|sec women's basketball RESULTS
|Georgia 62, Florida 57
|South Carolina 62, Ole Miss 47
|LSU 63, Mississippi State 41
|Auburn 70, Alabama 53
|Arkansas 61, Missouri 40
|Tennessee 83, Vanderbilt 64
Hassell Leads Lady Bulldogs Past Gators
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Jasmine Hassell notched her third straight double-double, including a career-high 16 rebounds, to lead No. 13 Georgia to a 62-57 victory over Florida at the O'Connell Center on Sunday.
Hassell's 16 points and 16 boards paced the Lady Bulldogs (21-4, 9-3), while Jasmine James chipped in a dozen points. Nine different players scored for Georgia, including key late three-pointers by Khaalidah Miller and Anne Marie Armstrong.
"There were a lot of people who contributed quality minutes for us today," head coach Andy Landers said. "I'm very pleased for and proud of our basketball team."
Jennifer George led Florida (15-11, 4-8 SEC) with a game-high 17 points.
Early on, it appeared the Gators would avenge their 17-point loss in Athens last month. Florida led 24-12 midway through the first half before the Lady Bulldogs rallied to tie the game with a 12-0 run. Georgia took the lead on a pair of Hassell free throws with 2.8 seconds on the clock.
"We turned the ball over and Florida was making plays," Landers said. "It was vital that we were able to get back in the game so quickly. If you play behind like that, 40 minutes can seem like four hours. To be able to not only get back in the game before half but take the lead right before half was a big boost for us."
The contest featured 10 ties and seven lead changes and neither team led by more than two possessions throughout the second half until James hit both ends of a one-and-one with six seconds remaining that put Georgia up 62-55.
The Lady Bulldogs led for most of the second half but could never put any significant distance on the scoreboard. Armstrong's three with 3:03 left put Georgia up 55-51; however, jumpers by George and Sydney Moss knotted the score for the 10th and final time with 2:21 left.
James canned a jumper with five seconds left on the shot clock at the 1:56 mark and Miller knocked down her third three of the second half with 39 seconds remaining to put Georgia up 60-55.
Following a missed three by Carlie Needles, the Gators fouled over the final 32 seconds but could pull no closer.
The Gators gained the game's first substantial lead with an 11-1 covering 3:19 that put Florida up 24-12 with 8:18 left in the first half. After a pair of timeouts due to the Gators' full-court press, Erika Ford scored on a floor-length pass from Armstrong to start a 12-0 spurt that tied the game at 24-24 with 2:55 on the clock.
Hassell eventually closed the first half scoring with a pair of free throws with 2.8 seconds left in the period to give Georgia a 30-28 advantage at the break.
Gamecocks Power Past Ole Miss 62-47
OXFORD, Miss. - No. 16/14 South Carolina scored a 62-47 victory at Ole Miss Sunday afternoon behind a double-double from Ashley Bruner (15 pts/13 rebs), her third in four games and 10th of her career. Four Gamecocks (21-5, 9-4 SEC) finished with double-figure points, let by Bruner and Tiffany Mitchell with 15 each. South Carolina solved the Rebels’ zone, finding seams to get to the basket or hit pull-up jumpers, and won the battle of the boards with a 45-39 rebounding advantage.
South Carolina brought Mitchell of the bench for the first time this season, and the freshman went right to work, finishing the half with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Mitchell did much of her damage in transition as the Gamecocks controlled the defensive glass, led by Bruner’s six among her eight total boards in the opening 20 minutes, and swiped four steals in the first period. Defensively, South Carolina was right on track, limiting the Rebels to just 15 points.
After the Rebels pulled within a point a 9-8 six minutes into the contest, South Carolina stormed through a 13-3 run that established a 22-11 lead with six minutes to go in the half. Aleighsa Welch kicked off the surge with a pair of free throws, and Ieasia Walker hit a turnaround jumper ahead of a Diara Moore free throw. Sancheon White’s pull-up jumper kept things going, as did Ole Miss turnovers on three of its next four possessions, two of which led directly to Mitchell layups. Valencia McFarland drove the baseline for an Ole Miss basket, but the Gamecocks hit a free throw and a transition jumper for the 11-point advantage. The teams traded basketball in the final stretch with the Gamecocks scoring on a lob to Mitchell in the last possession to take a 29-15 lead into halftime.
