MORAGA, Calif. – The Alabama women’s basketball team outscored Cal State Fullerton by 14 points in the second half to win, 69-54, Saturday at the Saint Mary’s College Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic at McKeon Pavilion. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 3-4 on the season, while the loss drops the Titans to 1-5.
Shafontaye Myers led Alabama in scoring for the second game in a row to earn All-Tournament Team honors. The senior averaged 17.5 points for the tournament after having 15 points versus Fullerton and 20 points against Saint Mary’s. Nikki Hegstetter was productive all-around in today’s game with 14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two assists, while Daisha Simmons added 12 points, a career-high 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
The majority of the game went back-and-forth with seven ties and nine lead changes, with four of the ties and seven of the lead changes coming in the first half. Alabama would head into the break leading Fullerton, 27-26, and opened the second half on a 10-5 run to lead 37-31. The six-point lead, which was the largest for either team to that point, was soon diminished as the Titans responded with six of their own to tie the game at 37. Fullerton evened the score two more times before the Tide distanced itself with a 15-3 run over the next seven minutes. From that point on, the Titans would come no closer than eight points for the duration of the contest as Alabama outscored Cal State Fullerton 12-5 down the stretch.
For the game, the Tide shot 42.6 percent (26-61) from the floor and was 56.3 percent (9-16) from three-point range, while the Titans connected on 32.3 percent (20-62) of their attempts overall and 33.3 percent (9-27) from beyond the arc. Alabama outscored Fullerton, 32-12, in the paint and had 30 points off the bench compared to the Titans’ eight points from reserves.
Alabama begins its four-game home stand on Wednesday when it hosts UT Martin in Foster Auditorium. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT.
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWBB on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.
Florida Takes Care of Oregon State
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama Island - Sophomore January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) scored 15 of her team and career-high-tying 19 points in the second half and Florida weathered Oregon State's three-point barrage to capture the 73-70 victory in the third-place game of the Junkanoo Jam on Saturday at St. Georges High School.
The Gators trailed for the first 35:32 of the game, and by as many as 10 points with 11:08 to go in the first half, but never gave up even when six times during the game, including five occurrences in the final 20 minutes, OSU drilled a three-pointer when the Gators had closed their deficit to two points.
The one time the Beavers didn't drain a trey after their lead was trimmed to two was during a 6-0 Florida run that featured a basket and one free throw from Miller, one free throw from Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) and two free throws from Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) that gave the Gators a 65-64 lead with 4:27 remaining in the game.
The Beavers came right back with two free throws and reclaimed the lead, but Lewis, who finished with six points and a game and career-high-tying 12 rebounds, hit a 10-foot jumper from the right corner, Miller dropped in a floater high off the glass and Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.), who scored 14 points in the game, sank an off-balanced fade-away with 1:19 remaining that gave Florida the 71-66 advantage.
OSU countered with two free throws, but Miller calmly drained two for the Gators, who had a five-point cushion with 9.5 seconds remaining. The Beavers hit a harmless layup as the final horn sounded as Florida claimed the hard-fought victory.
Miller, who played just three minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls early and 17 total in the game, scored the first points of the second half and had the Gators within two, 35-33. OSU, however, answered with one of its 14 three-pointers, a total that tied a record for a Florida opponent.
The Beavers led by as many as seven points with 9:05 remaining in the game, but Florida countered with a 7-1 spurt that included Ronni Williams' (Daytona Beach, Fla.) offensive rebound put-back off a missed Gator free throw attempt, and closed within one point with 7:31 on the clock.
OSU came right back with the game's next five points for a six-point lead with 7:15 remaining, before the teams traded scores for the next minute and a half.
With the Beavers holding a 64-59 lead and 5:34 on the clock, the Gators began their game-changing push and took their first lead of the contest.
Razorbacks Claim Tournament Title With 72-23 Win
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Junior Jhasmin Bowen led a record-setting defensive performance as the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (8-0) ran past Binghamton (1-5) in a 72-23 win to capture the New Mexico Thanksgiving Tournament title inside The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday night.
Tournament MVP Bowen followed a career-best 20-point outbreak from a night before with 15 points against Binghamton, while teammate Calli Berna was also selected to the all-tournament team.
Holding Binghamton to just nine first-half points, the defensive performance by the Razorbacks marked a season-low for a half and also ranked second best in program history. The Bearcats finished the game shooting just 17 percent (8-for-46).
“I just think it’s something that we’ve always been good at and these freshmen are understanding that it’s important,” said head coach Tom Collen. “We are going to need it for the SEC. I think they’re understanding it and some are further ahead than others.”
The Razorbacks also registered a season-high 50 rebounds, outworking the Bearcats on the boards by a 50-to-26 margin.
McKenzie Adams finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting, while fellow freshman Jessica Jackson scored 11 points to reach double figures for the seventh game in eight outings this season.
