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    Sunday Women's Basketball Update

    women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
    Alabama 80,  Kansas 76
    Tennessee 73,  Texas 57
    Kentucky 74,  Louisville 54
    NC State 55,  South Carolina 53
    Georgia 75,  Georgia Tech 68
    Mississippi State 70,  Tulane 55
    Vanderbilt 70,  High Point 54

    Lady Vols Defeat Texas

    KNOXVILLE - Clutch 3-point shooting and powerful rebounding lifted #8 Tennessee to a 73-57 victory over #21/22 Texas on Sunday afternoon. From 3-point range, Tennessee shot 52.4 percent, making 11-of-21 led by Shekinna Stricklen (20 points) and Meighan Simmons (10 points), who combined to make 8-of-16 from behind the arc. Stricklen made a career-high 5-of-9 from 3-point land. The Lady Vols (4-2) outrebounded the Longhorns (5-2), 49-38 led by Vicki Baugh's 11 boards.

    Baugh (17 points) and Glory Johnson (11 points and 10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles. Ariel Massengale also scored in double-figures with 10 points while handling out five assists.

    The Longhorns were led by Ashleigh Fontenette, who tallied 22 and Chassidy Fussell, who had 14 points.
    Stricklen's fifth 3-pointer of the game was the final dagger as it put Tennessee up 64-53 with 6:15 with a trey as the shot clock was winding down.

    The Lady Vols held Texas scoreless for 6:20 late in the game as the Lady Vols went on a 10-0 run while forcing the Longhorns into five turnovers during the spurt. Texas ended the draught on Fontenette's jumper with 2:40 left in the game, as the Longhorns had fallen behind by 16.

    Down by as many as 14 early in the second, the Longhorns cut the deficit to six at 59-53 on a 3-pointer by Chelsea Bass with 8:50 left in the second half.

    That would be Texas' final points for more than six minutes. The Lady Vols answered as Johnson scored on a lay-up to start a run of 10 consecutive points. Tennessee forced Texas into a 30-second shot clock violation with 6:41 left in regulation with furious defensive pressure.

    The Lady Vols picked up their shooting early in the second half and began to pull away, taking a 52-38 lead on a Baugh lay-up with 15:31 left in the game.

    Tennessee led 41-32 at halftime thanks to some strong shooting from 3-point range as UT knocked down 7-of-13 (54 percent) from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes led by Simmons, who was 3-of-5 with 10 first-half points. Baugh added 11 points in the first half along with five rebounds as the Lady Vols held a 29-18 rebounding edge at intermission.

    UT expanded a 27-26 lead with 5:19 left to as big as 11 (38-27) with 1:28 left in the first half. Texas had drawn within one on a 3-pointer by Fontenette before the Lady Vols went on an 11-1 spurt.

    Alabama Gives Kansas First Loss

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore Jasmine Robinson scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Alabama women’s basketball team past Kansas, 80-76, on Sunday at Foster Auditorium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improved to 7-2 on the season, while the Jayhawks collected their first loss and now stand at 7-1 overall.

    “This was one of those basketball games that I thought we really played well for 40 minutes,” said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. “We didn’t play a perfect basketball game by any stretch, but the effort was there from the time the ball was tipped up until the end of the game. We have nothing to complain about from that standpoint.”

    Joining Robinson in double-figures were juniors Meghan Perkins and Jessica Merritt, who added 17 and 12, respectively. Freshman Aneesah Daniels pulled down a game-best, and career-high, 13 rebounds, in addition to nine points.

    Kansas took the early lead, scoring the first bucket of the game at the 18:22 mark, but Robinson would counter on the next possession to even the score at 2. Alabama would take its first lead of the game with 15:58 to go in the first as Robinson buried a three-pointer to give the Tide the 5-4 edge. Alabama remained in front, holding as much as a 12-point lead in the half. The Tide would head into the break up 43-33 over the Jayhawks.

