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    Thursday Night Women's Hoops Report

    WOMen's Basketball RESULTS
    Tennessee 88,  Mississippi State 45
    Georgia 65,  Alabama 59
    LSU 59,  Auburn 55
    Arkansas 77,  Ole Miss 66
    Texas A&M 60,  Vanderbilt 52
    Missouri 69,  Florida 64

     

    #9 Lady Vols Blast By Bulldogs, 88-45

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Lady Vols stayed perfect in the SEC with an 88-45 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. The ninth-ranked team in America moved to 17-4 overall and 8-0 in league play. The Bulldogs dropped to 9-12 overall, 1-7 in the SEC.

    Junior Meighan Simmons tallied a game-high 21 points, her 18th game this season in double-figures including the last 10 games in a row. It was also her seventh game this season with 20-plus points.

    In her first start in two years, senior Kamiko Williams posted her second-career double with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. She also had a career-high six steals and tied her career-high with six assists.

    Senior Taber Spani netted 15 points and hauled down seven rebounds. She has scored in double-figures in eight of the last nine games. Spani is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in SEC play.

    Freshman Bashaara Graves had 10 points and seven rebounds. He 18th game in double-figures this year.  In her return to action after missing the last eight games with a fractured hand, sophomore Cierra Burdick played 16 minutes and scored four points.  The 43-point margin of victory was the fifth largest of the season. Tennessee beat both Alcorn State and Rice by 53 points and both North Carolina and Missouri by 45.

    The Lady Vols won their 34th consecutive game against Mississippi State -- every meeting between the teams. Only four of the meetings have been decided by five points or less. The 34 wins rank as the seventh-longest active streak in any series in the NCAA.  The Bulldogs were led by Martha Alwal, who had 16 points.

    The win was the eighth wire-to-wire win this season and third in SEC play.

    Tennessee jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes and never looked back. Jasmine Jones' jump shot with 7:48 left in the half extended the lead to 25-10.

    The highlight of the first half came when Burdick returned to the court after being sidelined since New Year's Day. Burdick played the final six minutes of the half in her SEC debut this season. She scored her first bucket on a layup with three minutes left in the first half, making it 35-16.

    Simmons' jumper finished the first half scoring as she hit 10 points and gave the Lady Vols a 42-18 lead at intermission.  The second half was more of the same as Tennessee outscored the Bulldogs, 46-27 in the final 20 minutes.  Williams knocked home a jumper with 10:40 left to secure that second-career double-double and put Tennessee ahead, 64-31.  The lead ballooned to 40 on a pair of free throws by Nia Moore with 6:46 left, putting the Lady Vols ahead 74-34.
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    Lady Bulldogs Claim 65-59 Victory over Alabama

    ATHENS, Ga. – Six different Georgia players scored eight or more points to lead the 13th-ranked Lady Bulldogs to a 65-59 victory over Alabama on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.

    Khaalidah Miller and Jasmine Hassell led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points and 10 points, respectively, while Merritt Hempe tallied nine points to go along with three rebounds and a steal. Anne Marie Armstrong, Tiara Griffin and Jasmine James each chipped in with eight points apiece, and Griffin pulled down a career-high eight rebounds on the night.  

    With the win, Georgia (18-3, 6-2 SEC) notched its 850th victory in program history, becoming just the 10th school in Division I history to accomplish the feat.

    "We did what we needed to do to win, and that's the way it goes in the record book, even though the process wasn't pretty,” said head coach Andy Landers. “There were some good decisions and some bad decisions made. A lot of makeable shots were not made tonight."

    The Lady Bulldogs opened the game with a strong defensive effort, holding the Crimson Tide (12-9, 2-6 SEC) without a point for the first three and a half minutes of the game. The two teams traded baskets throughout much of the next 10 minutes before Georgia reeled off an 8-0 run to open up a 20-11 lead.

    A jumper from Hassell and a three-pointer by Griffin in the final minute of the first half helped give Georgia a 32-25 advantage entering the break.

    The Lady Bulldogs began to pull away early in the second half, opening up a 14-point lead with just over 12 minutes remaining. Georgia led by as many as 15 points, but Alabama mounted a comeback effort in the final minutes to narrow the lead for the Lady Bulldogs.

    The Crimson Tide used an 8-0 run in the final four minutes to come within four points, but two  free throws each by Armstrong and Miller helped seal the victory for Georgia.
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    LSU WOMEN PULL OUT 59-55 SEC ROAD WIN AT AUBURN

    AUBURN, Ala. – Adrienne Webb, a senior playing in her home state, poured in a game-high 21 points and freshman Danielle Ballard collected a clutch steal in the final 20 seconds as the LSU women’s basketball team escaped Auburn with its first Southeastern Conference road win of the season by a score of 59-55 on Thursday night in Auburn Arena.

    “Auburn is a very good defensive team, but our team hung tough,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “We stayed together, and I was very proud of them. It was one possession with two minutes to go and we finished it off. We made some free throws down the stretch. We made the plays we needed to. There was composure and they didn’t get rattled.”

