|Women's BASKETBALL RESULTS
|Florida 84, Georgia State 65
|Georgia 57, Rutgers 51
|Alabama 80, Jacksonville State 43
|Tennessee 71, Georgia Tech 54
|LSU 72, Wichita State 70
Florida Takes Care of Georgia State
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Senior Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.) scored a game-high 19 points and led four Gators in double-figure scoring to help the University of Florida women’s basketball team to an 84-65 win over Georgia State at the O’Connell Center on Sunday afternoon.
Along with George’s, junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) added 17 points, which is her most in a game since scoring 23 against Charlotte on March 24, 2011. Sophomore Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) added 11 points along with a career-high 12 rebounds for her first double-double of her career and freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.), who had 10 points for the first double-figure point outing in her young Gator career.
The win was also head coach Amanda Butler’s 100th in her six seasons as the head Gator.
As was the case in the season opener on Friday, Florida benefitted from scoring off turnovers, as 40 of the Gators’ 84 points were made off of the Panthers’ 28 turnovers.
“Georgia State is a very good team,” said Butler, who joins Carol Ross as the only Gator coaches ever to win 100 games at Florida. “They were a team that I think struggled last year but this year they have made great improvements and great strides so that was a good test for us. They challenged us in a lot ways that we needed to be challenged, in particular on the boards. I think initially we kind of shrunk from that challenge, but we battled back and made some adjustments and started fighting back hard for the ball. I think we can play better. There where a lot of bright spots. I like the way we are pressing and turning people over, but we have to do a better job maintaining intensity and focusing on defense.”
Scoring was hard to come by in the early part of the game when both UF and Georgia State had four turnovers through the first five minutes, but the Gators got things going after the first points of the contest came from George to give Florida the early 2-0 lead.
Much like Friday’s game, the first 10 minutes of Sunday’s game came down to who had the stronger defense. Only 22 combined points were scored between the Panthers and Gators during that opening span, but it was Florida holding Georgia State to a mere 25 percent shooting from the field that was the early difference.
After a few traded buckets, the Orange and Blue re-built a 14-10 lead by the midway point in the first half with four different players contributing. After Georgia State tied the game at 10 with 12:06 to play in the half, Florida went on a nice 15-2 run to get to a 25-12 lead with just seven minutes to go. During the run, freshman Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) was the big contributor scoring six of the first 12 points, before Bonds started to find her rhythm by draining the Gators first three-pointer of the night and then scoring on a nice individual effort for a fast break layup to finish off the run.
GSU did cut the lead to single digits with four minutes to play in the half, but, once again, it was Bonds, who came to the rescue. Two fast break layups with the added foul and made free throw, Bonds pushed her team’s lead to 34-21 with 2:56 to go and already had 15 points in the game. George added three more points before half to give UF a 37-25 lead at the break.
Bonds was the big scorer in the first half, dropping in 15 points and also pulling down five rebounds to lead all Gators. George and Mercer followed with eight and six points, respectively.
As a team, Florida benefitted from getting to the line as it was 10-of-15 from behind the charity stripe and also shot a steady 45 percent from the field. The Gators kept the defense going through the half when they caused 15 Georgia State turnovers which translated into 17 Gator points.
At the start of the second half, it looked as if GSU was going to make another run at the Gators after cutting the lead nine, but then 10 straight Florida points nixed the run and pushed the Orange and Blue to its largest lead of the game. Five different players scored during the 10-0 run, including freshman Chandler Cooper (Clarksville, Tenn.), who sank her first three-ball of the game. With the added 10 points, UF led GSU 47-28 with 17:22 to go.
After the first media timeout of the second half, Florida continued to perform good ball distribution as freshman January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) and junior Vicky McIntyre (Omaha, Neb.) scored their first points of the game and helped push the team’s lead over the 20-point mark, 51-30.
The score difference didn’t change much by the midway point in the second half, but the Gators continued to build on their lead by timely three-point shooting and points in the paint. By the 7:35 mark in the second half, 43 of UF’s 72 points were scored in the paint, many of those points coming off of the Gators’ 16 steals and the fast break.
For the remainder of the game the Panthers never got closer than 19 points as UF’s strong shooting continued to keep up the pace. Florida’s lead nearly broke 30 after freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) drained a three-pointer from the right wing for her first points of the game, but the largest lead stayed at 29 until the final buzzer sounded.
