Georgia Defeats Arkansas
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Georgia 67, Arkansas 57
|South Carolina 68, Alabama 42
|LSU 83, Ole Miss 44
|Tennessee 73, Auburn 52
|Kentucky 59, Florida 56
ATHENS, Ga. --- Jasmine Hassell's team-high 19 points led the No. 17 Georgia Lady Bulldogs (12-2, 1-0) to victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks (11-2, 0-1), 67-57, Sunday afternoon.
For the third straight game, four Lady Bulldogs put up double-digit points. Anne Marie Armstrong scored 15 points, helped by perfect shooting behind the three-point line and at the charity stripe.
“We have the ability to be a very balanced team," said head coach Andy Landers. "They play unselfishly and share the ball. They all have the ability to score. Today, they executed the game plan very well.”
Khaalidah Miller and Meredith Mitchell scored 12 points apiece. Miller's 12 points all came from three point shots, as did nine of Mitchell's points.
“I thought that we were very good," continued Landers. "We had difficulty manning their zone at times, but overall I thought we executed very well offensively. We rebounded the ball well until the end. Towards the end of the game, we showed some signs of fatigue. We may have played people too long.”
After trailing Arkansas for a better portion of the first 10 minutes, back-to-back three pointers from Erika Ford and Armstrong tied the game at 18-18 with 10:07 left in the period.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Razorbacks 20-10, entering the locker room with a 38-28 lead. Georgia's 48.4 percent shooting from the field was aided by Hassell's 4-of-4 effort in just 17 minutes of first half play.
Georgia started the second half much like it ended the first, with a 12-4 run that lasted five minutes. Another pair of treys by Armstrong and Mitchell increased the Lady Bulldog lead to 63-44 with 6:28 left in the game. Arkansas made a surge late, scoring 11 points in the last three minutes, but it was too little too late.
Versatile Offense Delivers 68-42 Win in SEC Opener
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina picked up a 68-42 win over Alabama in the SEC women’s basketball opener for both teams this afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (12-2, 1-0 SEC) used three key scoring runs to establish themselves early and stymie any comeback by the Crimson Tide (10-5, 0-1 SEC). Scoring came from all corners and the defense held an opponent to 48 points or fewer for the eighth time this season. Junior guard Ieasia Walker led the offense with 12 points, while freshman forward Aleighsa Welch pulled in a season-best 10 rebounds.
“It’s very important [to start league play with a win] because wins in this league are hard to come by,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “There are definitely no nights off, so it’s that much more important to take care of home. We put special emphasis on it because after these first five games we go on the road for a little bit. We’ve got to get our wins at home before we take on the rigors of being on the road in the SEC.”
The Gamecocks used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to seize control after an early 6-6 tie. La’Keisha Sutton’s driving layup kicked off the nearly five-minute long surge. After the defense forced a shot-clock violation, Welch dished it inside for Ashley Bruner on the block. Walker converted a transition layup to put the Gamecocks up 12-6 with 13:11 left in the half. Back-to-back Crimson Tide turnovers and solid rebounding kept the run going for South Carolina. Bruner put back a miss, and Sancheon White pulled up for a short jumper while Alabama continued to be one-and-done with shots on its possessions. Markeshia Grant drove the baseline off a baseline out-of-bounds play for an 18-6 margin with 10:32 left to play.
Both teams struggled with turnovers and shooting percentage in the second half of the period, but the Crimson Tide could not gain any ground. South Carolina took a 27-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a slow offensive start to the second half, Grant went on a person 7-0 run in a one-minute span to stretch the Gamecock lead to 34-17 with 16:36 in left to play. She opened with a 3-pointer from the right side, and, after a turnover from each team in quick succession, she hit a quick jumper from the free throw line. Another defensive rebound for the Gamecocks set her up for a transition layup as South Carolina double-up the Crimson Tide 34-17.
Alabama scored five of the games next seven points, but Welch and White combined to smother a run before it could get started. Welch scored from the right block after a steal, then White turned her own steal into a breakaway layup. Alabama misfired on its next shot, and the Gamecocks found White for a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 43-22 advantage with 12:37 left to play and never looked back.
The Gamecocks shot 46.6 percent from the field for the game, including 56.0 percent in the second half. They found their range from the 3-point line in the second period, hitting 5-of-8 to help stretch out the lead. South Carolina scored 40 of its 68 points in the paint with 24 of those coming in the first half, and took advantage of a 38-22 rebounding edge to score 18 second-chance points.
All 13 players on the Gamecocks’ active roster saw time in the game with 10 finding their way into the scoring column. Walker’s 12 points led three Gamecocks in double figures as Grant and Tina Roy joined her with 11 and 10, respectively. Welch narrowly missed her first career double-double, scoring nine points to go with her game-high 10 rebounds. Grant added a team-high three assists to the offensive effort.
LSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CRUSHES OLE MISS, 83-44, IN SEC OPENER TO WIN SEVENTH STRAIGHT GAME
OXFORD, Miss. – LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell made her return to the Southeastern Conference a successful one and senior forward LaSondra Barrett, a Mississippi native, continued her dominance of Ole Miss with her 13th career double-double.
