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    SEC Women's Basketball Recap: Thursday, November 14

    THURSDAY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
    Georgia 72, Mercer 41
    Tennessee 80, Chattanooga 56
    Vanderbilt 73, Delaware State 67
    South Carolina 81, Coll. of Charleston 54
    Missouri 78, Evansville 43
    Virginia Tech 71, Florida 59
    Louisville 88, LSU 67

     

    Lady Bulldogs Topple Mercer 72-41

    ATHENS, Ga. -- Sophomore Shacobia Barbee recorded her fourth career double-double and first of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 24 Georgia to a 72-41 victory over Mercer on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum. With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improve to 2-0 on the season while Mercer falls to 1-2 overall.

    The 15 rebounds for Barbee marked a career high, as she surpassed her previous top mark of 12 recorded last season in the NCAA Tournament against Stanford. Three additional Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Erika Ford with 15 points and Merritt Hempe and Khaalidah Miller with 13 points apiece.

    Hempe's 13 points marked a career high over her previous top total of 11 points, recorded exactly one year ago against Presbyterian. Barbee and Miller each tied their career highs with six assists on the night, while Ford chipped in with four steals and a pair of assists.

    "The best thing about tonight is that it looked like they had fun," said Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "They looked like they enjoyed the way they were playing, the style they were playing, and they looked like they enjoyed the give-and-take between each other. The sharing of the ball...the passing...the catching. They just looked like they were a basketball team having fun, and that was the best part about tonight."

    The two teams traded baskets back and forth in the opening eight minutes of the game before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 24-2 over the next eight minutes, including 17 straight points from the 8:58 to the 4:13 mark. Miller scored six points during the spurt while Krista Donald chipped in five points, including her first three-point basket of the season.

    Back-to-back lay-ups by Barbee in the final thirty seconds of the half would help the Lady Bulldogs take a 37-15 lead into the break. Barbee led all scorers at the half with nine points, in addition to snagging seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Georgia held Mercer to just 15 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.

    The Lady Bulldogs continued their strong offensive output in the second half, opening the period on a 14-5 run which was highlighted by eight points from Ford during the spurt. Georgia never looked back the rest of the way, going on to outscore Mercer 20-4 in the paint in the second half and 8-0 on fast break points.

    Georgia held Mercer to just 23 percent shooting from the field for the game, including a 30-percent mark from three-point range. The Lady Bulldogs scored 18 points on the evening off of 22 Mercer turnovers, in addition to collecting 13 steals. Georgia held a 46-8 advantage in points in the paint while shooting 38 percent from the floor.

    The Lady Bulldogs return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host Ohio State at 2 p.m. This will mark the third game in a six-game homestand for Georgia.





    Lady Vols Dominate 2nd Half, Win 80-56

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A year after being upset at Chattanooga, the Lady Vols made sure the Lady Mocs' visit to Knoxville didn't end with a similar result. After being tied at halftime, Tennessee pulled away for an 80-56 victory on Thursday night.

    The #4/3 Lady Vols were led by junior guard Ariel Massengale, who scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the decisive second half. In her regular-season home debut Mercedes Russell posted a career-high 15 points. Bashaara Graves chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds. Meighan Simmons scored 10.

    Tennessee moved to 3-0 while Chattanooga evened its record at 1-1. Last season, the Lady Mocs pulled off the 80-71 stunner to spoil Holly Warlick's head coaching debut. On Thursday, Holly Warlick won her 30th game as a head coach.

    The Lady Vols shot 48.5 for the game including 52.9 in the second half, making its first five 3-point attempts in the final 20 minutes. UT's bench combined for 37 points. The Lady Vols out rebounded UTC, 50-33, led by Cierra Burdick's eight.

    Chattanooga was led by Ashlen Dewart (13) and Taylor Hall (12).

    Tennessee opened the second half on a 21-4 run keyed by seven consecutive points by Massengale to start the game's second stanza. After scoring just three points in a foul-plagued first half, Massengale had 10 of the Lady Vols' first 21 points. UT led 53-36 less than seven minutes into the second half and never looked back.

    UT's pressing defense forced the Lady Mocs into several violations and poor shooting. Chattanooga shot 22.9 in the second half and forced UTC into 16 total turnovers.

