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    Saturday Women's Hoops Scoreboard

    women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
    South Carolina 55, DePaul 46
    Arkansas 83, Hawaii 68
    Florida 80, Northern Iowa 63
    Auburn 72, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 57
    Florida State 73, Vanderbilt 59
    Minnesota 59, Missouri 54
    Georgia at New Mexico

    Gamecocks Win Reef Division of U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

    ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. - South Carolina claimed the title in the Reef Division of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Saturday afternoon with a 55-46 win over DePaul. Aleighsa Welch was just one point shy of her third double-double in as many games at the event, and Ashley Bruner posted her second 12-rebound game of the tournament. The Gamecock defense was equally as effective, holding the Blue Demons to 29.7 percent shooting, including just four 3-pointers.

    The Gamecocks forced the Blue Demons into tough shots throughout the first half, but could not pull away as physical play in the paint dominated action in the opening stanza. South Carolina was determined to drive the lane and often found daylight, but contact made finishing difficult throughout the half. More success came when the Gamecocks used their speed to beat the DePaul defense down the floor.

    After the Blue Demons took a 10-9 lead with a 6-0 run aided by a pair of Gamecock turnovers, Ashley Bruner put South Carolina back on top and Sancheon White stretched the lead to 15-10 with back-to-back layups, the last coming off a baseball pass from Aleighsa Welch on a baseline out-of-bounds play. South Carolina’s lead grew to eight on a pull-up jumper from Wilka Montout and a traditional three-point play from Khadijah Sessions. The Blue Demons scored nine of the half’s last 1 points, however, to get within 22-21 heading into the locker room. The run included 3-pointers from Megan Rogowski and Brittany Hrynko, their first of the game.

    DePaul jumped out first in the second half, but the teams traded baskets with Rogowski hitting a 3-pointer and a transition layup for a 28-25 Blue Demon lead. It would be DePaul’s only basket for nearly five minutes as the Gamecock defense forced tough shots and rebounders delivered outlet passes that led delivered a 12-0 surge.

    White got the scoring started with a transition layup, and Mitchell followed quickly with a driving layup. Capping the six-point spurt that lasted just under a minute, White turned a steal into a transition layup for a 31-28 Gamecock lead. Walker added a transition layup, and Bruner drove the baseline on the next possession. Mitchell and Welch each added a free throw to the run, putting the Gamecocks up 37-28 with 13 minutes left to play.

    With the momentum, South Carolina did not allow DePaul to put together back-to-back baskets until the final two minutes of the game. The Blue Demons forced the Gamecocks to close the victory at the free throw line, and each trip yielded at least one point to hold DePaul at bay.

    Bruner and Walker tied for the scoring lead with 11 points each, while White added 10. Bruner’s 12 rebounds paced the Gamecocks on the glass as well, and Welch added 10 as South Carolina out-rebounded DePaul 47-31.


    Watkins scores 25 in Razorback win

    HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Senior Sarah Watkins tied her career-best with 25 points off the bench leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an 83-68 win over Hawai’i at the Waikiki Beach Resort Classic Saturday.
    Arkansas (3-1) faces Oregon in the final game Sunday.
    Watkins has battled foul trouble in nearly every game this season and Razorback head coach Tom Collen started sophomore Jhasmin Bowen today, allowing Watkins to come in from the bench.
    The Germantown, Tenn., native responded with 25 points on 11-16 shooting including a 3-4 night from the line.
    “That’s more indicative of the kind of game we need from Sarah,” Collen said.  “She doesn’t have to score 25 a game but she was consistent on the offensive side and stepped up for us.”
    The Razorbacks were balanced with three players in double figures.  In addition to Watkins, Keira Peak, who had 30 points against No. 13 Oklahoma yesterday, had 16 points for the Razorbacks.  Sophomore Calli Berna added 12 points and seven boards while freshman Melissa Wolff posted 11 points for Arkansas.
    As a team, the Razorbacks shot well, going 31-62 for a season-best 50 percent from the floor.  Arkansas hit five threes and was 16-23 from the line.  The Razorbacks also forced 14 turnovers while limiting their miscues to just eight in the win.
    The game opened with a lackluster feel in the first 10 minutes.  Neither team had much spark on either side of the ball until Arkansas got three consecutive steals.  Although Arkansas didn’t score on the steals, it changed the momentum swinging things to the Arkansas side of the floor.
    The Razorbacks closed the first half with an 11-6 run taking a 38-29 lead into the locker room.  Arkansas would never trail again in the game.


