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    Thursday Night Women's Hoops Report

    WOMen's Basketball RESULTS
    Georgia 61,  Auburn 58
    South Carolina 65,  Alabama 53
    Kentucky 80,  Arkansas 74
    Tennessee 64,  LSU 62


    South Carolina Picks Up 65-53 Win at Alabama

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Three forwards for No. 15/12 South Carolina combined for 43 points in the Gamecocks’ 65-53 win at Alabama Thursday night. Ashley Bruner and Aleighsa Welch each posted a double-double as South Carolina picked up its 20th win of the season and improved to 8-2 in the SEC. Elem Ibiam added a career-high 12 points, all scored in an eight-minute span in the second half to help hold off a charge from the Crimson Tide. The Gamecocks were dominant on the glass, out-rebounding Alabama 53-24, including 28 second-chance points on 24 offensive boards.
    Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, and long offensive surges defined the first 20 minutes of play. The Gamecocks had things humming along early with Bruner putting quick moves on defenders in the paint to get open for basket after basket. A Khadijah Sessions pull-up jumper gave South Carolina a 13-3 lead with 13:29 left in the half. The Crimson Tide answered with a barrage of 3-pointers to close within three at 17-14 midway through the period. 
    Bruner and Welch went to work in the post, and Asia Dozier added five points on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and a put back as the Gamecocks stretched their lead back to nine points with 6:31 to play in the half. The Crimson Tide crashed the glass and took advantage of Gamecock turnovers to post an 8-2 run that cut the South Carolina lead to two at 29-27. Bruner’s putback ended the half, sending the Gamecocks into the locker room with a 31-27 lead.
    Welch came out of the locker room on fire, aggressive on the glass and in going to the basket. She scored the first six points of the half and grabbing every rebound available. The run stretched into a 13-2 surge that put the Gamecocks up 44-29 with 13:25 left on the clock. After Welch’s eight points, White and Bruner each added a free throw. Alabama scored its first basket of the half on a putback from Briana Hutchen. Ieasia Walker answered with a 3-pointer from the right side after an offensive rebound, and Sancheon White capped the run with a jumper from the free throw line.
    The Crimson Tide had one more run in them, but it was turned away almost single-handedly by Ibiam. The sophomore scored eight straight points to match Alabama shot-for-shot. Tiffany Mitchell’s transition layup finished off the stretch for the Gamecocks’ largest lead of the game 57-37 with 7:47 to play. 
    Welch’s 16 points led the offense, and she added 10 rebounds – seven offensive to her effort. Bruner joined her in double-double honors with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Ibiam’s 12 points came with five rebounds, including three offensive. Walker and Bruner tied for team-high honors with four assists each. The Gamecocks out-scored the Crimson Tied 42-22 in the paint and turned 12 Alabama turnovers into 18 points.
    Georgia Picks Up 20th Win 
    ATHENS, Ga. --- No. 9 Georgia used a 61-58 win over Auburn to secure the 28th 20-win season in program history on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
    Jasmine Hassell turned in a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead a quartet of double-digit scorers. Shacobia Barbee, Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller scored 14, 13 and 10 points, respectively. Barbee also notched eight rebounds and James tallied a game-high five steals.
    "I thought Auburn showed a lot of resilience tonight," said head coach Andy Landers. "I thought defensively we got after them and created some havoc. I thought they got frustrated, and while they were frustrated, they were turning the ball over and we were scoring the basketball to get a lead. But they stayed the course and stayed with everything. They went about their business of cutting the lead, and then when they got the score close, they became very good in the half court. You have to give them credit for that. But with that said, I don't remember when we've missed more chip shots than tonight." 
    The Lady Bulldogs (20-3, 8-2 SEC) recorded a season-high free throw percentage of 86.4 percent by shooting 19-of-22 from the charity stripe. Georgia's 19 free throws is also a season high.
    The Tigers (13-10, 8-2 SEC) were led by Hasina Muhammad, who scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
    After a slow start by both teams, the Lady Bulldogs found their stride and sailed to a 19-7 lead with just under 13 minutes on the clock. Auburn then executed an 8-2 surge to pull within in six, 21-15.
    Georgia refused to allow the Tigers any closer and used a quick 9-0 run to pull ahead 30-15, which was the Lady Bulldogs' largest lead of the game. Auburn scored the next six points, before Georgia closed out the half with four consecutive free throws to bring the score to 34-22.
    In the first period, Georgia scored 12 points off of 14 Auburn turnovers, while allowing the Tigers to score just five points off of seven turnovers. The Lady Bulldogs also tallied seven steals compared to Auburn's two.
    The Tigers came out strong in the second half, scoring five points in the first minute. Auburn eventually whittled Georgia's lead to 36-31. For the next few minutes, the Tigers matched the Lady Bulldogs basket-for-basket before going on a 6-0 run that brought the score to 42-41.
    With 10:30 remaining, Georgia reeled off five unanswered points, stretching its lead to 47-41. Auburn continued to keep it interesting and kept the Lady Bulldogs from taking another decisive advantage.
    The Tigers connected on just their third free throw of the night to tie the game at 51-51 with under five minutes left in the game. Auburn tied the score again at 53-53, before Georgia pulled ahead 60-55 with 11 ticks left on the clock. The Tigers hit a long three with four seconds remaining, but then fouled Barbee, who connected on a free throw to bring the score to 61-58 before time ran out on Auburn.