    The lead expanded to 21 on Russell's layup with 12 minutes left in the game, putting the Lady Vols ahead, 59-38.

    Jasmine Jones' gave Tennessee a 75-50 lead with three minutes left.

    Tennesse outscored Chattanooga, 48-24, in the second half after the teams stood deadlocked at 32 at halftime.

    Through three games, UT has outscored its foes 134-84 in the second half after standing tied at 94 in the trio of first halves.

    In the first half, Chattanooga attacked primarily from long distance, going 6-of-16 from 3-point range. Faith Dupree led UTC with nine first-half points on 4-of-7 shooting. Tennessee did much of its damage in the paint, scoring 14 of its 32 first-half points inside. Isabelle Harrison had six points and four rebounds at the half while freshman Mercedes Russell went 3-for-3 for six points in just 10 minutes.

    Chattanooga's Alex Black made a 3-pointer with 1:01 left in the first half and Simmons answered with a short jumper from the right side 20 seconds later. Ka'Vonne Towns drove for a layup with 13 seconds remaining to knot the game at 32-32 heading into the break.

    Lady Vol freshman Mercedes Russell had back-to-back buckets in the paint with under four minutes until halftime to push UT's lead to 26-23. The 6-6 rookie swished a smooth turnaround jumper from 10 feet out with 3:10 left to excite the home crowd.

    Andraya Carter nailed a three pointer from the left wing at the 7:44 mark to tie the game at 18-18. That shot sparked a 7-0 Tennessee run to push UT ahead. Carter hit a pair of free throws with 6:08 left to give UT a 20-18 lead. Simmons followed with a steal and a layup to give the team a four-point advantage.

    Down seven points, the Lady Vols started climbing back. Jordan Reynolds hit a jumper from the top of the key at 10:31 and Harrison connected on a long jumper from the left side a minute later to pull UT to within 16-13. Harrison knocked down a jump shot from the right side to make it a one-point game with 8:25 left in the half.

    Massengale got into foul trouble coming out of the first media timeout. With UT down 8-7, Massengale charged down the lane and drew an offensive foul at the 14:28 mark. With two fouls, she went to the bench. With Carter running the point, Chattanooga went on an 8-2 run to build a 16-9 lead.

    Tennessee took the lead when Graves made a layup 42 seconds in to the game. On the Lady Mocs' ensuing possession, Graves and Harrison picked up fouls before Taylor Hall sunk a jumper to even the game at 2-2.

    Tennessee will next host Georgia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX Sports South/FOX Sports Tennessee. The Lady Vol Network will also carry a radio broadcast.





    `Dores escape upset, defeat Delaware State, 73-67

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vanderbilt women's basketball team escaped a scare Thursday night at Memorial Gym, knocking off Delaware State 73-67. After a poor shooting first half the Commodores exploded for 50 points in the second, shooting 61 percent on 19-of-31 from the field. Christina Foggie led the `Dores, picking up her first career double-double with 16 points and a career high 10 rebounds.

    Vandy shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) for the game and converted on 15-of-19 shots from the charity stripe.

    Delaware State shot 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the floor and hit 5-of-19 from outside the arc.





    Dozier, Welch Lead Gamecocks Past College of Charleston 81-54

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Behind career efforts from junior forward Aleighsa Welch and sophomore forward Asia Dozier, No. 21/17 South Carolina (3-0) defeated College of Charleston (1-2) 81-54 in non-conference action on Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena. Dozier led the Gamecocks with a career-high 16 points. Welch paced the rebounding effort, hauling in a career-high 17 boards.

    “I’m very happy for her (Dozier) because I know that it was a tough year last year,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “There were a tough couple of games last year where she really didn’t get the opportunity to shoot it. Tonight, I think she felt it, and it was going in for her. I’m very, very happy for Asia, and it was a long time coming.”

    From the opening tip, the Cougars came out firing. Junior forward Christy Hewatt scored five points to push College of Charleston to an early 9-0 lead.

    A 3-pointer from redshirt sophomore guard Tina Roy pulled the Gamecocks within four at 7-11, but the Cougars surged out ahead by nine again at the midway point of the first half with a 25-16 advantage.

