No. 6 Kentucky holds off Georgia women, 69-64
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Kentucky 69, Georgia 64
|Tennessee 65, LSU 56
|Arkansas 69, Vanderbilt 47
|Mississippi State 51, Ole Miss 46
|Auburn 53, South Carolina 49
|Florida 61, Alabama 37
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Kentucky took the lead with a 9-0 run in the second half and the No. 6 Wildcats wore down short-handed Georgia and beat the No. 15 Lady Bulldogs 69-64 on Thursday night.
Bria Goss, who had a career-high 22 points, hit two 3-pointers in the big run, including one that gave the Wildcats a 54-52 lead. Samarie Walker added 18 points.
Kentucky (17-2, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) used 12 players while Georgia (15-4, 4-2), limited by injuries, used only seven.
Bulldogs starting guard Jasmine James, the team's primary ball-handler, was held out with a sprained right knee. Freshman reserve forward Krista Donald, was in uniform but did not play after aggravating a knee injury.
Freshman Erika Ford, starting for James, led Georgia with 17 points. Jasmine Hassell had 13 points and Khaalidah Miller had 12.
Georgia took a 46-36 lead about 5 minutes into the second half, but its lack of depth soon began to show.
Kentucky went ahead 58-52 after the 9-0 run. Georgia made a short-lived recovery before Hassell's basket with 3:59 remaining was disallowed due to a charge, leaving the Wildcats up 62-59.
Georgia's Anne Marie Armstrong, who played with four fouls the full second half before fouling out with 11 points with 12 seconds remaining, hit a 3-pointer with nearly a minute to go to cut the deficit to 66-64. Goss answered with a baseline drive to protect the drive.
Donald's injury left Georgia coach Andy Landers with little frontcourt depth. Landers left Armstrong in the game when she was called for her third foul with 3:15 remaining in the first half. The junior drew her fourth foul about 2 minutes later.
Kentucky's bench outscored Georgia's reserves 19-0 in the first half, but the Lady Bulldogs led 36-32.
A'dia Mathies had seven points and 10 rebounds for Kentucky.
No. 9 Tennessee women beat LSU 65-56
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Meighan Simmons scored 19 points as No. 9 Tennessee beat LSU 65-56 on Thursday night.
The score was tied 11 times and the teams traded the lead six times. Cierra Burdick hit a tiebreaking jumper with 6:22 left that put the Lady Volunteers (14-4, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) ahead for good, 51-49.
They padded their lead with free throws from there, despite an uncharacteristic 18-of-31 performance from the line.
LSU hit just one more shot from the floor the rest of the way.
The Lady Tigers were without two point guards in the second half after Jeanne Kenney suffered a concussion early in the game and Destini Hughes seriously injured her right leg just before halftime.
Courtney Jones led LSU (13-5, 4-2) with 16 points.
Burdick scored 15, and Vicki Baugh grabbed 14 rebounds for Tennessee, which shot 42.9 percent in the second half against the SEC's best defense.
Arkansas women upend No. 25 Vandy 69-47
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Sarah Watkins scored 21 points to lead Arkansas to a 69-47 win over No. 25 Vanderbilt.
The win is the second straight for the Razorbacks (13-5, 2-4 Southeastern Conference), who opened SEC play with four straight losses. It's their first win over Vandy since 2006. The Commodores had won 13 of the previous 14 meetings.
Ashley Daniels added 17 points for Arkansas, which led by as many as 23 points in the second half. The Razorbacks forced 22 turnovers and held Vanderbilt (14-4, 2-3) to a season-low point total.
The loss is the second straight for the Commodores, who lost to Tennessee on Sunday. Christina Foggie had 14 points to lead Vanderbilt, which shot 32 percent in the loss.
Lady Bulldogs Sneak Past Ole Miss, 51-46
OXFORD, Miss. – A tenacious defensive effort led the Mississippi State women’s basketball team to its second straight road win in Southeastern Conference action.