    Gators Defeat Northern Iowa Behind Balanced Scoring, Tough Defense, 80-63

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Five Gators produced a double-figure scoring effort and Florida contained a dangerous three-point shooting team to earn a 80-63 win against Northern Iowa on Saturday in the second day of action at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas.

    The Gators (5-1) won their third consecutive game by hitting 51.6 percent (33-64) of its shots from the floor and a steady 10-of-14 from the free throw line. Florida also limited the Panthers (2-3) to a 31.8 percent (7-22) mark from the three-point arc and held a 38-30 rebounding edge. The Gators forced 16 turnovers and converted those into 13 points.

    Florida did committed 15 miscues, but UNI managed only four points off them. The Gators also held a 10-0 margin in fastbreak points.

    "I thought this was a really solid team win," UF head coach Amanda Butler said. "There are certainly areas where we have to improve. I thought we could have done a better job of defending the drive, but all and all we beat a very good team that poses some unique challenges to us, especially on defense. We had some spurts when we looked great and other spots that we have to fix. But again, that's why you play such a challenging schedule this early in the season so you can find out what you do well and what you can't do well yet so you still have practices to fix it."

    Freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) scored a team-best 14 points, on 5-of-8 shooting that included a 3-of-6 effort from the three-point arc, while freshman January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) scored a career-high 12 points, hitting 6-of-8 form the floor and collecting four offensive rebounds.

    Senior Naismith Player of the Year Candidate Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.) scored 12 points with five rebounds despite foul trouble for the entire game. Sophomore Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) was close to a double-double with 11 points and a team-leading eight rebounds and junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while dishing five assists.

    For the fourth time this season, freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) flirted with a triple-double, as she recorded eight points, seven assists and six rebounds along with four steals.

    "I thought Kayla really stepped up from how she played yesterday (against N.C. State) and really made some plays in important moments," Butler praised. "January Miller gave us some great minutes again today and did a fantastic job on the boards."

    UNI scored the first points of the game, but Florida answered with a 9-2 run and held an early 9-4 lead, as Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) hit a three-pointer to begin the Gator scoring, followed by Bond's layup after a steal and outlet from Moss and a pair of inside jumpers from George, who picked up two fouls during the opening 5:32 and went to the bench for the majority of the half.

    The Panthers regrouped after the media timeout with George on the bench and scored the next seven points to take an 11-9 lead that forced Florida to call a timeout to settle, which it did by ripping off a 6-0 run to take a 21-14 advantage.

    Jacqui Kalin halted the run with a three-pointer, but Lewis hit one free throw and Bonds converted a jumper and Florida regained a seven-point advantage.

    UNI hit two free throws before Mercer canned two for the Gators and Moss collected a steal after a great defensive stand and went the length of the court for the layup.

    UNI regrouped with the next four points and was within five, 28-23, with 2:15 to play in the first half, but that's the closest it would get for the remaining of the game, as Miller putback an offensive rebound for her first points of the game and started a 10-0 run, with the final eight of those points closing out the first half where the Gators held a 36-23 lead.

    The teams traded basks for the next few minutes of the second half, before the Gators staged an 8-1 run over the next three minutes and assumed a 50-31 lead with 14:17 remaining.  Lewis scored four points, Bonds two and Vicky McIntyre (Omaha, Neb.) a field goal, as all nine Gators who dressed for the game scored.

    Florida never looked back the rest of the contest and maintained a double-figure lead, increasing their margin by as many as 20 points on three different occasions.