    Kansas strung together an 8-4 run to open the second, cutting its deficit to six at the 17:12 mark. Alabama responded, however, extending its lead out to 13 with a fast-break layup from senior Ericka Russell with 10:36 to play. The Jayhawks would go on to score the next eight straight, bringing the lead down to five, before a Russell three-pointer with 6:21 to go took the lead back out to eight. Kansas would threaten again late in the contest, hitting back-to-back threes that set the score at 78-76 with nine seconds to go, but a pair of free throws by Perkins sealed the victory for the Tide.

    Alabama out-rebounded Kansas 42-35 and scored 48 points in the paint compared to the Jayhawks’ 38 points inside. In addition, the Tide shot 75.0 percent from the free throw line (12-16), while Kansas was just 47.1 from the charity stripe (8-17).

    South Carolina Falls To NC State, 55-53

    RALEIGH, N.C. – South Carolina erased a 12-point deficit in the second half, but could not hold off the final surge from NC State in a 55-53 loss at Reynolds Coliseum Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks (6-2) shook off poor shooting in the first half to apply stifling defense in the second to outscore the Wolfpack (5-2) by seven in the final period. Aleighsa Welch scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the second half, but the comeback fell just short.

    The Gamecocks overcame cold shooting early in the first half with solid defense, but the Wolfpack locked down in the final minutes of the period. After a transition layup from Sancheon White brought South Carolina within one ad 13-12, Markeshia Grant’s drive to the bucket put the Gamecocks on top for the first time with 7:32 left in the half. NC State’s Myisha Goodwin-Coleman answered with a drive, but Welch countered with an open layup thanks to good interior passing by Ashley Bruner. The Wolfpack got back-to-back 3s sandwiched around a Charenee Stephens put-back for a 21-18 NC State advantage with 4:49 left in the half. It was the last bucket South Carolina would score, and the Wolfpack took a 27-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.

    The second half got off to a slow start offensively, while NC State’s Bonae Holston continued her barrage. The Gamecocks got back on track with some high-low action between Bruner and Stephens, who accounted for the team’s first eight points of the half, the last two of which sparked an 11-2 South Carolina run.

    Defense was the key to the surge, as the Wolfpack went more than three minutes without a point. Meanwhile, Welch and Wilson combined for three free throws that cut the lead to five, and La’Keisha Sutton hit a transition layup to pull within 34-31. After being fouled driving to the bucket, Sutton sank a pair of free throws with 13:06 to play, and the Gamecock deficit was down to one at 34-33. The teams traded layups, and Welch capped the surge by giving the Gamecocks their first lead of the half on a putback.

    The lead changed hands eight times in the final 11 minutes as both teams fought and clawed at each other for the victory. Neither team led by more than four during the stretch, but the Gamecocks seemed to have the momentum, led by Grant’s back-to-back shot clock-beating buckets. The last of the set was a cold-blooded 3-pointer from the left side that turned a 49-28 NC State lead into a 51-49 Gamecock advantage with 3:47 left to play.

    Defense and rebounding helped the Gamecocks open their largest lead of the game – a 53-49 edge on Welch’s driving layup. The Wolfpack answered with a free-throw line jumper from Emili Tasler, and the Gamecocks’ nemesis Holston knotted the game at 53-53 with a short jump shot with 47 seconds to play.

    The Gamecocks brought the ball up the floor and set up their offense, but Holston picked off a pass to the post to get things going NC State’s way. She finished the job with a turnaround jumper with six seconds left. South Carolina again drove the ball up the floor, this time calling time out to set up the final play with 2.4 seconds on the clock. Lakeesa Daniel swiped the inbounds pass, though, to seal the win for the Wolfpack.

    While Welch was the only Gamecock in double figures, three others were not far off as Grant finished with nine and Sutton and Stephens each added eight. Stephens, White and Bruner each reeled in a team-high eight rebounds as well.

    Kentucky Races Past Louisville, 74-54

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell didn't know what to expect Sunday when his team took the floor against No. 10 Louisville.

