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    Friday Women's Hoops Scoreboard

    friday women's Basketball RESULTS
    South Carolina 65,  SC State 45
    Alabama 73, Virginia 70
    LSU 82, McNeese State 75
    Kentucky 66, UC Santa Barbara 38
    Hofstra 72, Ole Miss 63
    Florida 81, Central Michigan 75
    Arkansas 80, Northwestern State 41
    Notre Dame 76, TexaS A&M 70


    Gamecocks Top SC State 65-45

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - Three Gamecocks scored in double figures as No. 21/17 South Carolina scored a 65-45 win over South Carolina State in the final game before the holiday break for both teams. Freshman Tiffany Mitchell scored a career-high 21 points as part of her second career double-double, which included a career-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch notched her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while senior guard Ieasia Walker tied her career-high with six of the Gamecocks’ 11 steals in the game.

    The Gamecocks got off to a slow start offensively, but defense and rebounding kept it close through the first six minutes. Mitchell finally got the offense on track, scoring seven points of an 8-0 run that put the Gamecocks in front for the first time in the game. With South Carolina trailing 7-4, Mitchell drove hard to the basket to end a two-minute scoring drought. After a surge of quick turnovers for both teams, Mitchell buried a three from the left corner to put the Gamecocks up 9-7. Another Lady Bulldog turnover resulted in a free throw from Ashley Bruner, and Mitchell netted two more after being fouled on the rebound of her teammate’s miss for a 12-7 lead with 11:29 left in the half.

    SC State stayed within five points until the final three minutes of the half. Sophomore center Elem Ibiam started a 7-0 spurt with back-to-back baskets. The second of the buckets came after Asia Dozier followed her own miss and found Ibiam, who completed the traditional three-point play. Mitchell closed the half with a driving layup that sent the Gamecocks into the locker room with a 33-21 advantage.

    Both teams struggled with turnovers early in the second half before the Gamecocks got things under control for an 8-0 that seemed to break the Lady Bulldogs’ resolve. Welch kicked off the run with a free throw, and Mitchell turned the offensive rebound into a long jump shot for a 36-21 lead. After forcing SC State into a missed shot on the other end, Welch achieved her sixth double-double of the season with a putback. Sancheon White closed out the spurt with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give the Gamecocks a 20-point lead that they would not relinquish.

    Mitchell’s 20 points marks the first 20-point game by a Gamecock this season. For Welch, eight of her 14 rebounds came on the offensive end to tie her career high, and she posted exactly half of her points and rebounds in each half. Ibiam joined the duo in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 accuracy from the free throw line. Bruner led the way with four assists, all coming in the first half. She and Walk each blocked two shots.

    Bama Wins In Double OT

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s basketball team topped Virginia, 73-70, in a double-overtime thriller at Foster Auditorium on Friday. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 7-3 on the season while the loss drops the Cavaliers to 6-4 overall.

    “This was a fun game,” said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. “The officials let both teams play, and if you had a weak heart, this was not the game to be playing in. This is getting us ready for our SEC schedule as this was an SEC-style game. We had some people step up and play a lot of minutes and play the way we need them to play.”

    Sophomore Daisha Simmons led all scorers with 22 points. Also finishing in doubles figures was junior Shafontaye Myers with 14 points and senior Meghan Perkins and sophomore Briana Hutchen, who added 10 points apiece. Simmons also added a team-high seven rebounds, five steals and five assists.

    Virginia led early by as many as seven before Alabama went on a 13-4 run to take the 15-13 lead at the 10:56 mark. The Cavaliers tied the game off a fast break layup with 6:38 to go in the first, but the Tide would respond with seven unanswered points for the 24-17 advantage. Virginia would close out the half on a 12-5 run to tie the score at 29 heading into the break.