The Lady Bulldogs held arch-rival Ole Miss to 27 percent shooting to post a 51-46 victory Thursday night in Tad Smith Coliseum. For the Lady Bulldogs, it was their lowest point total allowed in a league game this season. The road win came exactly one week after an impressive 66-61 triumph at Alabama.
With the victory, MSU improved to 12-6 overall and 2-3 in league play, while Ole Miss fell to 12-7 and 2-4. The Lady Bulldogs have won four straight in the series and six of the last seven. The victory also meant back-to-back wins in Lafayette County as MSU posted a 59-43 victory here a season ago.
“We talk about finding a way all the time and that is what we did tonight,” MSU head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. “Anytime you win on the road in this league, it is a big plus. It was a team win, too. We had 13 players in the rotation tonight.
“Everybody on the bench stepped up and played well. Everybody contributed in a rivalry win.”
The Lady Bulldogs held the better of the activity in each half of a physical, intense defensive struggle. MSU led by as many as 10 points in the first half and as many as eight points in the second half. Still, the contest remained in doubt, thanks to four tied scores and five lead changes.
MSU erased an early 6-4 deficit by scoring 11 straight points. Danielle Rector hit a go-ahead 3-pointer. The Maroon and White ran the lead to 15-6 with six straight points from Diamber Johnson.
A Kendra Grant 3-pointer moved the lead to a game-best 10-point advantage at 18-8. Ole Miss still trailed 22-14 before piecing together at 7-0 run over a three-minute stretch.
A pair of Valencia McFarland free throws tied the game at 23. A follow-up free throw by Tia Faleru pushed the Rebels to a 24-23 advantage at halftime.
“In the second half, we raised our shooting percentage by more than 20 points,” Fanning-Otis said. “Ole Miss had six players with really great offensive rebounding statistics. We knew our challenge was to crash the boards hard.
“Our ability to limit their second shots was really huge.”
Ole Miss held its last lead 26-25 before MSU seized control for good with an 11-2 run. A putback basket by Catina Bett sparked the run. Grant and Johnson followed with back-to-back scores.
Ole Miss scored the game’s next six points to close within 36-34. A layup by Kenyotta Jenkins brought the hosts within 43-42 with 4:54 left in the contest.
The Lady Bulldogs answered with a layup by Porsha Porter and a nice spinning move in the lane, which led to an old-fashioned 3-point play by Porter. A follow-up 3-point basket by Johnson proved the final dagger for the guests.
For the contest, the Lady Bulldogs hit 19 of 56 shots from the field (33.9 percent), 4 of 9 shots from 3-point range (44.4 percent) and 9 of 12 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent). The Lady Rebels hit 17 of 64 shots from the field (26.6 percent), 3 of 20 shots from 3-point range (15.0 percent) and 9 of 20 shots from the foul line (45.0 percent).
Ole Miss held a 45-44 rebounding advantage. The Lady Bulldogs had eight assists and 15 turnovers, while the Lady Rebels had nine assists and 10 turnovers.
Johnson, a Pontotoc native playing her final game in this arena, led the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points. With a 3-1 record in her career here, Johnson averaged 11.5 points per contest in those four games.
Porter added nine points and a team-high six rebounds, while Martha Alwal also had six rebounds.
Ole Miss received a double-double from Nikki Byrd (12 points, 14 rebounds), as well as a game-high 14 points from McFarland.
MSU hosts Auburn at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Auburn Women’s Basketball Holds On For 53-49 Win Over South Carolina
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn’s Tyrese Tanner scored four of her game-high 15 points in the final 2:08, leading the Tigers (10-9, 2-4 SEC) to a 53-49 win over South Carolina (14-5, 3-3 SEC) Thursday night in Auburn Arena. Auburn led by as many as 13 points before South Carolina rallied back to take a one-point lead with 5:31 left in the game.