As a team, Florida shot 31-of-70 (44%) from the field and did a great job getting to the free throw line, going 17-of-25 from the stripe. Also, the Gator defense showed up on the stat sheet as it held Georgia State to 34 percent shooting and tallied 17 steals. For Bonds, she tied a career-high for steals in a game with four.
No. 10 Georgia Holds Off Rutgers
ATHENS, GA. --- Four Lady Bulldogs notched double-digit scoring efforts as No. 10 Georgia (1-0) squeaked past Rutgers (0-1), 57-51, Sunday afternoon in the season opener for both teams.
"It was a hard fought game," said head coach Andy Landers. "I truly believe these were two very good basketball teams that are going to get a lot better as the season goes on. Rutgers is really talented and very good and I think we are too. I think probably both coaches would like to clean up a lot of mistakes that were made. You have to be complimentary about how hard both teams played and we feel really good about having a win over a good Rutgers team."
Khaalidah Miller led Georgia with 12 points, while Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine James and Jasmine Hassell all put up 10 points. Armstrong also recorded a team-high six rebounds.
Freshman Shacobia Barbee became the 70th freshman to start for Landers, and the 22nd to do so in her collegiate debut.
Erica Wheeler and Chelsey Lee led Rutgers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The game was close from opening tip until the final buzzer, as neither team led the first half by more than four points until Georgia went up 20-14 off a Miller trey with 8:07 left in the period.
Less than a minute later, the Scarlet Knights pulled within four, 20-16, with a jumper by Christa Evans. The Lady Bulldogs then hit three layups in a row, one by Hassell and two by Tiaria Griffin, to take the lead 26-16 with 4:17 on the clock.
Evans hit another jumper with 49 seconds on the clock to bring the score to 26-18, but James beat the buzzer to ensure that Georgia would enter the locker room with a 10-point lead, 28-18.
In the first half, Rutgers out-rebounded Georgia 21-13, but Georgia won the turnover battle 9-16.
Rutgers began the second half with a 9-1 run that diminished Georgia's lead to 29-27 and the clock to 13:05.
Over the next nine minutes, the Scarlet Knights met the Lady Bulldogs basket-for-basket before Georgia embarked on an 8-3 run that would put it up 53-43.
In the final two minutes of the game, Rutgers hit a layup and sank two three-pointers, while Georgia went 4-for-6 at the free throw line. For the game, the Lady Bulldogs were 58.3 percent from the charity stripe, with Armstrong hitting a perfect 4-for-4.
Alabama Defeats Jacksonville State To Open Season
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 80-43, in its season opener on Sunday afternoon in Foster Auditorium. Junior Shafontaye Myers led all scorers with a career-high 19 points, while senior Meghan Perkins added another 14 points.
The Crimson Tide will have a quick turnaround as it returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 13, as it travels to Houston. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast by Crimson Tide Sports Network.
For more information on Alabama women's basketball, follow the Tide on Twitter @AlabamaWBB and like the team on Facebook at AlabamaWBB.
Tennessee Gets First Win Of 2012 At Georgia Tech
The No. 20 Tennessee Lady Vols registered their first win of the 2012 season on Sunday afternoon with a 71-54 triumph over No. 22 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Bashaara Graves led the way for Tennessee inside McCamish Pavilion, dropping 18 points on the afternoon to go along with a team-high 12 rebounds for the Lady Vols.
Tennessee did not shoot the ball particularly well, converting on only 40 percent of their field goals for the game. The Lady Vols compensated for that on the defensive end of the floor, where they held the Yellow Jackets to only 33 percent from the floor, including a pedestrian 19 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Center Isabelle Harrison and forward Cierra Burdick made their collective presence felt with four blocked shots to keep Georgia Tech in check.
Burdick also had herself a fine game at the offensive end, chipping in 16 points to go along with her six boards and two blocks. She converted on three of her four shots from long range, accounting for 60 percent of Tennessee’s total production from deep; Meighan Simmons accounted for the other 40 percent with her two long range makes. Jasmine Jones came off the bench and snagged 11 rebounds while also dropping in six points to aid in the winning effort.