    The Cavaliers knocked down a three-pointer to score the first basket of the second half, giving Virginia its first lead since the 11:08 mark in the first. Simmons responded with a three of her own moments later, locking the game at 32. There were two more ties and three lead changes over the next three minutes with neither team taking more than a three-point advantage until Alabama scored back-to-back baskets for the 45-40 edge with 11:02 to go. The Tide would pull ahead by as many as seven before the Cavaliers battled their way back into the game, eventually taking the lead back at the 2:04 mark. Myers connected on her second three-pointer of the game on the ensuing possession to put Alabama back in front, 58-56. Virginia would tie the game again with just over 30 seconds remaining, and the Tide was unable to get a shot to fall, sending the game into overtime.

    Simmons completed the old-fashioned three-point play to put Alabama ahead early in the extra period. The Tide led until Cavalier senior Simone Egwu scored with 39 seconds remaining to give Virginia the 64-63 edge. Alabama was unable to hit a shot on its next possession, forcing the Tide to foul the Cavaliers. Egwu hit both of her free throws to give Virginia a three-point edge and Alabama the ball with under 10 seconds remaining. Simmons drove the ball down the court and delivered it Myers, who banked in a three-pointer with three seconds to go, tying the game at 66 to force a second overtime.

    The Cavaliers struck first in the second overtime as senior China Crosby hit a jumper at the 3:39 mark. Myers responded with her fourth three-pointer of the game to give the Tide a one-point edge. Alabama would hold onto the lead for the next two minutes until a basket by Egwu put Virginia on top once again with 1:29 to go. Junior Jasmine Robinson was fouled with 15 seconds remaining and hit both of her shots to give the Tide a 71-70 advantage. Myers came up with a huge defensive rebound off a missed shot on the other end and was fouled with one second to go. She would go on to hit both of her free throws, giving Alabama the victory.

    For the game, the Tide shot 31.6 percent for the game (24-76) while the Cavaliers were 35.2 percent from the floor (25-71). Virginia out-rebounded the Tide, 63-47; however Alabama forced 32 Cavalier turnovers. The Tide had 17 steals and 16 assists in the game.

    “We came out and put out a great effort against a good basketball team, and that’s the lesson we’re still learning,” added Hudson. “If we play that way every game, we have a chance to have a good basketball team.”

    LSU Holds Off McNeese State

    LSU (8-3) wins its fourth consecutive game, defeats McNeese State, 82-75, on Friday afternoon in Baton Rouge.

    Theresa Plaisance records her third double-double of the season with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Plaisance made 13 of 19 from the free throw line. The 13 free throws tied for the third-most ever in LSU history. The 19 attempts also tied for the third-most ever in LSU history.

    Kentucky Completes California Sweep

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A'dia Mathies scored 19 points to help No. 7 Kentucky extend its winning streak to nine games  on Friday  night with a 66-38 victory over UC Santa Barbara on the road.
    DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker each scored 12 for the Wildcats. Stallworth, a 6-foot-3 junior from Richmond, Calif., stood tall in her home state, scoring 12 points.
    Kentucky took its biggest lead in the first half at 17-6 when Stallworth hit a baby hook in the lane, and the Wildcats used a strong second half to pull away..
    The Gauchos (4-7) committed 17 of their 28 turnovers in the first half against Kentucky's pressure defense.

    Ole Miss Loses at Hofstra

    HEMPSTEAD, NY – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team saw Hofstra come back from a 15-point first half deficit as the Rebels fell on the road to the Pride 72-63 in the New York Life Holiday Invitational Friday night.
    With the loss Ole Miss fell to 6-4 while Hofstra improved to 2-7.
    Ole Miss led by 15 in the first half before Hofstra came back to within two at the half. In the second half, the teams traded baskets and neither team led by more than four until the Pride went up 46-52 with 9:43 to play. From that point, Hofstra did not replenish its lead and went on to post the win. 
    Valencia McFarland recorded a season-high nine assists in the game for her 29th career game with at least five assists. Marbra tied her career high with 12 points and added nine boards while Tia Faleru recorded nine points and nine rebounds.
    For the game, Ole Miss shot 36.8 percent (25-68) from the floor while Hofstra shot 38.4 percent (28-73).
    The Rebels used a 9-0 run, including a three from Maggie McFerrin, over a five minute span to go up 22-7 with 10:43 remaining in the first half.
    Hofstra cut Ole Miss’ lead to four, 26-22, with 3:37 left in the first half and the Pride tied the game at 28-28 with 55 seconds left in the half.
    A jumper from Marbra with six seconds left before the half gave Ole Miss a 30-28 lead at the break. Marbra led the Rebels with six points and five rebounds at the half. Tia Faleru added five points and five rebounds while Gracie Frizzell scored five points.
    The Rebels shot 39.3 (11-28) percent from the floor in the first half while Hofstra shot 33.3 percent (13-39).
    Hofstra took its first lead of the game since they lead 2-0 as they went up 34-32 with 16:39 left in the game.
    Ole Miss will closeout play in the New York Life Holiday Invitational tomorrow with a 2 p.m. CT game against Northwestern.