Ole Miss stormed out of the locker room on a 10-2 run to pull within six at 31-25 just 90 seconds into the second half. Bruner and Welch got the Gamecocks back on track, sparking a 9-0 spurt that returned the lead to 15 points. Bruner’s move underneath got things going, and Welch converted a traditional three-point play to go up 36-25 with just under 18 minutes to play. Khadijah Sessions added a baseline jumper, and Welch hit another shot rolling to the basket.
The Rebels continued to battle, but the Gamecocks would not let them have any traction, going inside relentlessly where Bruner and Welch converted on a regular basis while the defense did not allow consecutive baskets for the final 9:46 of the game.
Bruner’s 13 rebounds are her highest mark in an SEC game in her career, and she added three steals and two assists to her effort. Welch and Sessions each added 11 points to the offensive effort, and Walker posted five assists and five steals to go with her six rebounds. The Gamecocks shot 39.4 percent from the field and reset their season-high free throw percentage for the second-straight game, hitting 72.7 percent from the charity stripe. South Carolina out-scored Ole Miss 38-22 in the paint and converted 15 offensive rebounds into 16 points.
LSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CONTINUES DOMINANCE OF MISSISSIPPI STATE, MOVES TO .500 IN SEC PLAY WITH 63-41 WIN
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Freshman Danielle Ballard stole the show, scoring a game-high 19 points with seven rebounds and four steals as the LSU women’s basketball team turned in its best defensive effort of the season in a 63-41 blowout of Mississippi State on Sunday in Humphrey Coliseum.
The Lady Tigers (15-10, 6-6 SEC) claimed back-to-back Southeastern Conference wins for the first time this season and in the process topped the Lady Bulldogs for the seventh consecutive time dating back to the 2009 season.
LSU moved back to .500 in the league standings and could possibly move into a tie for sixth place depending on the outcome of Sunday evening’s Vanderbilt-Tennessee game. Vanderbilt entered Sunday’s play with a 6-5 SEC record.
Mississippi State dropped to 11-14 overall and 3-9 in conference play.
Ballard, playing in front of dozens of family members who made the drive from Memphis, disrupted the Lady Bulldogs with her quickness on the perimeter. She finished 7-of-9 from the floor and produced her highest scoring output since putting in 24 points in the SEC opener on Jan. 3. With her four steals on Sunday, Ballard moved into third place in LSU freshman steals with 78. She inched closer to Joyce Walker’s freshman record of 86 in 1980-81.
“She (Ballard) showed the type of player that she is today,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “Her stat line across the board, from getting steals to grabbing rebounds, was very positive. She was instrumental for us on the defensive end.”
Adrienne Webb scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half made 7-of-7 from the free throw line for LSU, which finished an efficient 17-of-21 from the line. Theresa Plaisance added 14 points, a career-high three three-pointers, three blocks and two steals. Jeanne Kenney dished out six assists.
LSU set the tone with its physical defensive play inside, none bigger than the inspired play of Shanece McKinney. McKinney, making her fourth straight start, scored five points and blocked a career-high five shots. She took the SEC’s top rebounder and Mississippi State’s top scorer, Martha Alwal, away from her inside game. Alwal was held scoreless for the second time this SEC season, and she managed only one rebound.
“Shanece McKinney continues to step up to the challenge” said Caldwell. “Her low-post defense set the tone for us. Once the ball did go inside, we stayed between them and the basket. Alwal is a great player, and today, McKinney did a great job.”
The Lady Tigers quickly built on a 28-25 halftime lead when Webb scored the first five points of the second half for LSU highlighted by an old-fashioned three-point play. Plaisance stepped up and hit a three from the top of the key, and on the ensuing possession she found Webb cutting to the lane for a lay-up. The Lady Tigers accounted for their first double-digit lead, 40-29, with 15:51 to play.