    Second-Half Burst Gives Auburn 72-57 Win Over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

    BOULDER, Colo. –Peyton Davis and Courtney Strain logged career nights Saturday as the Auburn women’s basketball team (4-2) posted a 72-57 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (0-6) in the consolation game of the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colo. Hasina Muhammad led the Tigers with 16 points, followed by 15 and 14 from Davis and Strain, respectively.

    Auburn junior Tyrese Tanner, who was named to the all-tournament team, also finished in double figures with 11 points.

    Along with getting four players in double figures offensively, the Tigers were also able to get the job done on the defensive end. Auburn forced the Islanders into 26 turnovers, marking the third time this season to force an opponent into 25 or more, and scored 24 points off the turnovers. The Tigers have scored 20 or more points off turnovers in five of their six games this season.

    After going down at halftime, Auburn came out on a tear in the second half, out-scoring the Islanders 44-25 in the period to pull away for the win.

    “We definitely needed to come out and play better in the second half because we were terrible in the first half,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “You may have noticed in the first half, I sat our starters. They were not playing hard. They needed to sit there and watch because for us to win ball games, we need to play hard all the time. Not just when you feel like it, every single possession.”

    Auburn led early, taking a six-point lead with 4:45 left in the first half. But, TAMU-CC’s Janae Blount, who finished with a game-high 21 points, knocked down a 3-pointer and then a pair of free throws. Another 3-pointer, this one from Tarn Gregory, gave the Islanders the lead and the momentum.

    That momentum turned into a seven-point Texas A&M-Corpus Christi lead in the final minutes of the half, but Auburn was able to close it up for a 32-28 deficit at the break.

    Auburn came back out ready to play, scoring the first eight points to take a four-point lead of its own. The Tigers would never trail again, shooting a scorching 70.4 percent from the field in the second half to pull away for the win. Auburn led by double digits for most of the second half, extending to its final 15-point lead.

    The 70.4 percent shooting in the second half and 58.5 percent for the game set new Omni Hotels Classic tournament records. Both previous records were held by Siena, set in the tournament in 2007.

    Strain was a big part of the high percentage, missing just one shot on the night as she went 7-of-8 from the field, her lone miss being a 3-point attempt.

    “Courtney Strain and Julie King went in in the first half and really kept us in the ballgame,” said Williams-Flournoy. “They gave us energy and played hard. Courtney played a heck of a game tonight.”

    King came off the bench, along with Strain, and finished the game with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Cabriana Capers joined the bench movement as well, coming in to lead the Tigers in rebounding with seven, just ahead of Davis and her six.

    Ouardad dished out a game-high eight assists while Muhammad led the Auburn defense with four steals. Alverson and Ouardad chipped in three steals each.

    Blount led Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with 21 points, followed by Ashley Darley with 12. They combined for six of the Islanders’ 10 3-pointers in the game.


    FSU tops Vanderbilt, 73-59

    GUAYNABO, P.R. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team couldn't overcome the loss of Christina Foggie late in the first half and dropped a 73-59 decision to Florida State in the final game at the San Juan Shootout. The Commodores fell to 3-3 on the season, while the Seminoles improved to 5-0.

    Vanderbilt was led by 16 points from Jasmine Lister, while Elan Brown contributed 13 points and six rebounds. Freshman Kendall Shaw had her first career double-figure game, scoring 10 points.

    Florida State saw five players score double-figures. Leonor Rodriguez led the way with 16 points. Alexa Deluzio added 14 off the bench, followed by Chasity Clayton with 13 points and Chelsea Davis with 10 points. Guard Yashira Delgado contributed nine assists.

    The contest was back and forth early, with six lead changes over the first nine minutes. The Commodores led 17-16 with 11:26 to play in the opening period. Florida State answered with a 6-0 run to take a 23-17 lead. The FSU lead was 27-20 when Foggie went down under the basket with a foot injury and did not return.

    The Commodores fought, but the lead was 10 at the half, 36-26, and Vanderbilt would get no closer than five in the second half.

    Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was thrilled with the effort her team showed, especially after Foggie's injury.

    "We fought, we competed harder each game," Balcomb said. "We've made some great adjustments since the Dayton game. We played a lot freer these last two games."