    Gators Win Holiday Classic

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Redshirt sophomore Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) scored a career-high 18 points and guided Florida to an 81-75 victory over Central Michigan in the championship game of the Gator Holiday Classic on Friday night in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center
    Freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after helping Florida withstand an intense late rally by the Chippewas, who whittled the Gator’s 17-point lead with 5:50 remaining down to six with 2:06 on the clock.
    With Florida (10-3) clinging to a 76-70 lead, senior Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.), who was named to the All-Tournament Team, converted a tough inside bucket. CMU missed on its next possession, but the Gators turned the ball over and that same sequence happened on the next trip down the court, as the Gators committed three turnovers in a 54-second span with Jalisa Olive finally able to make UF pay as she converted layup and had CMU within six points, 78-72, with 27 seconds remaining.
    The Chippewas (5-5) then fouled redshirt-freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.), who converted 3-of-4 free throws over the next 13 seconds and gave Florida an 81-72 lead with 10 seconds left.
    CMU’s Jessica Green knocked down a three-pointer with four seconds remaining to cap the game’s scoring, as Florida captured its third consecutive Gator Holiday Classic title, as well as its 18th in the 21 times the event has crowned a team champion.
    “We didn’t want anyone to leave before the trophy presentation, so we decided to make it really interesting down the stretch and I think we did a good job of that,” UF head coach Amanda Butler joked. “Seriously, we beat a very good team. I’m proud of that, no question. Sometimes our wins aren’t as pretty as we hoped they’d be. This one had its spots and its moments, but it had its ugly spots also. I think for this team, sometimes learning hard lessons will be the most valuable way for us to grow. It is definitely a process and a journey. Like I said, we beat a good team and we want to play good teams. We want to be challenged and we were challenged tonight and came out with a win and that’s what’s most important.”
    Lewis collected a double-double for the second time this season and in her career, pulling down 10 boards to go along with her 18 points, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor.
    “Yesterday, I didn’t think I played bad, things just didn’t go my way,” shared Lewis, who scored just two points with three rebounds during Thursday’s game. “Today was just suited for who I am. I’m a slippery player and I just got inside the seams where I could. When you have good players like Jennifer George down low and penetrators like Sydney and me, it’s easy to get shots off. Rebounding tonight, my goal was to get four offensive rebounds, which I did.”
    Moss scored 16 points in Friday’s championship game after netting a game-high 17 points on Thursday.
    Coming out of the half, Lewis collected back-to-back buckets with a layup coming off an inbound play, and a corner jumper to extend the Gator lead, 40-28.
    CMU’s Jessica Green and Crystal Bradford combined for six points at the 15:06 mark to cut the Gator lead to nine. Needles answered with a jumper in the lane, but Central Michigan was able to enhance their pressure in the backcourt on the Gators and force turnovers.
    Jessica Schroll, who finished with 15 points on the night and a spot on the All-Tournament Team, laid in a shot to cut the Florida lead to seven, 46-39. With an intense period of scrappy play, Bradford, who tallied 10 points for Central Michigan, nailed a three to draw the Chippewas within striking distance of the Gators.
