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    Thursday Night Women's Hoops Report

    WOMen's Basketball RESULTS
    South Carolina 66,  LSU 59
    Kentucky 100,  Mississippi State 47
    Georgia 57,  Arkansas 53
    Tennessee 75,  Auburn 66


    Gamecocks Outlast Lady Tigers 66-59

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 19/18 South Carolina defeated LSU 66-59 Thursday night in SEC women’s basketball action at the Carolina Coliseum. Senior Ieasia Walker netted 24 points to lead all scorers and reach the 1,000-point plateau for her career, while senior Ashley Bruner posted her second double-double of the season, including key points down the stretch. The Gamecocks (15-3, 3-2 SEC) fended off a late run by the Lady Tigers (11-7, 2-3 SEC), but a steal from Walker and steady free throw shooting in the final 2:33 delivered the seven-point victory.

    “At the beginning of the game, I explained to our team that even if LSU gets up with a lead, the way that they play – they take quick shots, they get up and down in transition – we’re always going to be in the game because of their style,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “I thought we took the hit and kept moving. We didn’t think about [the fact that] we just lost a two-point lead. We just regrouped and made plays.”

    The Gamecocks came out in the first half with their usual defensive intensity, forcing LSU to turn the ball over on its first three possessions. The South Carolina pressure held the Lady Tigers at bay while the Gamecocks pushed the ball on offense. After opening scoring with two free throws, the next three South Carolina buckets came off of layups from Tiffany Mitchell, Walker and Bruner.

    With 8:26 left in the half, the Gamecocks held a 19-9 advantage over LSU, but missed 3-point shots resulted in a seven-point surge by LSU. Walker then netted a 3 with the shot clock winding down to endthe Gamecocks’ five-minute scoring drought, but LSU hit back-to-back 3s to keep up the pressure. After Theresa Plaisance’s jumper from the free throw line tied the game 24-24, Bruner answered with a move on the left block off a feed from Mitchell to send South Carolina into the half leading 26-24.  

    To start the second half the Gamecocks came out firing on all cylinders, going on a 10-4 run to extend their lead 36-28 before LSU called a timeout. The Lady Tigers battled back to tie the game at 48-48 with 8:14 left to play. A minute later, tied at 50-50, Walker drained a 3-pointer to give the Gamecocks back the lead with 5:01 left to play. With the bucket, Walker surpassed the 1,000-career point mark, igniting the crowd. Bruner and Aleighsa Welch continued the drive with layups to stretch the lead to seven with just 3:22 on the clock.

    LSU had one surge left, challenging the Gamecocks with five straight points, to pull within two with 2:33 to go, but Walker ended the threat with a steal for a layup to put the Gamecocks ahead 59-55. After a pair of missed shots, Bruner came up a big steal within the last 65 seconds, a play that resulted in free throws for Welch at the other end. Free throws by Welch and Walker extended the Gamecock lead to 63-55. On the next possession, Bruner blocked a shot by LSU’s Bianca Lutley and with 18 seconds to go, and Welch drained two free throws to seal the Gamecock victory.

    Wildcats Roll Past Bulldogs

    The Cats began the game on an 11-2 run. With UK leading 22-17 at the 9:10 mark in the first half, the Cats finished the half on a 24-7 run.

    The Cats hit an SEC-high 50 percent from the floor (37-of-74) and are now 5-0 this season when doing so.

    The 53-point margin of victory is the largest against an SEC opponent in school history.

    Junior center DeNesha Stallworth recorded a UK career-high 25 points in just 24 minutes of action.  Senior guard A'dia Mathies scored 21 points, marking the 16th time she has reached double figures this season, including nine in a row.

    Kentucky improves to 17-1, 5-0 SEC, while Mississippi State falls to 8-10, 0-5 SEC.


    Lady Bulldogs Rally Past Arkansas

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- Shacobia Barbee's career highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds also supplied her first career double-double and led No. 13 Georgia to a 57-53 victory at Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night.

    The Lady Bulldogs rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to improve to 16-2 overall and 4-1 in SEC play. Arkansas fell to 13-5 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.

    Jasmine James added 13 points, and Jasmine Hassell chipped in a dozen for Georgia.

    "It was a gutty comeback, and I think everyone who played in the second half did something significant to put us in a position to come back and win that basketball game," head coach Andy Landers said. "It wasn't a great individual effort; it was a great team effort made by individuals."

    Barbee was Georgia's most consistent player from start to finish. She scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds before halftime when the Lady Bulldogs were held to a season-low 19 points.