    The No. 12 Wildcats had yet to play a team from a major conference and won their first seven games by an average of 36.4 points.

    So when they beat their rival 74-54 on Sunday, Mitchell finally got a good read on his team.

    "I'm awfully proud because, I'm telling you, it was a miserable week for me," Mitchell said. "The unknown, I just don't like that. It's really difficult. I had no idea how the game is going to go."

    It went well for Kentucky (8-0) right from the beginning. One of Mitchell's priorities was to use his team's depth to his advantage, so he did. The Cardinals (7-2) opened the game with a few quick baskets, but Kentucky answered with eight unanswered points and then subbed out all five players simultaneously.

    With five fresh sets of legs running a demanding full-court defense, Kentucky went on a 15-4 run. At that point, the Wildcats led 25-10.

    Part of what sparked the early run, senior guard Amber Smith said, was how personally Kentucky's players took the game after losing last year to Louisville 78-52.

    "Twenty-six points, you just want to get payback," she said. "It was the next game on our schedule and we approached it with great preparation. We were definitely prepared. We had enough rest, we scheduled right where we could prepare enough for Louisville because we knew how big this game was. It was definitely a payback game."

    Mitchell said he also didn't know quite what to expect from Louisville because the Cardinals had not played a major-conference team with Monique Reed and Shoni Schimmel, the team's two leading scorers; neither played in the Cardinals' loss to No. 4 Texas A&M.

    So to try to create a facsimile of Texas A&M's 76-58 win over the Cardinals, Mitchell's game plan was to make someone other than Schimmel bring the ball up the court, forcing Louisville's other players to make plays.

    Schimmel led the Cardinals with 17 points but was unable to take over the Cardinals' offense. She shot 7 of 18 from the floor and did not take a single free-throw attempt.

    Schimmel was one of only three Cardinals players to have four rebounds or more. Kentucky won the rebounding battle 34-25 despite running a four-guard lineup for most of the game. As a result, Kentucky finished with 24 second-chance points to the Cardinals' 10.

    "You can't win big games if you're not going to rebound the basketball," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "That's a mentality. You've got to have a little fight in you to go in and rebound the ball. Unfortunately, today we did not do a very good job of that and unfortunately, we haven't done a great job of that all season."

    Without Mitchell knowing what to expect from his team, his veterans stepped up: Junior A'dia Mathies finished with 20 points, and Smith finished with seven points and six assists.

    Smith said she knew what to expect Sunday even if her coach didn't.

    "It wasn't clear to the public, but we knew what we were capable of doing and how hard we've been working in practice," she said. "There was no doubt in our minds what we could do. We just were really prepared. I just have great teammates, and we showed up. It doesn't matter what the competition is, we will show up."

    Georgia Beats Georgia Tech

    ATHENS, Ga. --- Jasmine Hassell scored a career-high 24 points and recorded six rebounds and one assist to lead the No. 15 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (7-1) to a 75-68 victory against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-3) Sunday afternoon.

    “Jasmine was terrific tonight," said head coach Andy Landers. "She played well on the defensive end of the court and shot about as well as anyone could shoot. She went out there and went after rebounds that she hasn’t gone after before. She’s really becoming a better rebounder.”

    Hassell connected on 9-of-10 shots from the floor and 6-of-7 attempts at the line en route to her career outing.

    The Yellow Jackets saw double-digit scoring efforts from three players and out-rebounded the Georgia 47-42, but it was not enough to overcome the solid effort shown by the Lady Bulldogs as a whole.

    “I was impressed by the way we played tonight," continued Landers. "We forced some turnovers to end the first half and then again to start the second half. Georgia Tech is a team that likes to force turnovers and really needs to get to the free throw line a lot to win games. Tonight, we didn’t allow either of those things to happen. We did get beat on the boards tonight, but when we are forcing turnovers and hitting free throws, you have a Georgia team that is put in the position to win.”

