation. The hosts tacked on the next six points to reestablish a 42-30 lead with 11:34 left.
     
    The lead would grow to 14 before South Alabama took advantage of heavy foul trouble on MSU to close within eight on two different occasions. Strong free throw shooting and a reemerged inside presence allowed the Maroon and White to close out a third straight win against the Lady Jaguars.
     
    In postgame ceremonies, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin presented Fanning-Otis with game ball, while the Lady Bulldog Booster Club also presented a plaque.
     
    “It was a great to be a part of this win,” Johnson said. “Since I have been here four years, I feel pleased to have played such a big part in the win. This is a special night for her. Hopefully, it is just one more win and we can keep this thing going.”
     
    For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 23 of 52 shots from the field (44.2 percent), 2 of 13 shots from 3-point range (15.4 percent) and 15 of 22 shots from the foul line (68.2 percent). The Lady Jaguars hit 14 of 65 shots from the field (21.5 percent), 4 of 26 shots from 3-point range (15.4 percent) and 15 of 24 shots from the foul line (62.5 percent).
     
    MSU held a 46-40 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had five assists and 17 turnovers, while the Lady Jaguars had seven assists and 13 turnovers.
     
    Johnson paced the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points, while Porsha Porter and Catina Bett each added 11 points. Porter and Bett were both slowed by foul trouble with each player finishing with four fouls. Bett had a team-high eight rebounds and three blocked shots, while Johnson had three assists.
     
    South Alabama received 16 points from Mansa El and 13 points from Sandra Peterson.