“That was a big win for us,” Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. “It came at a time that we needed a win. I think South Carolina’s just having a really good season. It came against a good team and hopefully that gets us back on the winning track.”
Auburn was led in scoring by sophomore Tanner with 15 points. It was the fourth time in five games that Tanner led the Tigers in scoring, each time coming off the bench. Tanner is averaging 15 points over the last five games and 13.8 in Southeastern Conference play.
“She’s been very valuable because she’s versatile,” Fortner said of Tanner. “She can play anywhere on the floor. We’re really trying to get her on that block more. She’s hard to guard on that block. She has good poise and is really starting to feel her game really coming around now.”
After leading by as many as 13 points with 10:20 left in the game, Auburn relinquished the lead as South Carolina went on a 14-2 run to go up, 47-46, with just 5:31 remaining. Blanche Alverson ended the Tigers’ scoring drought from the floor with a 3-pointer at the 3:19 mark to put her team back in the lead.
South Carolina’s Ashley Bruner hit a pair of free throws with 2:19 left to tie the game up at 49 before Tanner took over. Tanner answered on the next possession with a layup to put the Tigers in the lead, but the Gamecocks would have another chance. Ieasia Walker missed a jumper with 10 seconds left in the game and a Hasina Muhammad rebound set Tanner up at the free-throw line for a pair to seal the win.
Muhammad tallied her 11th game to score in double figures with 11 points, as the freshman picked up five rebounds, a pair of blocks and a pair of steals. Junior Najat Ouardad added seven points, six assists and three steals to lead the Tiger defensive effort.
“She’s just pesky,” Fortner said of Ouardad. “When you’re going against her, she can really make a difference in changing the flow of the opponent’s offense. She just never quits. She never gives up on a play. She never gives up on a possession. She’s just constantly staying with it. When everybody starts playing off of that on our team, it gives us a lot more energy.”
South Carolina was led in scoring by Markeshia Grant with nine points, as Walker and Bruner added eight each. Sancheon White grabbed a game-high 13 boards for the Gamecocks, who out-rebounded the Tigers, 42-33. No Gamecock finished in double digits in scoring, marking the first time since the season-opener against Mercer that Auburn held an opponent without a player in double figures.
The Tigers return to action at 2 p.m. CT, Sunday as Auburn travels to Mississippi State (12-6, 2-3 SEC). The Bulldogs downed in-state rival 51-46 in Oxford, Miss.
Gators Use Tough Defense to Drop Alabama, 61-37
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Gator women's basketball team used stifling defense, which held Alabama to 24.6 percent shooting from the field, and a monster performance from junior Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) to down the Crimson Tide, 61-37, Thursday evening at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
The Orange and Blue defense was the difference maker in the game as UF held Alabama (10-10, 0-6 SEC) to 25 percent shooting in the first half and 24.2 percent shooting in the second half. Additionally, the Gators forced 18 turnovers which led to 22 points. The offense was also efficient on the evening as the Gators recorded 19 assists on their 25 made field goals.
George led the way for the Gators with an impressive 15-point, 12-rebound, five-block performance, tallying her 11th double-double of the year and 15th of her career. George, who hit 5-of-6 shots in the second half and 7-of-16 for the game, wasn't alone in her strong individual performance, as five additional Gators scored seven or more points led by senior Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England), who chipped in eight points, 10 boards and four blocked shots, and senior Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.), who had seven points, a career-high-tying seven rebounds and five assists. Senior Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) dished a season-high seven assists while collecting a game-high five steals.
"I'm really proud of the maturity I think we displayed tonight for a lot of different reasons," UF head coach Amanda Butler said. "The talk and the questions we kept getting were about how do you play against Alabama after such a big win versus LSU - I think we really showed our senior leadership, in particular, and just our composure from game to game. We had great execution of the game plan."