“I really thought going into this year, Kenzie was going to be our best three-point shooter,” Collen said. “She’s just been real up and down with it, but tonight is the kind of night we like to see from her.”
Arkansas came out shooting 31 percent over the first six minutes of play, but out-rebounded Binghamton 11-to-2--including seven offensive rebounds--to compensate and build an early 10-0 lead. Adams led the way early, hitting a pair of three-pointers on perfect shooting.
The Razorback defense swarmed and pressed the Bearcats into bad looks the entire half, holding BU to just one layup (1-for-11) and stretching the Arkansas lead to 15-2 with 11:40 to play in the first. The full-court press of the Razorbacks forced the Bearcats into 10 first-half turnovers.
Closing the first half on a 15-5 run, the Razorbacks heated up its shooting to end the half 43 percent from the floor and 44 percent from three-point range. Adams, Bowen and Bria Pitts each scored six points, while Joey Bailey and Melissa Wolff added in four points each in a balanced scoring load.
Arkansas came out of halftime with a 10-3 run to help extend its lead to 45-9 over midway through the second half. Adams continued her hot shooting from the outside, leading all scorers with 12 points on sharp 4-for-5 shooting from downtown.
A 20-3 run late for the Razorbacks pushed the lead to 66-18, as the Bearcats turned the ball over a total of 17 times on the night to just nine Arkansas miscues.
Arkansas returns home for a brief two-day period, but quickly returns to the road for its next game at Kansas (4-3) on Dec. 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
Kulas and Eye Earn All-Tournament Honors in Loss at Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. - Senior Bri Kulas and Junior Morgan Eye earned All-Tournament honors at this weekend's University of Miami Thanksgiving Tournament after a combined 40-point performance. The Tigers finished second in the tournament with a win over Hartford and a loss to Miami. Eye's 27-point effort was not enough to hold off the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday (Nov. 30) as the Tigers dropped to the `Canes 74-68. The loss is Mizzou's first of the season, dropping the team to 7-1 overall.
Kulas earned her sixth-career double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds on the night. She was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Overall, Missouri shot 92-percent from the free throw line, capitalizing on Miami fouls.
Mizzou started off the first half 7 taking an 8-0 lead over Miami, and Mizzou held on to the lead for most of the half thanks to a 5-for-7 three-point shooting effort from junior Morgan Eye. The Hurricanes picked up momentum and were able to tie things up at 22 with just over six minutes left in the half. The two teams went back-and-forth until the final seconds of play when sophomore Michelle Hudyn made a jumper to give Mizzou a three point lead heading into the locker room at halftime. Using a defensive mindset, the Tigers held the `Canes to just 28.6-percent shooting in the first half.
The two teams came out of the locker room ready to fight, and traded the lead for much of the second half. Junior Bree Fowler put up all of her career-high 10 points in the second half, going 2-for-2 from distance in the half.
Missouri returns to Columbia, Mo. for two more games next week. The Tigers will host Oral Roberts on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and Bradley on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m.
Walker Named To All-Tournament Team, Aggies Fall To Syracuse
ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands- Courtney Walker set a career-high with 26 points, earning her way on to the Paradise Jam Reef Division All-Tournament team, but the Aggies could not hold off Syracuse, falling 78-63.
Walker averaged 17.0 points in the tournament, and shot 50.0% from the field in the tournament. She had her fifth career 20+ point scoring game, registering a career-high 26 point performance against Syracuse.
Texas A&M (4-2) entered the game in control of its own destiny to win the Reef Division, needing a win by 12-or-more points, but couldn’t get by the Orange to win the tournament.
The Aggies came out of the gate roaring, with Tori Scott and Courtney Walker combining for 13 of A&M’s first 14 points, building a 14-8 lead over the Orange. Syracuse answered, clawing back into the game and taking the lead, culminating with a 10-3 run right before the half to extend that lead to 38-27 at the break.
Syracuse (8-0) went on an 9-0 run early in the second half, extending their lead to 18 points. Texas A&M cut the deficit to nine points after Courtney Walker free throws made the score 55-46 with 11:58 to go, but Syracuse then responded with a 6-0 run of their own to restore their double-digit advantage.
The Aggies return to Reed Arena on Tuesday, December 3 to play San Diego State at 7 p.m.
'Dores hold off Badgers, win Thanksgiving Tourney
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball coaching staff was reminded again on Saturday how thankful they are to have Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie as members of the program.
And they are grateful to have some rising young stars, too.
Facing a stubborn Wiscosin team in the championship game of the Thanksgiving Tournament, the Commodores used the clutch play of Foggie and Lister -- combined with some pivotal plays from a trio of freshman -- to earn an 81-69 victory at Memorial Gym.
The win was the Commodores' third straight, and pushed them to 6-2 on the season. NR/RV Vanderbilt now owns a 28-0 all-time record in the Thanksgiving tourney.
