Tennessee returns to the court on Wednesday night when it welcomes Middle Tennessee State at 7 p.m. Eastern.
COLLEGE STATION--Texas A&M blew open a tight game with a 26-0 run at the end of the first half and cruised to an 84-64 win over Marquette and the A&M Classic title Sunday afternoon before 4,113 fans at Reed Arena.
The Aggies (3-3) held a 20-15 lead before the Golden Eagles (2-2) capped a 5-0 run with a Chelsie Butler jumper to tie the game. That would be the last field goal Marquette would score before halftime, as A&M used pressure defense and great ball movement to score the next 26 points and eventually take a commanding 46-21 lead into the locker room.
Texas A&M would lead by as many as 31 in the second half before a late MU rally got the Golden Eagles within 14 but no closer.
Kelsey Bone led the way for the Aggies with 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Alexia Standish drained three from long distance and finished the night with 11 points. Kristi Bellock added 10 for A&M,which won its third consecutive game.
Katherine Plouffe led all scorers with 18 for Marquette, while Arlesia Morse added 13.
Florida Falls to Arizona State
Florida’s defense that had been a staple in its first two victories at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout didn’t produce and the Gators lost to Arizona State, 74-58, on Saturday in the third and final day of action held at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas.
Arizona State (2-3) shot a blistering and UF-opponent season-best 58.2 percent (32-55) during the game, while the Gators (5-2) managed to hit just 30.6 percent (19-62) from the floor, including a season-low 25 percent effort (8-32) in the first half, falling behind 35-22 at the break.
“Arizona State came to play right from the get-go and established who the more dominate team was and we fell in line with that, unfortunately,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “We didn’t do very much to change or shift their momentum except for a little fight there in the second half. It’s a game that we really have to learn from. We made a lot of critical errors and most of them were defensive.”
ASU scored the first points of the second half with another inside bucket and the teams traded scores for the first four minutes of the period, with the Sun Devils lead alternating between 13 and 15 points.
Sydney Moss hit one free throw with 16:08 remaining and Jennifer George followed with two more and a tough inside jumper to start a 9-2 run with Jaterra Bonds and George hitting driving layups and cut their deficit to eight points , 45-37, with 12:53 remaining.
Florida had additional chances to get even closer, but missed several short jumpers under the basket and made a number of uncontested turnovers that allowed ASU a 10-3 run, as the Sun Devils took a 57-42 lead with 8:35 on the clock and the Gators never recovered.
The Gators went to the free throw line a season-high 26 times and made 19 of their attempts, but that’s wasn’t the game plan.
“We weren’t really trying to get to the line,” Butler said. “They were doing a great job of stopping our dribble penetration. We’re always trying to attack the paint and attack it with the pass, but we weren’t finishing. We were getting some quality looks so we just tried to generate offense from somewhere else.”
George and Bonds finished with 11 points each to lead Florida, with George collecting a game-high nine rebounds and four steals, but connected on just 3-of-12 shots from the floor. Bonds corralled a season-best six rebounds and dished a team-high three assists.
Redshirt-freshman Carlie Needles, who was named to the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout All-Tournament Team, finished with eight points. Moss chipped in nine points and five rebounds, while Christin Mercer also added nine points.
Florida struggled with its shot early, missing 10 of its first 11 shots from the floor and fell behind 14-4, with only Christin Mercer able to connect from the floor and Lily Svete converted two free throws during the opening five-plus minutes.
Meanwhile the Sun Devils were 9-of-14 in the first 9:51 of the game that helped them sprint to an 18-7 lead, as ASU dominated the inside game.
ASU increased its lead to 14 points, 24-10, with 6:37 remaining in the first half when the Gators showed some life and marched off the next six points with Jaterra Bonds, Vicky McIntyre and Sydney Moss connecting form the floor and brought the deficit to eight, 24-16, with 3:03 to go in the first half.
The Sun Devils came right back with 9-2 run with the aid of two three-pointers and pushed its lead to 33-18, with 47 seconds remaining.
McIntyre stopped the march with an eight-footer and Needles hit two free throws that brought Florida to within 11 points with 6.2 seconds on the clock. The Gators then intercepted ASU’s long in-bounds pass, but immediately turned it over, as the Sun Devils capitalized by hitting yet another layup, this one at the buzzer, and took a 35-22 halftime advantage.
Florida shot a season-low 25 percent (8-32) in the first half and committed 11 turnovers that ASU converted into 15 points. The Sun Devils hit 57.1 percent (16-28) in the opening frame with 26 points coming in the paint compared to just 10 for the Gators.
The Gators tallied a season-low 22 first-half points, seven points lower than in any other half this year.
Seven different players scoring during the first half, with Carlie Needles’ five points leading the group. Jennifer George corralled six rebounds to lead UF’s 24-13 advantage on the boards.
The Gators take a few days off before returning to the road and travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play the Michigan Wolverines on Sat., Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. ET.
LSU Wins 800th Game Against FIU
MIAMI - Junior forward Theresa Plaisance scored 20 points and blocked a career-high seven shots and the LSU women's basketball team withstood a late run from Florida International to win the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, 76-69, on Sunday afternoon in U.S. Century Bank Arena.
In the process, the Lady Tigers (3-2) claimed their 800th all-time victory, becoming the fourth program in Southeastern Conference history to reach the milestone. LSU joins Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn in the 800-win club. The Lady Tigers finished the weekend with a 2-0 mark, including a signature victory over No. 12 West Virginia on Friday night.
Plaisance was named tournament MVP as she combined for 33 points in the two games. Her seven blocks on Sunday tied for the fourth-most in school history and the most since Taylor Turnbow swatted seven on Nov. 26, 2008 against Xavier.