Georgia Tech was led by Tyaunna Marshall’s 18 points and eight boards, with Dawnn Maye contributing 12 points of her own. The Jackets were trigger-happy from 3-point range but only managed to hit four of their 21 attempts from deep, and their shooting woes carried over to the free throw line where they only hit on 50 percent of their freebies.
With the win, Tennessee improved its all-time mark against the Ramblin’ Wreck to 5-0, and the Lady Vols are now 85-19 against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Sunday’s matchup marked the first between the two squads when each entered as a ranked team.
LSU Notches Win Against Wichita State
BATON ROUGE - Bianca Lutley scored a career-high 19 points and preseason All-SEC guard Adrienne Webb knocked down a clutch three in the final two minutes as the LSU women's basketball team rallied from a six-point deficit to beat Wichita State, 72-70, in the season-opener for both teams on Sunday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
A crowd of 2,509 in what felt like an NCAA postseason environment watched as the Lady Tigers opened the second-year of the Nikki Caldwell era with an intense and physical game.
LSU (1-0) defeated a non-conference regular season opponent for the eighth straight time dating back to last season, and it was the second consecutive year the Lady Tigers gutted out a season-opener against the Shockers (0-1), who were picked to finish second in a solid Missouri Valley Conference.
"A lot of credit goes to them (Wichita State) because coach (Jody) Adams really had them ready to come in here and win," said Caldwell. "They executed when they needed to and did the little things. For us coming away with the win, we will appreciate the win but there are a lot of things we will have to work on."
Lutley, making just the fifth start of her career, exploded for 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 7-of-8 shots from the free throw line. She scored six points during an 8-0 LSU run to start the game.
"She has definitely been known for her offensive skills," said Caldwell. "Bianca really stepped up in a big way today in being the aggressive guard. I told her that she has to be ready to play every position because she brings that versatility to our team."
Webb added 17 points and buried two threes, including one with 2:28 to go that put the Lady Tigers up for good, 65-61. LSU's barrage of backcourt scoring continued with Jeanne Kenney reaching 13 points.
In her first career start, Theresa Plaisance pulled down 15 rebounds with 12 of those coming on the offensive glass. The 15 boards represented the most by an LSU player since Kristen Morris grabbed 15 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament first round against Green Bay.
The Lady Tigers led by as many as eight points in the first half, but Wichita State chipped away at the lead. Jessica Diamond's three with 0:03 remaining in the stanza sliced the score to 35-34.
The Shockers quickly took their first lead right out of halftime. Alex Harden buried two jumpers and Wichita State built a 49-43 advantage with 11:53 left in the game.
The two teams combined for 48 fouls. Lutley, LSU's best penetrator on the floor, took advantage of the foul situation. She drained two free throws at the 9:03 mark then made a paint jumper that cut the deficit to 57-55.
LSU's backcourt leadership trio then took over. Lutley found Webb for a shot that made it 59-58 with 4:39 remaining. One possession later, Kenney drove through the lane for a nifty layup that gave LSU its first lead since the first minute of the second half. Webb followed when she swished home her second trey of the afternoon, making it a 65-61 contest.
"I think we had just run an action we call duck and Jeanne came off the ball screen and my person hedged to her, so I was wide open for that shot," said Webb. "I knew I could hit it so I decided to take it."
Diamond kept the Shockers' hopes alive in the final minute with a couple of baskets. Chyna Turner's three with 0:02 to go cut the score to 72-70, but LSU inbounded the ball as the clock expired.
Diamond and Michelle Price led Wichita State with 13 points apiece.
The Shockers benefited from 18 second-chance points and were narrowly out-rebounded by the Lady Tigers, 35-30. They out-shot LSU 48 percent to 40 percent, but 25 turnovers Shockers proved to be costly. It led to 32 points on LSU's end of the floor.
In what has become a knack for Lady Tiger teams, LSU took advantage of the free throw line, burying 20-of-30. It represented the third consecutive game that LSU made over 20 free throws dating back to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Sunday's contest was LSU's lone home game in November. The Lady Tigers depart for Hampton, Va., on Thursday in preparation for a 6 p.m. CT Friday tipoff against the Pirates. LSU will then travel directly to Washington, D.C., and play Georgetown on Monday night.