    After the Gators found their way to the free throw line for the first time in the game at the 13:14 mark, CMU’s Taylor Johnson, who ended the night with 11 points, converted on a layup to cut the lead to the smallest it had been all evening, 49-46.
    Florida fired back with an eight-point run thanks to two lay-ins by George, another trey from redshirt junior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) and a free throw from Moss.
    Junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) was having a solid game until she was whistled for two offensive fouls and earned a technical foul in a three-second span, and with 7:59 remaining fouled out of the game for the first time in her collegiate career. Bonds went to the bench with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting with eight assists and five rebounds.
    The momentum easily could have shifted in Central Michigan’s favor with Florida’s floor general unable to return to action. The Chippewas, however, were only able to convert on 1-of-3 free throws on the Bonds’ foul calls and Florida held a 59-51 lead.
    That’s when Moss stepped up her game, scoring seven points in a 2:09 span.
    Needles came up with a steal and Moss launched a desperation three-pointer which found the bottom of the net as the shot clock expired. Moss then drove and finished in the lane and Lewis connected on another inbounds play to put the Florida lead at 68-53 with 6:14 remaining.
    Free throws also came into play in the closing 6:18 of the contest and Florida stepped up and converted 9-of-12, with makes from Moss, George, Needles and January Miller (Orlando, Fla.).
    The Chippewas managed to give the Gators a scare in the final three minutes as they went on a 12-6 run, getting a pair of layups and three-pointers from Green, who finished with 12 points.
    Florida shot a season-best 55.4 percent (31-56) from the floor during the game, including a 6-of-15 effort from the three-point arc and 13-of-19 showing from the free throw line. The Gators also held a 39-32 rebound edge, but committed a season-high 29 turnover that the led to 25 points.
    Central Michigan shot 40.3 percent overall, including a 48.6 percent mark (17-35) during the second half when it outscored Florida, 50-45, in spite of the Gator hitting 57.7 percent in the final 20 minutes.
    The Gators and the Chippewas got off to a sloppy start as play began where turnovers were costly for both teams in the first two minutes. Central Michigan struck first, by not only winning the tip, but also converting for two with a Green layup. George scored first for the Gators by hitting a layup at the 18:20 mark. Svete came out firing as she hit a three to put Florida out front of Central Michigan, 7-4.
    Florida led 11-6 into the first media timeout with a pair of Lewis layups. Bonds had back-to-back buckets with a floater and her first three-pointer of the night which put the Gators up 16-9 at the 12:15 mark.
    A Moss turnover resulted in a Johnson trey for Central Michigan which put the Chippewas back to within one at 16-15. From there, the Gators held the Chippewas scoreless for 5:15 while Miller collected a three-point basket and Lewis netted four more points for the Orange and Blue to extend their advantage to 25-19.  
    The Gators jumped out to a 10-point lead on the Chippewas nearing the close of the half when Moss sunk one from beyond the arc with 2:38 remaining. Miller and Needles added two more buckets apiece to make it a 34-25 advantage. Bonds dictated the Gators tempo in the first half, and solidified that momentum when she hit a fade-away jumper at the buzzer to send the Gators to the locker room with a 36-25 lead.
    Florida takes a few days away from the court for a holiday break before playing host to Holy Cross on Fri., December 28 at 7 p.m. in the O’Connell Center. That game is the final non-conference outing for the Gators, who begin Southeastern Conference action on January 3 at nationally-ranked Kentucky.