"We made some big plays down the stretch and got to the free throw line late," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "Theresa Plaisance has really stepped up her play as a go-to (player) for us. I also like that our bench play is giving us something. Derreyal Youngblood had some good offensive rebounds and Anne Pedersen made some shots. Each group that went out there stepped up and did something positive."
Freshman Danielle Ballard and senior guard Adrienne Webb earned spots on the all-tournament team as well. Ballard, who scored a game-high 25 against West Virginia, had 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting on Sunday. Webb fired in 19 points and buried three treys. Junior guard Jeanne Kenney had a career-high-tying eight assists.
"This team continues to find themselves," said Caldwell. "They are learning more about each other and getting more comfortable with the philosophy and the defensive schemes we are throwing out there. We do have a lot of weapons when you look at our offensive package. Jeanne Kenney distributed the basketball really well today."
FIU (2-3) was led in scoring by Sun Belt Conference Preseason Player of the Year Jerica Coley. Coley finished with a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds. She rallied the Panthers back from a once 14-point LSU lead midway through the second half.
LSU shot a blistering 53.1 percent from the floor. The Lady Tigers made 27 field goals on a season-best 18 assists. It represented LSU's highest assist total since dishing out 18 against Alabama on Jan. 8 last season. The Lady Tigers did an outstanding job working the ball inside and getting quality looks in the paint.
Ballard gave LSU a 38-34 lead at the half when she went one-on-one for a runner as time expired. The lead grew to double-digits early in the second half when the star freshman crossed over Coley and scored on an acrobatic layup. Webb's jumper off a Kenney steal and assist gave the Lady Tigers their largest advantage, 55-41, with 13:26 remaining in the game.
Coley refused to let the Panthers go quietly. She drained a three and Carmen Miloglav's layup off an LSU miss cut the advantage to 67-64 with 2:07 to play. However, Ballard came up with a clutch defensive play again for the Lady Tigers, picking a Coley pass in the final minute. It led to two Webb free throws.
LSU once again iced the game at the line as Kenney accounted for four makes in the final 13 seconds. As a team, the Lady Tigers finished 18-of-25 from the line for 72 percent.
LSU concluded its four-game road trip and will now play its next six games at home in the Maravich Center to start the month of December. The Lady Tigers return to action against NC State at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.
Alabama Rolls Past SE Louisiana
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 97-62, in Foster Auditorium Sunday afternoon to improve to 5-0 on the season.
"I thought our defensive intensity was as good as it could be for the entire game," said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. "I thought we took Southeastern Louisiana out of everything they wanted to do. [Southeastern Louisiana] is a good basketball team, a much better basketball team than they played like today, but we didn't let them play as a good basketball team today."
The Crimson Tide saw five players score double figure points, led by junior Jasmine Robinson's 14-point performance. She was followed by senior Meghan Perkins and sophomore Kaneisha Horn, who each had 13 points, senior Alicia Mitcham with 11 and sophomore Daisha Simmons, who chipped in 10. Perkins also added a game-high eight rebounds and seven steals, while Simmons dished out a game-best five assists.
As a team, Alabama shot 52.7 percent from the floor for the game, hitting 39 of its 74 attempts. The Tide forced 31 Lady Lion turnovers from which Alabama scored 34 points. The Tide also had one of its best games sharing the basketball as it finished with 25 assists.
"When you have 25 assists that means that everyone was making that extra pass, looking for a teammate and no one was forcing shots," added Hudson. "How many times do you play in a game where you have 25 assists? We are not just trying to win games. We are trying to become a better basketball team."
Alabama got off to a quick start, outscoring Southeastern Louisiana 11-2 in the first four minutes of the game. The Tide continued to gradually distance itself from the Lady Lions and took a 28-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Alabama's lead in the second half hovered around 30 points until Southeastern Louisiana was able to cut it to 25 with 4:15 to play. From there, the Tide went on a 15-5 run to close out the game and remain undefeated on the season.
Next up, Alabama will take on Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Madison. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.
Peak, Arkansas Takes Care of Oregon
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Junior Keira Peak scored 80 points over three days including a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds leading the University of Arkansas to a 79-67 win over Oregon Sunday.
"She was just on fire," said Arkansas head coach Tom Collen. "She played her heart out. The thing that stands out is how hard she played and I'm so proud of her."
Arkansas (5-1) matched Oregon's blistering pace and struggled with that in the first five minutes trialing early. After a Razorback timeout, Arkansas responded shooting 17-29 for 59 percent in the final 15 minutes of the first half exploding to a 45-28 halftime advantage.
The Razorbacks got balanced play offensively with four players in double figures in the game. Joining Peak was Jhasmin Bowen and Sarah Watkins with 14 points each and 11 points from Quistelle Williams as the Razorback post players got the job done.
"We were able to finish with three of our post players in double figures and that's where we were able to make some hay," Collen said. "We had a mis-match in the paint and Joey Bailey got us started down there. She had a nice day too."
Bailey had for rebounds for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks stepped up defensively forcing 27 Oregon turnovers and scoring 23 points off those mistakes. Arkansas also got 38 points in the paint.
Oregon started the second half with the same approach as they did the game, coming out of the locker room looking for the long distance shot. They hit a couple of quick three pointers but again the Razorbacks stepped up the defensive pressure and forced Oregon into a half-court offense they struggled to run.
Arkansas led by as many as 21 before finishing with the 12-point win over the Ducks.
"All in all I'm pretty happy," said Collen."
The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville late tonight and host Texas Southern Thursday at 7 p.m.