    Meredith Mitchell led the Lady Bulldogs on the boards with seven rebounds. She also contributed 10 points, three assists and one block. Jasmine James notched 12 points, five rebounds and five steals.

    Georgia started the game quickly when James hit a jumper four seconds in to spark an 8-4 run that lasted 3:08 minutes. Georgia Tech then came back with a 7-2 run that gave them their first lead of the game, 11-10. Throughout the entire half, neither team led by more than six.

    With 46 seconds left in the first period, James hit a layup to knot the score at 33-33. For the first time this season, the Lady Bulldogs entered the locker room tied at halftime.

    Georgia shot 41.7 percent from the floor in the first half. Interestingly, neither team connected from behind the three point line until late in the second half.

    At halftime, Landers told the Lady Bulldogs, "Every shot, every move and every rebound has to be with a purpose. Go out there and make sure they do."

    The Lady Bulldogs shot 64.3 percent from the free throw line for the night, including six in their 8-2 run to start the second half. Once the Lady Bulldogs took the lead with 17:43 left in the game, they never relinquished it.

    With 6:47 on the clock, Khaalidah Miller stepped up and made the first three-pointer of the game.

    “It was a learning experience for Khaalidah tonight," said Landers. "She usually has her pick of shots, but she wasn’t getting many looks today. I told her at the start of the second half to wait and be patient because your shot is coming. When she hit the three late in the second half, I knew before she even looked at the basket that it was her shot.”

    With 4:08 left in the game, Hassell fouled Chelsea Regins on a made layup. Regins was then called on a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. Regins hit the extra free throw, while Anne Marie Armstrong connected on two free throws to keep Georgia up by 10, 65-56.

    With 2:28 left in the game, Georgia Tech attempted a comeback, with an 8-0 run, but were thwarted when Mitchell and Hassell connected on free throws to keep Georgia up 74-68.

    With 2.6 seconds left on the clock, Regins fouled out and sent Mitchell to the line. She hit her first free throw, but missed the second, to put the Dogs up for one last time, 75-68.

    State Downs Tulane

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s Diamber Johnson had her offensive game on Sunday afternoon.

    The senior guard scored 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting as the Lady Bulldogs won their fourth straight with a 70-55 victory over Tulane in a women’s basketball game played at the Humphrey Coliseum.

    MSU also received a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) from Ashley Brown. For Brown, it was her first double-double of the season and fourth for her career.

    MSU (7-1) did not trail over the final 24 minutes as the Lady Bulldogs won their fourth straight. Tulane (6-2) had already knocked off Southeastern Conference foe LSU this season but lost a second straight contest in this arena as Sunday’s defeat came four seasons after a WNIT second-round setback.

    “We knew they had a good team and that defensively we would have to play well,” Johnson said. “Defensively, we did a good job of keeping them under control and not allowing any runs. Offensively, we got several players involved. That is when we are at our best.”

    Johnson topped the 20-point mark for a second straight game. The last Lady Bulldog to do that was Porsha Porter against Alabama and Auburn a season ago.

    “We had four people in double figures in scoring (for the first time this season), and that was very important,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “They have great three-point shooting, and I thought we did a good job of guarding that. We are going to continue to grow.

    “We found a way to win, and I hope this will carry over to the exam period.”

    The teams were nip-and-tuck through a very competitive first half.

    The Maroon and White did start strong, opening the contest with a 12-4 run. Johnson scored her squad’s first 10 points. Tulane righted the ship and closed within 13-11 on a 3-point make by Jamie Kaplan. MSU answered with a 3-point basket from Kendra Grant, before Tulane reeled off a 7-2 run to tie the teams at 18.

    The lead then swung back and forth before MSU seized control for good to end the first half. Trailing 26-23, the Lady Bulldogs scored the half’s final eight points. Defensive toughness by Brown and Johnson fueled the run. Porter provided the offense by scoring all eight points, including a pair of treys.