A 17-3 run put the game away as Plaisance again buried a trey. Bianca Lutley stole an inbound pass and then fired it to Ballard for an easy transition layup. Meanwhile, LSU’s defense held MSU to only one field goal in a seven-minute span that saw the lead grow to 20. MSU was out-scored 35-16 in the final 20 minutes.
“We able to make a run and that gave us the momentum that we needed,” said Caldwell. “The week we had prior to coming to Mississippi State helped us prepare for today’s game. We knew that was going to be a tough week for us, and we knew we could play with some of the best teams in the country.”
The Lady Tigers out-rebounded their third consecutive opponent and held MSU to 24.6 percent shooting for the game, the lowest by an opponent against LSU this season. The Lady Bulldogs shot 18.8 percent in the second half to LSU’s 52.6 percent.
Blanche Alverson Leads Auburn To 70-53 Win Over Alabama
AUBURN – In the final regular season contest of her career against Alabama, Blanche Alverson left her mark, posting 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists against the Crimson Tide to lead Auburn to a 70-53 victory Sunday at Auburn Arena.
The Tigers snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved to 14-11 (3-9 SEC), while Alabama fell to 12-13 (2-10 SEC).
“I thought the first half, we really set the tone immediately,” Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “I thought we came out and played extremely well. I thought Hasina Muhammad did a very good job of controlling the game right from the beginning, and then Blanche Alverson stepped in and helped us score, as well.”
It marked Alverson’s third double-double of her career and the second this season. She was one of three Tigers in double figures, as Hasina Muhammad added 15 points and Tyrese Tanner tallied 14. Alverson also set new career highs with her team-leading 11 rebounds and six assists.
“Coach Flo had told us that we needed to step up, especially with (Najat Ouardad) being out,” said Alverson. “This could be the last time I play Alabama so it definitely meant a lot more. I definitely wanted to put the team on my shoulders and get out to a good start.”
With her 22 points on the day, Alverson is now 24th all-time in career scoring at Auburn with 1,109 points.
Auburn took an early lead on a 3-pointer from Alverson, but traded baskets with Alabama for much of the opening half. The Tigers went on an 8-0 run to break out to a 10-point lead at 22-12 with 8:42 remaining, and the Crimson Tide never recovered.
With 7:19 to play, the Tigers widened the lead to 30-14 in a little less than a minute as three Auburn steals led to six points off turnovers. Auburn held Alabama to just four points in the final six minutes of the half.
The Tigers took a 41-18 lead into the locker room. The 18 points scored by the Crimson Tide in the first half were the fewest by an SEC opponent this season, beating out the 20 points Auburn held Arkansas to in the SEC-opener.
Auburn was up by as many as 28 points with 18:10 to play and maintained a 20-point margin for the majority of the second half. The Tigers scored 20 points off 18 forced turnovers and out-rebounded the Crimson Tide, 44-33.
For Auburn, it marked the 13th time this season for the Tigers to score 20 or more points off turnovers.
Razorbacks scratch out win over Missouri Sunday
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Good guard play and sticky defense paced the University of Arkansas women's basketball team to a 61-40 win over Missouri in SEC action Sunday in the team's annual Pink Game.
Arkansas (17-8, 5-7 SEC) got 18 points from freshman Dominique Wilson and nine from sophomore Calli Berna in the program's second win over the Tigers since Missouri joined the SEC this season. Wilson became the first Arkansas freshman since 2006 to score at least 17 points in three consecutive games.
The Razorbacks held one of the top five three-point shooting teams in the country with just two triples and allowed the Tigers just 11 first half points - an opponent low in an SEC game in program history. The 40 points allowed is the lowest point total by an SEC opponent this season.
“We played great defense and we didn’t give them many open looks,” Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. “We did a good job of executing our game plan defensively in the first half. We missed some easy shots in the first half and really never found our rhythm in the second half offensively but we did enough to get the win.”