Caldwell and the LSU Lady Tigers rang in 2012 with their seventh straight victory, using a 24-2 run to close the first half and cruise past Ole Miss, 83-44, in the SEC opener for both teams on New Year’s Day in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Barrett scored 13 points and pulled down 13 rebounds – 11 in the first half and one shy of a career-high -- to go along with a career-best three blocks. In six career games against the Rebels, the Jackson, Miss., native finished with 112 points and 47 rebounds.
Every Lady Tiger player scored a point and LSU (10-3, 1-0 SEC) finished with an efficient 37 made field goals on 26 assists. Sophomore guard Jeanne Kenney added 10 points and dished out a career-high-tying seven assists. Senior guard Destini Hughes scored a season-high 13 points with four assists and three steals. Freshman Krystal Forthan chipped in nine points and had two acrobatic blocks.
“I liked that we played more off the dribble drive today,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “Destini Hughes really set the tone for us in being aggressive off the dribble. Obviously, LaSondra Barrett gets 13 boards and was really that presence for us on the offensive end.”
Ole Miss (10-4, 0-1 SEC) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end and lost for the third straight time to LSU. The Rebels have been outscored 237-125 in their last three meetings with the Lady Tigers. Nikki Byrd led Ole Miss with 14 points.
With LSU trailing 18-16 at the 11:23 mark in the first half, the Lady Tigers put together a back-breaking 17-0 run that took control of the game. In its most efficient offensive display of the season, LSU got contributions from every player.
Hughes tied the game with a jumper and three minutes later Courtney Jones’ three from the top of the key gave LSU a 27-18 lead that continued to grow.
Adrienne Webb tossed a bucket in the lane and Jones converted a turnaround jumper that culminated the 17-0 run at the 3:44 mark. LSU led 33-18 before Kenyotta Jenkins ended the scoring dry spell with a free throw. The Rebels, however, would go the final 11:22 of the first half without a field goal thanks to a suffocating Lady Tiger defense. Barrett grabbed 10 rebounds during the 11-minute span.
“This game is about runs and we have to generate that through our defense and board play because we have to control the tempo of the game,” said Caldwell. “Once we did that, I thought we played a lot better in establishing our inside play. We are going to continue to look to push tempo because we have a lot of people that we can play. Our bench gave us some quality minutes today.”
LSU built on its 40-20 halftime advantage right out of the locker room. Hughes and Kenney converted old-fashioned three-point plays. Forthan nailed a three from the right wing that pushed the advantage to 30, 64-34, with 9:08 remaining in the contest.
Shanece McKinney and Sheila Boykin got into the scoring act in the final five minutes. Barrett put the finishing touches on her monster day with a three of her own at the 1:35 mark.
LSU finished the game at 55.2 percent shooting from the floor and holding the Rebels to 24.6 percent. The Lady Tigers out-rebounded their eighth straight opponent and the 83 total points were the most by LSU in an SEC (non-overtime game) since putting up 83 against Arkansas on Feb. 28, 2008.
Tennessee Opens New Year With Win Over Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. - The seventh-ranked Tennessee women's basketball team opened the new year and SEC play with a 73-52 win against Auburn on Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena, marking UT's 34th consecutive SEC win dating back to the 2009-10 season.
After a close first half that saw the Lady Vols (9-3, 1-0) take a 31-29 lead into the locker room, UT scored the initial nine points of the second half and never allowed the margin to get smaller than seven.
After the Tigers (8-6, 0-1) cut the deficit to 53-46 with 7:59 remaining, the Lady Vols again scored nine consecutive points in part of a 20-6 run to close the game.
Tennessee boasted four players in double-figures, led by 20 from Meighan Simmons. Shekinna Stricklen (17), Glory Johnson (14) and Alicia Manning (10) also reached double-figures.
Johnson recorded her second straight double-double and fifth of the season, also pulling down 13 rebounds.
Kentucky Shoots Past Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A'dia Mathies scored 14 points, Bria Goss added 11 and No. 6 Kentucky beat cold-shooting Florida 59-56 on Sunday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both schools.
The Wildcats (12-2, 1-0) were coming off a rough stretch, losing two of their last three games, included a setback at unranked Middle Tennessee State last Monday. The Wildcats' other loss came 10 days earlier at third-ranked Notre Dame.
Deana Allen had 14 points and Ndidi Madu finished with 11 for Florida (10-4, 0-1), which shot 32.8 percent and committed 23 turnovers. Jennifer George added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaterra Bonds also scored 10.
Azania Stewart made a free throw with 8:19 left to help Florida close to 42-41, but the Wildcats responded with an 11-4 surge. Amber Smith capped the run with a 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock and made it 53-45.
Neither team shot well in a tight first half that featured eight lead changes and six ties. Kentucky hit 39.4 percent while Florida shot 32.3 percent.
Mathies made two 3-pointers in a 15-second span late in the first half, helping Kentucky to a 33-29 lead.
The Wildcats also recorded a narrow victory in Gainesville last season when Victoria Dunlap made two free throws with 10 seconds to send Kentucky to a 59-58 win.