    Welch kept South Carolina within striking distance, seemingly all over the court for offensive rebounds and loose balls. The forward’s effort eventually changed the game’s momentum as she brought her team within two at 28-26 on a three-point play at the under-eight media timeout.

    Dozier made her presence felt when she sank back-to-back 3-pointers with 6:35 left in the first half. The much-needed points gave South Carolina its first lead of the night at 32-28 and forced the visitors to call a timeout to stop the surge.

    Newly invigorated, South Carolina stretched its lead to 14 just before the break and entered the half with a 46-32 lead.

    Charleston’s senior guard Alyssa Frye sank a 3-pointer two minutes into the second half to cut into the deficit at 48-39, but it was the closest the Cougars would get for the rest of the night.

    Ramping up the defensive effort, the Gamecocks limited the Cougars to short, one-shot possessions. South Carolina used transition play to their advantage and rattled off a 15-0 run to take command of the game at 63-39.

    The Gamecocks built a 32-point lead, their largest of the night, at 78-46 with under seven minutes on the clock and never looked back.

    Seven of Welch’s career-high 17 rebounds were on the offensive end. The forward rounded out her second-straight double-double with 12 points on the night. Dozier’s 16 points on 4-of-8 3-point shooting was also a career-best. Three other Gamecocks scored in double figures as well, junior center Elem Ibiam pouring in 12 points with Tiffany Mitchell and Alaina Coates contributing 11 apiece.

    South Carolina out-rebounded College of Charleston 62-38. The Gamecocks were active on the offensive boards, corralling 23 rebounds that led to 23 second-chance points.

    Tolbert had a double-double on the night, leading the Cougars with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

    The Gamecocks return to Colonial Life Arena at 3:00 p.m., Sun., Nov. 17, as they continue non-conference play against Seton Hall.





    Three-point Barrage Lifts Tigers Past Evansville, 78-34

    Columbia, Mo. -- Hot shooting from beyond the arc propelled the Missouri Women's basketball team to a 78-43 win over the Evansville Purple Aces on Thursday at Mizzou Arena. The victory is the Tigers third straight to start the season.

    A heavy dose of Bri Kulas in the opening minutes helped Missouri grab an early 11-7 lead. The senior captain scored nine of the team's first 11 points. After drilling a contested three-pointer, she blocked a shot on the ensuing defensive possession. From then on, Evansville began double-teaming Kulas, allowing her to dish to fellow forward Jordan Frericks for an easy lay-up.

    With so much attention being focused on the post, Missouri's sharpshooters found open looks from long range. Morgan Stock buried two quick three-pointers off the bench and Tania Jackson nailed her first trey ball of the season to give the Tigers a 21-9 advantage with 12 minutes left in the first half.

    Mizzou poured in 15 total three-pointers and rode 45-percent shooting from the field to sustain its lead throughout the game. Seven different Tigers made a shot from beyond the arc. Freshman Sierra Michaelis got in on the action in the second half. Her back-to-back long balls with 11 minutes to go handed Missouri a 27-point lead. She finished with a career-high 10 points.

    Stock tallied 15 points behind five three-pointers, matching her performance from Sunday's win over SIUE. Missouri's bench contributed 43 points, good for more than half of the team's total.

    Despite the efficient shooting from the Tiger guards, the post players led the way in scoring. Frericks earned her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kulas added a team-high 16 points.

    Missouri remains undefeated, moving to 3-0 on the season. The Tigers will get a week off before hosting SEMO at 7 p.m. Nov. 21.





    UF WBK Cannot Overcome Poor First Half in Loss at Virginia Tech, 71-59

    BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Behind 21 points from Jaterra Bonds, Florida nearly overcame a 28-point deficit but in the end the point spread proved to be too much in a 71-59 loss at Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum Thursday evening in the Gator's first road game of season.

    Florida, which was looking for its first 3-0 start since the 2002-03 season, used a furious second-half rally to chip away at the Hokies' 39-15 halftime lead and came within four points, 53-49, with 6:51 remaining after Cassie Peoples hit a pullup jumper in the paint.

    Virginia Tech responded with an 11-3 run and Florida was unable to stage one final push, having used its last timeout with 8:45 to go.

    Bonds also tied her career-high eight rebounds, as she converted 9-of-10 free throws.

    Fellow senior Lily Svete also finished with a double-figure scoring effort, netting all 12 of her points in the second half from behind the arc.