The Gators missed their first nine shots and began the game hitting just 12.5% (2-16) from the floor during the opening 7:39 minutes, yet trailed only 7-6 with 12:33 on the clock, as the Tide didn't connect any easier, converting 20 percent on 3-of-15
Stewart sank her second shot in as many tries as one of the few Gators who were sharp from the get-go, connecting on a jumper inside that gave Florida a 8-7 lead with 12:21 on the clock.
Krya Crosby, who was equally as sharp for her team and finished with a Tide-best 14 points, tallied her third field goal in as many attempts and put Alabama back on top, before Jasmine Robinson followed with a jumper that had the Tide up three, 11-8, with 11:13 on the clock.
On Florida's next offensive possession, Jordan Jones nailed a 25-foot three-pointer as the shot clock expired and tied the game at 11 with 10:39 remaining.
The Gators forced a stop and Deana Allen added a 12-footer before Bartley collected a steal off the Tide in-bounds play. Bartley passed to Allen, who found Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) on the wing where she knocked down her 15th three-pointer of the season that gave Florida a 16-11 lead with 9:18 to go.
Florida continued its defensive pressure and Barley came up with another steal, which she took the length of the court for a layup and an 18-11 Gator advantage.
Bartley again came away with another steal, but the Gators couldn't capitalize. Alabama missed an inside jumper and George collected the miss, but again Florida came away empty, committing its third turnover of the contest.
Florida held firm defensively and limited the Tide to one shot attempt on their next possession. The Gators also missed their try and Alabama game away with a layup from Meghan Perkins, who ended Florida's 10-0 run.
Florida continued its scoring spurt with one free throw from George and an long jumper from Jones, who tacked on another running jumper and extended the march to 15-2 over a 4:24 span, as Florida took a 23-13 lead with 6:15 remaining.
After a Florida forced a shot clock violation, Jones collected an offensive rebound and Bonds sank a driving layup as the Gator's shot clock expired and continued the run, 25-13
Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) came off the bench and added a three-pointer from the top of the arc and Florida kept the momentum.
Deana Allen (Houma, La.) added to the long-range barrage by connecting from beyond the arc with 3:50 remaining that gave Florida a 31-13 lead and forced Alabama to call a timeout, as the Tide tried to find a way to stop the Gator's 23-2 run that spread over a 6:49 span.
Celiscia Farmer ended the long march after Jessica Merritt collected a long defensive rebound and dished off to Farmer, who converted the layup at the 2:37 mark, as Florida held a 31-15 lead.
George, who finished the first half with five points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, came back with her second field goal of the contest for her fifth point, before Alabama came right back with a bucket inside with 47 seconds remaining to end the first half scoring with the Gators taking a 33-17 lead.
Florida recovered to sink 31 percent (13-42) of its shots and held a 28-27 rebounding edge after the first 20 minutes. The Gators turned the ball over just four times and forced 12 Alabama turnovers that they converted into 16 points.
The Gators (13-6, 3-3 SEC) didn't let up to begin the second half as they scored six of the first eight points, pushing their lead to 20 and forcing Alabama into another timeout. From there, the Gators used hot shooting, connecting on 12-of-21 shots in the second half to cruise to the victory. George and Ndidi Madu (Antioch, Tenn.) were keys to the second-half performance, scoring 18 of UF's 28 points on a combined 9-of-11 shooting.
The Gators next embark on a three-game road trip, beginning on Sunday, January, 22 when they travel to Lexington for a rematch against No. 6 Kentucky (17-2, 6-0 SEC). Tip-off inside Memorial Coliseum is set for 2 p.m. and will be televised live on the 48-station SEC Network, which airs on WOGX FOX on Cox Cable in Gainesville. Live streaming video will be available through www.ESPN3.com and will not be subject to blackout in any area. The radio broadcast of the game can be heard live in Gainesville on WBXY-FM 99.5 The Star, as well as through the internet at www.GatorZone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.
The Wildcats, who are the only undefeated team in SEC action, edged the Gators, 59-56, on January 1st in Gainesville in the conference opener for both teams.