    Webb, a native of Madison, Ala., drained 8-of-16 from the floor and buried three from three-point range to record her third 20-point game of the season. She accounted for the final margin with a free throw in the final second.

    “Webb works extremely hard and she proved it tonight,” said Caldwell. “She disrupts people and has great foot speed. Her teammates did a tremendous job finding her tonight. She gets in the gym after everyone and has shown her leadership all season.”

    Theresa Plaisance, the SEC’s leading scorer, added 16 points and became the first Lady Tiger since Sylvia Fowles to record 20 consecutive double-figure scoring games. Sheila Boykin and Derreyal Youngblood made contributions off the bench as Boykin grabbed five boards. Ballard finished with eight points and collected four steals.

    LSU never trailed after the 11:34 mark. With the Lady Tigers leading 51-50, Jeanne Kenney threw an outlet pass to Plaisance, who laid it up and in. Auburn’s Tyrese Tanner countered with two free throws and the Tigers (13-8, 2-6) missed an ensuing three that paved the way for two key Kenney free throws.

    Auburn had one last shot to tie with the score 55-52 and 0:18 to play. That’s when Ballard reached into the air and picked off Najat Ouardad’s pass. Ballard was fouled and she calmly drained a pair of game-clinching free throws that made it 57-52 with 0:18 to go.

    “It was a terrific play by Danielle,” said Caldwell. “She does so many different things for us. There were times she missed some shots, but I like her competitiveness. She got some key boards and steals.”

    Blanche Alverson’s desperation made three came too little too late as LSU held on for the gutsy win.

    Despite committing 25 turnovers that led to 18 points, the Lady Tigers shot 45.8 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Auburn 36-32.


    Georgia finished the game shooting 34.3 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe. The Georgia bench contributed 25 points compared to just 11 points from Alabama’s reserves. Georgia’s defense also forced 23 Crimson Tide turnovers while holding Alabama to 35.1 percent shooting from the floor, including 25.8 percent from three-point range.
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    Watkins drops in 28 in Oxford in Razorback win

    OXFORD, Miss. – University of Arkansas senior Sarah Watkins dropped in a career-best 28 points leading the Razorbacks to a 77-66 Southeastern Conference win against Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., Thursday.

    Watkins was 11-for-15, going 6-for-7 from the line and pulling in five rebounds helping the Razorbacks (15-6, 3-5 SEC) to just the second-ever win in Oxford, Miss., in program history.

    “Sarah was tough tonight,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said.  “We need games like that from her as we continue through the SEC season.  That was our game plan going in as we knew Ole Miss was not big inside.”

    Ole Miss took the early lead with the hot shooting hand in the opening 10 minutes of play.  The Lady Rebels’ aggressive trapping defense prevented Arkansas from getting the ball inside and Ole Miss forced the Razorbacks to handle the ball away from the basket.

    Arkansas, meanwhile, started the game 4-for-13 from the floor as Ole Miss (8-13, 1-7 SEC) opened the lead.  A media timeout allowed the Razorbacks to make some adjustments and the Razorbacks put together a 6-for-7 run in four minutes closing within one, 23-23.

    The Razorbacks tied the game at 25 when Keira Peak drove the lane, was fouled and hit the bonus shot.  The contest was much more closely contested for the rest of the half despite foul trouble for both teams.  The game see-sawed back-and-forth before Arkansas grabbed the lead again on a basket from Peak, at the 3:30 mark.

    Arkansas maintained the lead going into the locker room with a 38-35 advantage.  The 38 points is the highest point total in an SEC game this season.

    Watkins was tough under the hoop in the final 12 minutes in the opening stanza.  The Germantown, Tenn., native scored a game-high 16 points and finished with just one foul in the first 20 minutes.

    Watkins picked up where she left off in the second half and scored well in the paint.  The game remained tight for about the first eight minutes of the second half until Watkins along with Quistelle Williams and Peak really heated up leading Arkansas on a 20-3 run that put the game out of reach for the Lady Rebels.

    Arkansas has played some close, defensive games in their last three contests but the offense came to life tonight.  The Razorbacks shot 48.4 percent with their best point total, 77, in Oxford.  The Razorbacks shot 53.3 percent in the second half behind Watkins.

    Sophomore Jhasmin Bowen added 14 points, while Peak and Williams scored 12 each.  Arkansas also won the rebounding battle. 44-37, and took good care of the basketball with just nine turnovers.

    Sophomore Calli Berna was key to the post players’ success.  She was credited with eight assists and six rebounds.  Berna played 40 minutes without a turnover and she blocked one shot.

    “This is a great win as we head into the next road game,” Collen said.  “We need this momentum as the season continues.”

    Arkansas scored 48 points in the paint and 34 from the bench.
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    Aggies Take Down The Dores In College Station

    COLLEGE STATION--Courtney Walker matched a career high with 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead No. 16 Texas A&M to a hard-fought 60-52 win over Vanderbilt Thursday evening before 4,643 fans at Reed Arena.