    Arkansas Picks Up a Win

    FAYETTEVILLE – Dominique Robinson,  Jhasmin Bowen and Dominique Wilson had season-best nights leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an 80-41 win over Northwestern State giving head coach Tom Collen a birthday victory.
    Arkansas moved to 11-1 on the year with the 39-point win over NSU (4-5).
    “Overall, I think we are in pretty good shape at this point in the season,” Collen said.  “I really like the way we played the last three games.  We were able to make a lot of adjustments on the fly and I was pleased with that.”
    Bowen scored 17 points in 24 minutes to lead the Razorbacks while Robinson added 15 points going 5-for-5 from the floor including 2-for-2 from three-point range.
    “It was a great game for Dominique,” Collen said.  “She has battled so hard to return from injury and she’s been practicing harder and getter better.”
    The duo led four players in double figures with senior Sarah Watkins adding 14 and Wilson added a career-best 12 points for the Razorbacks.
    Arkansas dominated nearly every statistical category shooting 49.1 percent for the game on 28-for-57 from the floor.  Arkansas was 18-for-26 from the line and outrebounded NSU 45-21 in the game.
    Arkansas won the tip and scored first eventually opening a nine point lead but the Razorback coaching staff was not pleased with the execution early in the contest.
    Collen took a timeout just inside the five minute mark and made wholesale lineup changes subbing for all five starters in an effort to find an offensive rhythm and a defensive stop.  Early turnovers and cold shooting hurt the effort but Arkansas made up for it with solid rebounding.
    The Razorbacks went into the locker room with a 38-25 lead paced by Robinson’s season-best 12 points.  They ended the half with a good shooting effort that boosted their shooting percentage to 48.1 on 13-for-27 from the floor.  Although they had 15 turnovers at the break, Arkansas also had 20 rebounds and held NSU to just 10 in the first frame.
    In addition, the Razorbacks created opportunities at the free throw line shooting 60 percent going 9-for-15 from the line in the first half.  NSU only got to the line five times and hit all of their bonus shots.
    Arkansas was more focused on offense to start the second half and their aggressive play led to points early as they continued to stretch the lead.
    As the half wore on, Collen continued to platoon players in making liberal substitutions keeping fresh legs on the floor.  The Razorbacks put together an 8-0 in just over 1:30 around the seven minute mark as they put the game out of reach for NSU.
    The Razorbacks outscored NSU 42-16 in the second half shooting 50 percent on 15-for-30 from the floor.
    Arkansas breaks for four days before returning to Bud Walton for practice on Dec. 26 and 27 in preparation for Coppin State Dec. 28.

    Notre Dame Ends Texas A&M's Win Streak

    LAS VEGAS - No. 22 Texas A&M (8-4) saw its eight-game win streak snapped on Friday night with an 83-74 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame (9-1) in the championship game of the World Vision Classic Cox Pavilion. It was the first meeting between the two teams since A&M defeated Notre Dame, 76-70, at the 2011 NCAA National Championship game on April 5, 2011, in Indianapolis.
    A&M junior center Kelsey Bone led all players with 28 points and also had a team-high 10 rebounds. She was named to the all-tournament team, having averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds per game and shooting 39-of-46 during the three-day tournament. Courtney Walker and Kristi Bellock also posted double-figure points against the Irish with 12 and 11, respectively. A&M senior point guard Adrienne Pratcher led all players with eight assists.
    Notre Dame had four players in double-digit points, including tournament MVP Skylar Diggins, who had 24 points. Natalie Achonwa added 22 points and led all players with 14 rebounds. Twelve of Achonwa's points came on free throws as Notre Dame was 21-of-25 from the line while A&M was 6-of-10.
    The Aggies got out to a quick start, jumping out to a 14-6 lead in the first five minutes, but it would be A&M's largest lead of the night. In a game that saw seven ties and seven lead changes, the experienced Irish began to chip away, taking their first lead at 23-21 at the 8:20 mark. A&M held its last lead of the half at 27-26 before Notre Dame made several short runs, with Aggie freshman guard Peyton Little hitting two clutch three-pointers to keep A&M within striking distance at 36-33.
    Notre Dame got a bucket at the end of the half to take a 44-37 lead heading into the intermission, but A&M would start strong in the second half to retake the lead at 48-46 with 15:59 remaining following a basket by Bone. Just as the youthful Aggies took the lead, Notre Dame countered, erupting for 13 unanswered points to put the Irish up, 59-48, at the 11:16 mark. A&M twice managed to cut the gap to five points, the last coming at 65-60 with 7:21 left in the game. Notre Dame went on to build its largest lead at 77-65 with 4:02 remaining, and the Aggies could get no closer than nine points for the reminder of the game.
    The Aggies will take a break for Christmas and then return to Reed Arena on Dec. 28 to play host to Prairie View A&M. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.