    All eight Gators who dressed for the game scored, with Kayla Lewis contributing 9 points and 11 rebounds to lead UF's charge on the boards where the won the battle, 38-34.

    Florida ended the game with a 33.3 shooting percentage, including a 46.7 mark during the second half when the team hit 5-of15 from long range.

    Virginia Tech's Vanessa Panousis led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Uju Ugoka posted 17 points and 12 rebounds.

    January Miller's bucket with 10:34 remaining in the first half brought the Gators within five points, 15-10, however, that would be the team's final field goal of the frame, getting just five more points from the free throw line en route to the 39-15 halftime deficit.

    Florida took the shots it wanted in the opening 20 minutes, but couldn't get the ball to fall and converted a mere 16.7 percent (4-24) during the first half, including a 0-8 effort from long range.

    Virginia Tech capitalized on Florida's shooting woes, as the Hokies ripped off a game-changing 18-0 run over a 5:23 span that gave them a commanding 33-10 lead with 4:44 remaining in the half.

    Bonds was UF's leading scorer in the first half with six points, while Lewis and Ronni Williams both netted three.





    NO. 4 LOUISVILLE PULLS AWAY FROM NO. 14 LSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL IN WNIT SEMIFINAL, 88-67

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Senior forward Asia Taylor scored a game-high 23 points and fourth-ranked Louisville pulled away with a 20-0 second-half run to defeat the 14th-ranked LSU women’s basketball team, 88-67, in the semifinals of the preseason WNIT on Thursday night in the KFC Yum Center.

    Louisville (3-0) advances to Sunday’s WNIT championship game and will face the winner of Oklahoma-Gonzaga. There will not be a WNIT third place consolation game. The Lady Tigers (2-1) will continue their regular season with their next game at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Hampton in the Maravich Center. Season ticket holders are asked to discard the remaining “if necessary” WNIT tickets.

    A crowd of 8,009, including 2,500 who received a free beer from Louisville head coach Jeff Walz upon entrance, saw a back-and-forth contest for 26 minutes until the Cardinals capitalized on LSU turnovers and got into the up-tempo pace of play they wanted.

    “The game is a 40-minute game and we only played about 30,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “We can’t take possessions off because against a team like Louisville, they will tear you apart. (Asia) Taylor really set the tone for tonight, coming after our post game. The two areas of concern for us were their transition game and their offensive rebounding. They capitalized on both.”

    Senior forward Theresa Plaisance led LSU with 13 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Raigyne Moncrief added 13 points and two steals. Senior guard Jeanne Kenney hit three three-pointers and took three charges as part of an 11-point effort.

    Taylor, who missed all of last season with a hip injury, was dominant on both ends of the floor. She was 10-of-16 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds and two steals. Five Cardinals finished with double-digit scoring, including 15 points from All-America guard Shoni Schimmel.

    The Lady Tigers hung tough in the first half as Plaisance established herself inside with nine points. LSU trailed 40-36 into the locker room and then 49-46 following a Danielle Ballard offensive rebound tip-in with 16:04 to play.

    Schimmel then showed her athleticism when she found Taylor on a behind-the-back pass for a lay-up that drew the crowd to its feet. DaShawn Harden followed with an errant pass that was stolen by Taylor who scored on another lay-up. Four straight possessions with turnovers by LSU pushed the lead to double-digits for the first time following a tough fadeaway jumper from Schimmel.

    Plaisance ended the drought with a bucket and the team’s traded threes with 10:53 to go. With LSU trailing 60-54, the Cardinals went on the back-breaking 20-0 run with most of the scoring coming in the paint and on offensive rebounds. The Lady Tigers went cold from the floor for over five minutes. Taylor scored six straight points. Louisville, who was 1-of-7 from three in the first half, drained two threes during the spurt.

    “I thought we started jump shooting the ball too much,” said Caldwell. “We should have gotten the ball inside and been more patient. The second thing was we didn’t take care of the basketball.”

    The Cardinals out-scored LSU 54-26 in the paint and scored 21 points off 15 turnovers. The Lady Tigers shot 37.3 percent and just 31.3 percent in the second half. Louisville shot a blistering 60.6 percent in the second half and finished 57.8 percent for the game.