    The Aggies (17-5, 7-1 SEC) shot 71 percent in the second half en route to their 11th straight home win and fifth in a row overall, maintaining hold on second place in the league standings. The Commodores, meanwhile, fell to 14-7 and 4-4.

    The visitors held a 39-38 lead with just under 12 minutes to play in the game before A&M made its move. Trailing 39-38, the Aggies went on a 10-0 run-bookended by an Adrienne Pratcher three-pointer and a Pratcher three-point play-to take their largest lead of the game with about 9 minutes to play.

    Vanderbilt slowly chipped away at the deficit, and following a steal and Christina Foggie layup the Commodores pulled within three at 50-47 with 4:48 left in the game.

    Once again, Texas A&M would flex its muscle in front of the home crowd. The Aggies put together another 10-0 run-capped by a Peyton Little three with 1:41 left-to ice the game. A&M's defense was key on the stretch, forcing four missed shots and a pair of turnovers to complement the offensive outburst.

    For only the fourth time this year and the first since late December, Texas A&M found itself trailing heading into the locker room.

    Vanderbilt took control early, racing out to an 8-2 lead on the strength of a pair of three pointers. A&M quickly climbed back in the game however, pulling to within two points in what would then become a closely-played half.

    The Commodores would extend the lead to as much as seven on a Heather Bowe jumper with 2:25 to go before the A&M defense clamped down. Back-to-back jumpers by Courtney Walker, the final with 70 seconds to play before the break, would pull the Aggies to within three at 27-24 heading into halftime.

    Thursday marked A&M's first-ever win over its new SEC foe in the third overall meeting and first between the schools since 1997.

    Walker was the only Aggie in double figures, but three others-Kelsey Bone, Kristi Bellock and Adrienne Pratcher-each poured in eight. Bone narrowly missed yet another double-double with a game-high nine rebounds.

    Foggie led Vanderbilt with 17 points on the night, while Tiffany Clarke added 14 and Bowe 10.

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    Tigers Pick Up Win Over Gators

    Columbia, Mo. - With the game tied at 64 and 1:30 remaining, senior leader Sydney Crafton scored four straight points to put Mizzou (14-8, 3-5) ahead for good as the Tigers knocked off the Florida Gators (13-9) on Thursday (Jan. 31) night by a 69-64 final. The win for the Tigers marked the 40th victory for coach Robin Pingeton. Both teams battled in the tightly contested game, making huge runs as the squads fought for control until the final buzzer. Florida used a 14-0 run to end the first half with a two-point lead, and Missouri went on a 14-0 run in the second half to regain the upper hand in the contest.

    The Tigers were led by freshman guard Lianna Doty, who had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the contest. Center Liz Smith also had a huge day with 15 points and six boards, including going 5-for-6 from the line. Again, the team showed depth on the offensive end with seven of the 10 players who checked in for Mizzou registering points, and six players with eight points or more. The victory for the Tigers gives Mizzou its most wins since the 2006-07 season, when the team totaled 17 victories.

    Mizzou took control of the game early, as Liene Priede nailed a layup on a backdoor feed from Bri Kulas and Smith connected on a layup for an early 4-2 lead. Kyley Simmons nailed a three off a feed from Doty to build the lead to 7-3 at the first media timeout. Morgan Eye entered the game after the break and made two threes with a Crafton free throw in between, keeping the Gators down three at 14-11.

    The Tigers then went on an 8-2 run, fueled by another Eye three and layups by Smith and Kulas to take a 22-13 lead. The Gators responded by going on a 7-1 run, narrowing the Mizzou lead to just three points before the Tigers counted with a 9-0 run behind a Crafton layup, an Eye trey, and four straight Doty points to build the lead to 12 at the 4:42 mark.

    The Gators battled back again, going on a 12-0 run, tying the game at 32 with less than a minute left in the half. A running jump shot for the visiting team with two seconds left gave Florida the lead, capping a 14-0 run to end the first half and giving the Gators a 34-32 lead heading into the locker room.

    Both teams battled to start the second half, trading scores to the first TV timeout with the Gators clinging to a 42-39 lead, as the Tigers took advantage of two scores from Smith and a Simmons layup. Florida started to build a cushion after the break, building the lead to seven at 48-41, with only Simmons connecting for the Tigers before Mizzou took a timeout at the 12:08 mark. Doty broke the scoreless drought by connecting from deep, cutting the deficit to 48-44 at the under-12 media timeout.

    After a Gator free throw, four straight points by Smith brought the Tigers back within one, and a Doty three from the corner put Mizzou back on top at 51-49. Five straight Kulas points gave Mizzou a seven-point lead, and Crafton connected on a jumper to put the Tigers ahead 58-49, forcing a Florida timeout. The Gators hit a three after the break, ending a 14-0 Missouri run and starting a 7-0 Florida run to bring the visitors back within three. Crafton ended the threat, though, with an "and-one" layup to put the Tigers back ahead 61-55 with less than four minutes remaining.