    Kentucky Defeats Arkansas In Fayetteville

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sarah Watkins’ 25 points wasn’t enough to life the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team, as they gave No. 10/8 Kentucky all they could handle at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday night. The Razorbacks pushed the Wildcats to the brink, but fell 80-74 in overtime. Arkansas had three players in double figures, led by Watkins with 25 points and freshman Dominique Wilson who had a career high 17 points. Arkansas fell to 15-8, 3-7 in the SEC, while Kentucky improved to 20-3 and 8-2 in the SEC.

    With the defenses tightening before half, Kentucky closed the half on a 9-2 run over the final 6:52, but Arkansas took a 33-28 lead into the locker room. Watkins reached double figures in the first half for the fourth time this season, and Wilson had the second highest scoring half of her career.
    In the second half, Kentucky opened on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 35. The Wildcats took advantage of six Razorback turnovers to take the lead at 44-42, their first lead of the night since hitting the game’s opening basket. Arkansas responded, as Williams hit a three pointer and Wilson hit consecutive layups to take a 50-46 lead. 
    The Razorback run continued as Watkins drained her first three pointer of the year to extend the lead to 56-50 and cap a 9-2 run. UA made nine of their first 18 shots en route to a 60-54 lead with five minutes to play. 
    Kentucky answered with a 6-0 run, tying the game with 2:31 to play. Kentucky scored to take a 62-61 lead, but Williams answered with a layup and a free throw to take a 64- 62 lead with 50 seconds remaining. Kentucky answered with a bucket to tie the score with 25 seconds remaining. 
    In overtime, Kentucky pulled away from the Razorbacks. UK jumped out to a 75-68 lead before an Erin Gatling three cut the lead to four. Watkins hit another three pointer, but Kentucky finished off the six point victory.  
    Lady Vols Win In Dramatic Fashion
    BATON ROUGE, La. -- In dramatic fashion, the No. 12/13 Lady Vols battled down to the wire with LSU as freshman Bashaara Graves sank the game-winning bucket with .8 seconds left to defeat the Tigers, 64-62, at the Rich Maravich Assembly Center Thursday.
    In the first meeting between between first-year head coach Holly Warlick and former Lady Vol and current LSU coach Nikki Caldwell, Tennessee (18-5, 9-1 SEC) powered through the LSU defense to earn its ninth SEC win of the season, and seventh straight victory over the Tigers. LSU fell to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in league action.
    Junior Meighan Simmons led the team as she posted 18 points, while Graves followed with 17. Sophomores Ariel Massengale and Cierra Burdick added nine apiece. Burdick grabbed a team-best nine boards with senior Kamiko Williams bringing down six.
    The Lady Vols shot 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field for the game, while shooting 60 percent in the second half alone. UT went 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from the 3-point range and 50 percent (5-of-10) from the free throw line.
    LSU's Theresa Plaisance led all players as she tallied 20 points for the Tigers. Bianca Lutley added 13, while freshman Danielle Ballard contributed 10.
    The Lady Vols jumped to a 9-0 lead to start the game, gaining as much as an 11-point lead as they went up 13-2 before the Tigers battled their way back. LSU scored eight straight to cut it to three, then went on to a 7-0 run to give them a one-point lead at the under-9 minute mark in the opening half. UT led 28-26 heading into the locker rooms at the halfway point.
    Coming out of the break, the Lady Vols kick started their efforts as they went up 34-27 before LSU responded again.
    For every basket UT made, LSU would respond with its own. With four minutes remaining, a charge was called on Massengale as momentum seemed to turn in the Tigers' favor.
    LSU hung on to the lead until 7.1 seconds left when Burdick was fouled. She missed the first free throw before making the second to tie it up, 62-62. A UT steal on the Tigers' inbounds pass would give Tennessee the ball back, before Graves made the final basket with .8 seconds on the clock to give UT the lead and victory.