    "She kept us in it," Landers said. "I think we would have had a foot in our face without Barbee. She was the one who was consistent in rebounding the basketball and she made some nice plays offensively and she had a couple of steals. She kept us in it."

    After trailing 30-19 at the half and falling behind by 13 early in the second stanza, Georgia outscored the Razorbacks 36-19 over the final 15:51.

    Consecutive baskets by Hassell opened a 14-2 run that pulled the Lady Bulldogs within 36-34 at the 10:33 mark; however, Arkansas regained a 44-39 lead just 3:20 later. Georgia went on top for good on a Krista Donald layup with 5:27 remaining.

    The lead eventually grew to eight points as the Lady Bulldogs converted on 7-of-10 free throw attempts in the waning moments.

    The first half was a different story altogether when a 14-0 run moved the scoreboard from a 9-8 Georgia lead to a 22-8 Arkansas advantage.  The Razorbacks' largest edge came at 25-10 with 4:34 left in half on Keira Peak basket.

    A Barbee jumper with 4:06 left represented the Lady Bulldogs' first basket in 7:34 and Georgia closed the gap to 11 at the break. The Lady Bulldogs opened the second-half scoring, but Arkansas scored four straight before Georgia gradually took control.

    Georgia outscored Arkansas 28-22 in the paint, but the Razorbacks owned a massive 33-7 edge in bench points.


    Simmons Rallies No. 9 UT To 75-66 Win At Auburn

    AUBURN, Ala. -- Down by as many as 12 in the second half, the #9 Lady Vols rallied behind Meighan Simmons to end Auburn's homecourt win streak at 11 with a 75-66 victory on Thursday night. Simmons scored 18 in the second half as Tennessee (14-3, 5-0 SEC) used an 11-2 run midway through the half to take control and secure their seventh win in a row and remain perfect in the conference.

    Auburn (13-5, 2-3 SEC) was 9-0 at home this season and had not lost at Auburn Arena since Feb. 12, 2012, a 51-48 defeat to Arkansas.
    Simmons led all scorers with 29 points, her fifth game this season with 20-plus points. She was a sparkling 10-of-14 from the floor including 4-of-6 from 3-point range and a perfect 5-of-5 at the foul line.

    Taber Spani scored 12 and Ariel Massengale had 11. Both Bashaara Graves and Isabelle Harrison corralled 11 rebounds as the Lady Vols pounded the glass in the second half for a 18-11 edge over the final 20 minutes.

    All five Auburn starters scored in double-figured led by Blache Alverson and Hasina Muhammad, who each scored 15. Najat Ouardad added 11.
    The Lady Vols outscored the Tigers, 22-13 to end the game.

    With the game tied at 53-53, Massengale knocked down a 3-pointer with six minutes left to put the Lady Vols ahead by three points or more for the first time all night. That capped a 7-0 run and put UT ahead 56-53. Tennessee never trailed for the remainder of the game after Massengale's trey.
    Auburn was whistled for a technical foul for having six players on the court with 5:02 left in the game. Simmons made the ensuing free throws for a 60-55 lead. That pushed the decisive run to 11-2.

    Simmons' fourth 3-pointer of the game with three minutes left sealed the win, giving the Lady Vols their first double-figure lead of the game at 70-60.

    Prior to UT's takeover, the second half was one of runs for both teams.  After Tennessee regained a lead for only the second time all night, Auburn answered by reeling off six points in a row to take a 53-49 lead with 7:23 left as Alverson nailed a 3-pointer.

    The Lady Vols used a 16-2 run to take their first lead since 2-0 on a layup by Kamiko Williams with 10:05 left in the second half, 49-47.  Auburn led by 12 at 45-33 on a layup by Alverson with 14:29 left. Spani responded with consecutive layups to reduce the deficit to eight. That started an 11-0 run for Tennessee as Simmons scored the last six of the spurt to make it 45-44, Auburn.

    Tennessee trailed by 10 early on in the second half at 39-29 after Peyton Davis scored on a layup with 17:27 left and 43-33 on a hoop by Tyrese Tanner with 16 minutes left, forcing Tennessee to call timeout.

    Auburn held a 32-27 lead at intermission as the Tigers controlled the glass (22-19), held a 16-2 lead on points in the paint and out-scored the Lady Vols on second-chance points, 10-0.  Simmons had 11 first-points making half of the 10 field goals the Lady Vols made. UT's front court was limited to one point -- from Graves in the first half.

    The Tigers led by as many as 11 at 18-7 on a pair of free throws by Davis with 11:40 left in the first half.

    Auburn scored 11 consecutive points to take an 11-2 lead, just over four minutes into the game before Massengale knocked down a 3-pointer.