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    SEC Women's Basketball Today: December 22

    women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
    Auburn 49, CCSU 40
    LSU 62, Grambling State 47
    Georgia 81, Appalachian State 37
    Vanderbilt 64, Florida State 59

    Auburn Holds Off CCSU Rally For 49-40 Victory In New York Life Holiday Tournament

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Auburn freshman Hasina Muhammad scored a game-high 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half, to lead Auburn (7-4) to a 49-40 win over Central Connecticut State (6-5) in the consolation game of the New York Life Holiday Tournament hosted by Hofstra. Muhammad also pulled down eight rebounds along with two blocks and two steals to lead the Tigers.

    Auburn relied on its defense to get the victory, collecting 16 steals while forcing 37 CCSU turnovers. Junior Blanche Alverson tallied six steals in the win, a career-high that ties for ninth all-time at Auburn in single-game steals.

    The Tigers used the defense to fuel their offense scoring 28 points off turnovers, points that proved to be valuable as Auburn struggled from the field with a 28.6 team field goal percentage.

    “We gutted one out. It was definitely a gut-check time for us and the kids really came out pressing and really working hard,” said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. “The tough thing was the points were not coming easy. We were working extremely hard on the defensive end, creating a lot of turnovers, we might have set a record today.”

    The Tigers closed the first half on a 12-4 run to take a 24-18 lead into the locker room. Auburn then held the Blue Devils scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half, taking a 12-point lead. CCSU would not bow out, however, as it went on a 12-0 run of its own to tie the game up at 30-30 with 11:27 left to play. It was the first of five ties in the next six minutes as the teams traded the lead.

    “We knew they would make that run, we saw them do it all day yesterday against Hofstra,” said Fortner. “Hofstra would go up 10 or 12 and they would come back and cut it to two. They are a team that does not quit, they are a hard-nosed team. I am just proud that we hung in there and didn’t quit, we kept fighting hard.”

    Leading by just one with less than two minutes left in the game, Muhammad penetrated the lane for a crucial jumper that gave Auburn a three-point lead with 1:46 left to play. Auburn went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the final 34 seconds, along with a Muhammad breakaway basket, to put the lead at nine and out of reach for the 49-40 win.

    Alverson, Morgan Jennings and Tyrese Tanner followed Muhamamd with seven points each. Tanner also pulled down eight rebounds with three steals.
     
    Kirsten Daamen and Jaclyn Babe scored in double figures for Central Connecticut State, tallying 13 and 10 points, respectively. CCSU’s only other points came from Jessica Babe (9) and Lauren Arbogast (8). Jessica Babe also pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
     
    Auburn will return to action at 7 p.m., Dec. 29 at the Florida International Sun & Fun Classic in Miami, Fla. The Tigers will take on North Carolina-Charlotte in the first round and will face either FIU or Albany in the second round.



    LSU Women's Basketball Wins Fifth in a Row, Defeats Grambling 62-47

    BATON ROUGE – Senior forward LaSondra Barrett led a trio of double-figure scorers with 15 points as the LSU women’s basketball team built a double-digit halftime lead and withstood a late charge from Grambling to win its fifth straight game, 62-47, on Thursday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

    The contest tipped at a special noon time and children were allowed free admission into the arena. As part of the Lady Tigers’ partnership with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, fans brought in canned good items for a holiday food drive that concluded on Thursday.

    LSU (8-3) remained perfect in the month of December this season, taking a 36-21 halftime lead before Grambling (4-6) rallied with a 14-0 run in the second half that cut the advantage to five. Grambling outshot LSU for the game, 40 percent to 33.8 percent, and GSU became the first team to break the 45-point barrier on the Lady Tigers since a 77-68 loss at Ohio State last month.

    “I give much credit to Grambling for not giving up and playing with great intensity,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “It did allow us to see what our bench was made of and allowed us to go deep into our bench to get quality minutes. I’m proud of this group for finishing out the task at hand before the Christmas break.”

    Barrett tallied four steals, four assists and six rebounds. Senior forward Courtney Jones was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor with 11 points. Taylor Turnbow came off the bench for a season-high 10 points and Destini Hughes had eight points and five boards.

    LSU separated the score beginning at the 7:46 mark in the first half when Swayze Black’s layup ignited an 11-2 run over the next five minutes. Barrett knocked down two jumpers and Destini Hughes and Theresa Plaisance each made a pair of free throws. Shanece McKinney’s layup with 2:39 left in the stanza made it 31-18 LSU.

    The Lady Tigers built their largest lead of the game, a 19-point advantage with 17:36 to go in the game before Grambling began a three-point barrage scoring 14 unanswered points over the next five minutes. Grambling buried four consecutive threes – two from Tonishea Mack and two from Markisha Patterson – to pull within 40-35 with 12:33 remaining in the game.

    Plaisance snapped the Grambling run when she nailed a trey from the left corner out of a timeout. Turnbow then responded with three paint buckets in the next two minutes. LSU closed the game with back-to-back threes from Barrett and Jeanne Kenney to pull away.

    Patterson scored 12 points to lead Grambling, which finished 6-of-17 from three-point land. LSU, however, was able to convert 27 Grambling turnovers into 24 points.

    “We will get better,” said Caldwell. “I liked the fact that we were able to force over 25 turnovers. This team again needs to understand that we generate our offense through our defense and our board play.”

    The Lady Tigers break for the Christmas holiday for three days before resuming practice on Dec. 26 in preparation for one final non-conference game – at Louisiana Tech on Dec. 29 – prior to the start of Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 1.



    No. 13 Georgia women cruise past Appalachian State

    ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Khaalidah Miller had 23 points and 11 rebounds, freshman Krista Donald added 22 points and No. 13 Georgia beat Appalachian State 81-37 on Thursday night.

    Georgia (10-2) was able to let point guard Jasmine James rest her injured right knee. The Lady Bulldogs' second-leading scorer watched the game from the bench in a warmup.

    Meredith Mitchell moved from swingman to point guard, and Erika Ford started in Mitchell's spot. But Mitchell left the game with blurred vision after getting poked in the eye late in the first half.

    Miller took over at point guard and made it 38-19 early in the second half by stealing the ball from Raven Gary, scoring a fast-break layup and converting a three-point play.

    Anna Freeman scored 14 points to lead Appalachian State (8-2).



    No. 25 Vanderbilt women outlast Florida State

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Christina Foggie scored 18 points and Stephanie Holzer had 17 to help No. 25 Vanderbilt hold off Florida State for a 64-59 victory Thursday night.

    Foggie and Holzer each sank a pair of throws in the last 46 seconds for the Commodores (11-1). Holzer also had 13 rebounds and Jasmine Lister added 10 points.

    Chelsea Davis had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Seminoles (6-6), while Chasity Clayton and Alexa Deluzio had 15 points apiece.

    Clayton pulled Florida State within 62-59 with 20.3 seconds left, but Holzer made both her free throws with 18.3 seconds to play.

    The Commodores came into the game third in the nation in field goal percentage but shot 38.1 percent from the field.

    FSU post player Cierra Brevard, the second-leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference, scored only four points, breaking a string of 32 straight games scoring in double figures.