South Carolina’s next game will take place on Thursday night at home against Kentucky, while the Gators will host Ole Miss on the same night.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee hosted Alabama in a cross-divisional battle on Sunday afternoon, and the Lady Volunteers emerged with a 96-69 win thanks to five 14-point or better efforts. Bashaara Graves led the way with 19 points, Meighan Simmons was right behind her with 16, and Taber Spani, Jasmine Jones and Isabelle Harrison all added 14 apiece.
Alabama kept things close for the first 10 minutes of the game, holding an 18-16 lead midway through the first half. But the Lady Vols finished the first half with a flurry to blow the game wide open and take control from that point on. Tennessee (15-3, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) ended the opening half on a 33-17 run and it was all orange for the rest of the afternoon.
Graves’ big day came thanks to a hot shooting performance. The freshman hit on 9-of-11 field goals on the afternoon while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. The Lady Vols followed her lead and rounded out the afternoon with a 54.3-percent shooting mark, compared to just 34.6 percent from Alabama (11-7, 1-4).
Daisha Simmons led the way offensively for the Crimson Tide, dropping 19 points in the losing effort to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Kaneisha Horn had a nice outing as well, dropping 14 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort. Shafontaye Meyers added 12 for the Tide on 4-of-13 shooting.
Both teams will return to the court on Thursday night, Tennessee against Vanderbilt and Alabama against Auburn.
Kentucky Blows Past Auburn Behind Mathies' Big Day
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A’Dia Mathies turned in another big game for No. 5 Kentucky on Sunday, leading the Wildcats to a 97-53 win over visiting Auburn. Mathies dropped a game-high 24 points in the win for the Cats (18-1, 6-0 Southeastern Conference), and UK has now won 17 consecutive games.
Kentucky didn’t waste any time getting going against the Tigers (13-6, 2-4), sprinting out to a 30-point lead at halftime before leading by as many as 44 in the second half of the blowout win. The Wildcats connected on almost 50 percent of their shot attempts on the afternoon, including 12 makes from beyond the 3-point line.
Mathies was feeling it from the floor, hitting on eight of her nine field goal attempts en route to her 24 points. Although Mathies led the scoring effort, she was hardly the only Wildcat to turn in a strong showing. Jennifer O’Neill added 17 for UK, DeNesha Stallworth dropped 16 of her own, and Samarie Walker poured in 15. Add in Bria Goss’ 10 points, and all five Kentucky starters scored in double figures.
Hasina Muhammad led the way for Auburn with a team-best 13 points, while Tyrese Tanner added 11 more for the Tigers. Auburn ended the day shooting just over 40 percent from the field, with a 33.3-percent mark from downtown. Auburn lost the battle on the glass, being out-rebounded 36 to 29, and also committed 27 turnovers to just 15 by UK.
Kentucky will face off with South Carolina on Thursday night, the same day that Auburn will travel to face rival Alabama.
LSU Outlasts Vanderbilt in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU Lady Tigers overcame an eight-point halftime deficit against Vanderbilt on Sunday to pick up a 54-51 win in Baton Rouge. Theresa Plaisance made her presence felt with a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds for LSU (12-7, 3-3 Southeastern Conference).
The Commodores (13-5, 3-2) took a 24-16 advantage into the second half, but the Lady Tigers flipped the switch in the final 20 minutes on their way to 38 points in the half. After a closely contested second half that saw several lead changes, Biance Lutley hit two free throws for LSU to give the Tigers a 54-51 lead with seven seconds to play. On the ensuing possession, Vanderbilt’s Christina Foggie misfired on a 3-point attempt that would have tied that game, and the Tigers escaped with the narrow win.
Plaisance’s game-high performance came on the strength of an 11-for-20 shooting performance. Adrienne Webb added 10 points for the Lady Tigers, with Bianca Lutley and Danille Ballard chipping in nine apiece.
Tiffany Clarke led the scoring for Vandy with 17 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. Christina Foggie added 13 points of her own to go along with three assists and Elan Brown scored eight while grabbing nine rebounds for the ’Dores. Vandy did not help its cause with 19 turnovers and finished the day shooting 34 percent.
LSU will get a week to rest before its next game against Kentucky in Lexington, while Vanderbilt will host Tennessee on Thursday night.
Mizzou Downs Ole Miss in OT
OXFORD, Miss. – Bri Kulas poured in a game-high 23 points for Missouri on Sunday afternoon, helping the Tigers edge Ole Miss in overtime by a final score of 73-72.
After 40 minutes of action proved to be not enough, Mizzou took the lead late in the overtime period on the strength of a Sydney Crafton free throw. Crafton hit one-of-two from the line after being fouled by Ole Miss’ Courtney Marbra, giving the Tigers a one-point edge with just two seconds to play.
Kulas hit nine of her 15 shot attempts on the afternoon while hauling in a team-high 10 rebounds. Sydney Crafton recorded 13 points for Mizzou to go along with five rebounds and five assists, and Liz Smith added 12 points of her own to go with seven boards. As a team, Mizzou connected on 47.4 percent of its field goals while holding the Rebels to 35.7 percent from the floor. The Tigers managed to squak out the win despite losing the rebounding battle and committing 19 turnovers.
Valencia McFarland racked up a team-high 17 points for Ole Miss in the narrow defeat, while Danielle McCray came close to a double-double with 10 rebounds and eight points. The Rebels ended the first half tied with Mizzou at 32 apiece, and matched them again in the second half, 30-30. The difference did not come until the two-second mark in the overtime period when Crafton hit her final free throw.
Missouri will return to action on Thursday night against Arkansas while Ole Miss will face off with Florida on the road on the same night.
Texas A&M Handles Georgia on the Road
ATHENS, Ga. – No. 20 Texas A&M traveled to Athens on Sunday to face off with No. 13 Georgia, and the Aggies came away with a huge 64-46 win. TAMU (14-5, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) shot over 50 percent on the day, including a 50 percent mark from 3-point range.
The Aggies used a strong first half to distance themselves from the Lady Bulldogs, rounding out the first 20 minutes with a commanding 39-16 advantage on the road. UGA (16-3, 4-2) played a much better second half, outscoring A&M 30-25, but the damage inflicted in the first half was simply too much for the Dawgs to overcome.
Three of the Aggies’ starters scored in double digits in Athens, with Courtney Walker leading the way with 12 points and five rebounds. Courtney Williams and Kelsey Bone added 10 points apiece in the winning effort, while Adrienne Pratcher and Kristi Bellock weren’t far off with nine points apiece. Bellock grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
None of the Lady Bulldogs managed to crack into double figures in the scoring column. Jasmine Hassell led all UGA scorers with nine points to go along with three assists, and Shacobia Barbee added seven points and eight boards. The Bulldogs only converted on 29 percent of their field goals, including a pedestrian 16 percent from 3-point range.
Texas A&M returns to action on Thursday night against Mississippi State in Starkville, and Georgia will take a week off before hosting Florida next Sunday.