An early-game 15-0 run by the Razorbacks allowed Arkansas to establish the tempo and Missouri struggled to recover from the quick home team lead. The Razorback defense was stingy and the Tigers, one of the best three point shooting teams in the country, had attempted, and missed, just one three in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Erin Gatling, who was an offensive force in the first meeting between these teams, was a defensive stopper in the opening frame getting a hand in the passing lanes and disrupting the Tigers who never settled into a shooting rhythm in the first half. Gatling finished the game with nine points, going 6-for-6 from the line.
The Tigers were ice cold from the floor going 8:47 without a basket before getting a layup to cut the lead to 11, 17-6.
Arkansas ended the half on a 9-0 run and went into the locker room with a 33-11 lead, holding the Tigers to the lowest point total in a half in an SEC game in program history. Arkansas forced 10 Missouri turnovers while committing a season-low three miscues in the first half.
The Razorback post players had more success in the second half as Arkansas continued to control the pace and tempo of the game. Sarah Watkins finished the day with 12 points, her 17th game in double figure scoring. Jhasmin Bowen dropped in eight for Arkansas as they scored 12 points in the paint in the win.
For the game, Arkansas shot 38 percent going 17-for-45 from the floor. The Razorbacks outrebounded Missouri 39-32, and forced 20 Tiger turnovers. Arkansas hit five threes in the win.
#12/10 Tennessee Pinks Out Vandy, 83-64
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- On "Live Pink, Bleed Orange" day at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Lady Vols sent the crowd of 14,716 home happy with an 83-64 victory over Vanderbilt. The No. 12/10 Lady Vols remained perfect all-time in home games against the Commodores, winning all 28 match-ups in Knoxville.
Tennessee won its third game in a row and moved to 20-5 overall and 11-1 in the league. The Lady Vols took over first place in the SEC with the victory as Texas A&M (10-1 in the SEC) plays Kentucky on Monday night.
Five Lady Vols scored in double-figures led by Meighan Simmons (17), who led UT in scoring for the 14th time this season.
Freshman Jasmine Jones was an unlikely offensive source for the Lady Vols as she tallied 12 points, 10 in the first half.
Sophomore Ariel Massengale added an SEC season-high 14 points, freshman Bashaara Graves added 13 while Taber Spani had 12.
Vanderbilt fell to 16-9, 6-6 in the SEC. The Commodores were led by Jasmine Lister, who netted a game-high 24 points.
The victory also gave the Lady Vols their 37th consecutive season with 20 or more wins. Since 1976-77, Tennessee has won at least 22 games in every season.
Holly Warlick became the first head coach in the history of Tennessee women's basketball to win 20 games in her first season at the helm. Pat Summitt went 16-8 in her first season leading the Lady Vols in 1974-75.
Up by 10 at halftime, the Lady Vols came out strong in the second half, expanding the lead to 16 in a little over two minutes as Simmons finished a 3-point play with 2:13 elapsed, 49-33.
The lead ballooned to 20 at 60-40 on a 7-0 run keyed by a 3-pointer from Spani with 13 minutes left.
Vanderbilt got within 10 on three occasions in the final 8:40 of the game, but the Lady Vols were able to maintain the double-figure lead.
Tennessee shot 55 percent from the floor including 55.9 in the second half. Tennessee held its largest lead of the first half heading into halftime as Jones knocked down jumper with nine seconds left in the half. That gave UT a 39-29 edge at intermission. It was the first double-figure lead of the game.
Just prior, Jones keyed a Lady Vols 8-1 run late in the first half with back-to-back jumpers giving UT a 33-24 lead with 3:51 left in the first half.
Tennessee went on a 10-0 run after Vanderbilt scored the game's first basket to lead 10-3 on an Massengale 3-pointer with less than three minutes elapsed. UT start 6-of-8 from the floor.
Vanderbilt's 7-0 run brought the Commodores cut the deficit to 14-12 with 12 minutes left as Jasmine Jenkins laid one home.
Vandy briefly tied the game at 16, but Simmons answered with a 3-pointer with 10 minutes left in the game to regain the lead, 19-16.