    Balcomb felt a major issue was post defense, where the Commodores had to play most the contest with a pair of freshman - Shaw and Heather Bowe - because Tiffany Clarke was in foul trouble.

    "They got easy points in the paint," Balcomb explained. "We're going to have to improve our post defense. That's something that plagued us last year and it's plaguing us this year."

    The biggest positive for the head coach was the play of Brown, one of the team's three seniors.

    "Elan was fabulous today," Balcomb said. "She made more plays, defensively (than anyone). She's our smartest defender and she plays defensively, but she also got shots on offense. She played two, three, four and five for us, everything but point, and she's the glue. She kept this team together tonight."


    Missouri Drops Heartbreaker to Minnesota, 59-54

    Cancun, Mexico - Three Tigers scored in the double figures in a battle for win number two at the Cancun Challenge. With both Minnesota and Missouri looking for a 2-1 finish in the tournament, the Tigers dropped to the Gophers 59-54. Missouri will finish the Cancun Challenge 1-2, and fall to 4-2 on the season. In a game that came down to the wire, freshman Lianna Doty put up a career-high 16 points and both Sydney Crafton and Bri Kulas had double figure scoring games.

    Game three in Cancun started out on a high note for the Tigers, as Mizzou began the game on a 7-0 run. Bri Kulas started off the scoring, hitting a jumper to give MU a 2-0 lead right off the bat. A layup from Sydney Crafton made it 4-0 in the Tigers' favor, and Doty followed up with a three-pointer to put the Tigers up by seven.

    Minnesota got on the board with 16:04 left in the half, making it 7-2, but Liz Smith helped Mizzou hold on to the lead with a bucket at the 15:02 mark. The Tigers maintained their lead throughout the entire half, but Minnesota pulled within reach with seven minutes until the half. The Gophers made three shots in a row, shrinking the Tigers' lead to just two. With a 19-17 lead, Crafton made a three, helping the Tigers pull away.

    After the timeout, Minnesota's Rachel Banham makes back-to-back shots, bringing the Gohpers within one. Coming through in the clutch, Morgan Eye made a three to put Mizzou up 25-21. Lianna Doty also helped the Tigers get ahead again making a three-pointer with just under two minutes left in the half. Minnesota's Kellog made two free throws with just 4.2 seconds left on the clock, but the Tigers maintained the lead into halftime.

    Coming out of the locker room with a 28-23 lead over Minnesota, Doty upped the Tigers' lead with a three-pointer making it 31-23 in Mizzou's favor. The Gophers quickly zeroed in on Missouri's lead, and a layup from Michelle Hudyn helped keep the Tigers afloat. Down by just two points, Minnesota's Loberg knocked in two from the charity stripe to tie the game at 34 with 11:34 left. The free throws were almost immediately followed by a Gopher layup to put Minnesota on top.

    Mizzou didn't let things stay that way, thanks to Crafton who made two free throws and a layup to put the Tigers back on top, 38-36. The Gophers again regained the lead with just over nine minutes to play, but Crafton again came through with a trey to tie things up again. The two teams were tied at 43 at the under-8 media time out.

    Immediately out of the timeout, a Liz Smith free throw put Missouri back ahead by one, but the Gophers wouldn't allow the lead for long as Micaella Riche put two more on the board for Minnesota. With the pressure on, Kulas knocked in a three making it 47-45 in favor of the Tigers, and a perfectly timed steal by Doty gave her the chance to make a layup and give Mizzou a 49-45 lead.

    With just over three minutes left in the game, the Tigers were still maintaining the 51-49 lead, and two free throws from Liene Priede made it 53-49 in favor of Missouri. Minnesota tied the game at 53 with 2:44 left to play thanks to Kayla Hirt, and the Gophers pulled ahead with another bucket. With a little over a minute left, a foul allowed Doty to put Mizzou within one. The Gophers finished the game with a jumper from Rachel Banham and sealed the deal with two made free throws. The Tigers fell to Minnesota 59-54 to end the Cancun Challenge 1-2.