    “I certainly think Mississippi State stepped up,” Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said. “They played well today, especially Johnson. She was on fire, especially during the first five minutes. Mississippi State normally doesn’t make 3-pointers and they made nine in this game. That’s tough to combat.”

    The Lady Bulldogs continued on the offensive attack, stretching the lead to double digits at 41-30 with 16:09 left to play. MSU maintained at least a five-point push the rest away, as the Maroon and White shot a solid 43.3 percent from the field in the second half.

    “Holding them under 30 percent from the field (in the second half) was an important stat for us,” Fanning-Otis said. “Taking care of the basketball is another thing we have to work on.”

    A 12-2 run late in the second half allowed the Lady Bulldogs to lead by as many as 20 at 70-50. Tulane scored the final five points to create the game’s final margin.

    For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 25 of 63 shots from the field (39.7 percent), 9 of 24 shots from 3-point range (37.5 percent) and 11 of 15 shots from the foul line (73.3 percent). The Green Wave hit 18 of 58 shots from the field (31.0 percent), 4 of 21 shots from 3-point range (19.0 percent) and 15 of 24 shots from the foul line (62.5 percent).

    Tulane held a 45-39 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had 11 assists and 16 turnovers, while the Green Wave had 14 assists and 20 turnovers.

    Joining Johnson and Brown in double figures were Porter with 14 points and Grant with 11 points. Johnson, Porter and Grant each finished with three 3-point baskets as the Lady Bulldogs had a season-best nine makes from long range.

    Tulane received a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) from Adesuwa Ebomwonyi and 10 points from Kaplan.

    Vandy Holds Off High Point

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - No. 25/22 Vanderbilt's sophomore guards have been getting it done all season for the Commodores. On Sunday, December 4, Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister did it to the tune of career highs as Vanderbilt downed High Point, 70-54, to move to 9-0 on the season. The Panthers fell to 4-3.

    Foggie eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fourth-consecutive game, scoring a career-high 26 points on 9-11 shooting. She hit three-of-four attempts from the three-point line, was 5-7 from the foul line and contributed three steals.

    Her backcourt mate, Lister, dished out a career-high nine assists, while adding 10 points of her own. Tiffany Clarke just missed a double-double, as well, with 14 points and nine rebounds.

    High Point was led by a double-double effort from Cheyenne Parker, who scored 19 points and added 13 rebounds. Shamia Brown added 13 points, while Tayler Tremblay and Laura Whitt each contributed 11 points. Erin Reynolds, who was coming off a 36-point performance in a win over Pittsburgh, was held scoreless.

    The Commodores never trailed and led by 17 at the half, but the Panthers tried to claw back in it. They opened the second half with a 9-2 run to pull with in seven, 34-27. The Commodores then answered with a 13-4 run to open up a 59-40 lead with 6:40 left and were able to cruise from there.

    As has been the case with many opponents, Vanderbilt's combination of size and athleticism was too much for High Point. The Commodores outscored High Point, 40-26, in the paint, while outscoring them off the bench, 16-0.

    Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb believes Foggie is finally becoming the type of player the coach always thought she could be.

    "She's being a complete player," Balcomb said. "She's not just trying to hit threes like she was last year and that's something we've worked on. `Hey, if they run at you, make your threes, but if they run at you, you have to put the ball on the floor and pull up or go to the basket.' She's also more comfortable in the offense."

    Foggie knows her success has come as part of a complete team offense.

    "I've been in a flow recently and my teammates have been helping me with that, setting screens and stuff like that," Foggie explained.

    Foggie becomes the first Vanderbilt player to score 20-plus points in four consecutive games since Christina Wirth accomplished the feat in the final four contests of her career at the end of the 2008-09 season. Wirth scored 20 against Auburn in the 2009 SEC Championship game before scoring 23 and 24 in first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament versus Western Carolina and Kansas State, respectively. She concluded her career with 28 points in a Sweet 16 loss to Maryland.