Foggie scored a game-high 23 points, going 9-of-14 from the floor, and was named the tourney's MVP. Lister added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Both of them made huge plays down the stretch, helping Vanderbilt close the game on a 22-10 run to pull away from the Badgers (4-2).
"I told them after the game, 'The two of you played like seniors tonight,'" said head coach Melanie Balcomb about Foggie and Lister. "And they said, 'We had to. That's who we are.'"
The three freshman made big contributions, too. Kylee Smith finished with a career-high 16 points and helped Vanderbilt secure the win by making clutch free throws in the closing minutes. She also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Marqu'es Webb added nine points and Rebekah Dahlman notched a team-high eight rebounds, the most of her young career.
Smith entered the night just 1-of-11 at the foul line for the season, and missed her first attempt of the game. But she was automatic after that, making six straight in the second half to help Vanderbilt pull away.
"The three freshman showed courage tonight," said Balcomb. "I was very excited about what they did."
Vanderbilt owned a 41-30 lead at the half, but Wisconsin charged back to tie the game on three occasions, the final time coming on a basket by Taylor Wurtz that tied the game at 59-59 with 8:18 to play.
Then the seniors stepped up. Again.
Foggie knocked down a 3-pointer that gave Vanderbilt the lead for good and sparked an 11-0 spurt by the Commodores. Lister's layup capped the surge, and Wisconsin never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Foggie said the Commodores fed off the lively crowd.
"They really gave us a lift," she said. "Even when (Wisconsin made its run), they didn't get quiet." Wurtz finished with a team-high 18 points for the Badgers and was named to the All-Tournament team.
The Commodores built their 41-30 lead at the half, thanks in large part to their aggressiveness on the glass. Vanderbilt out-rebounded the Badgers, 23-12, and were especially active on the offensive end, pulling down 10 offensive rebounds.
Vanderbilt's senior duo, Foggie and Lister, combined for 20 first-half points and went 8-of-14 from the floor. Foggie scored a team-high 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, and Lister added nine points, going 4-of-6 from the field.
The Commodores opened the game on a 7-0 run, capped by a layup from Heather Bowe, and stretched the advantage to double-digits, 21-10, at the 11:45 mark of the first half on a layup by Foggie.
The lead swelled to 16 points, 31-15, after a 3-pointer by Foggie with 8:51 left in the half. Wisconsin then put together an 8-0 run to trim Vanderbilt's lead to 31-23, but the Commodores answered with an 8-2 spurt to rebuild a 14-point cushion.
Vanderbilt continues a stretch of four straight home on Dec. 3, when the Commodores host East Tennessee State.
No. 15 LSU Outlasts Michigan to Win Barclays Invitational, 64-62
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Sophomore guard Danielle Ballard converted a go-ahead layup with 20 seconds to play to lift the 15th-ranked LSU women’s basketball team past Michigan, 64-62, in the championship game of the Barclays Invitational on Saturday night in the Barclays Center.
“It was an incredible job by Danielle Ballard to get in there for the score,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “Players made plays tonight. When you get in late-game situations, that’s what it’s all about.”
The Lady Tigers (6-1) claimed their fourth straight win and did so overcoming a six-point deficit in the final five minutes. LSU put the finishing touches on a spectacular weekend that included a tough win over home favorite Rutgers on Friday and a win over the Wolverines (5-3) in the first meeting between the two teams since 2001.
“When you look at the turnaround from the Rutgers came to today with the late start, we were ready to play,” said Caldwell. “Michigan did a phenomenal job, especially in the second half. They shot extremely well from three. We did a fairly good job in the first half of taking away the three ball.”
Freshman guard Raigyne Moncrief was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after recording a combined 40 points and 11 steals in the two games. She finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four steals on Saturday night. Senior forward Shanece McKinney added 13 points and was also named to the all-tournament team.
Ballard, who missed the Rutgers game after serving a one-game suspension, finished with 10 points and accounted for LSU’s final four points. Her layup with 1:12 to play put the Lady Tigers up 62-59, but Michigan converted one of its 11 three-pointers to knot the game at 62 apiece with 42 seconds to go.
Caldwell called timeout and the Lady Tigers ran a play for Ballard. The sophomore then drove through the lane, missed a layup but gathered her own miss and converted for the score with 20 ticks left. LSU’s defense then forced Siera Thompson into a missed jumper, while McKinney collected the rebound and was fouled.
McKinney missed the front end of her free throw but a half court heave from Michigan did not get off in time before the final horn sounded.
Michigan out-rebounded and out-shot LSU from the floor, but the Lady Tigers made the plays when it counted most on both ends of the floor. LSU’s bench out-scored the Wolverines, 35-12.
“We talked about needing to get stops and we were able to do that,” said Caldwell. “We had the pressure that we needed and didn’t lose our defensive assignment.”
Jeanne Kenney drained three clutch threes and kept pace with Michigan’s deep shooters in the second half. The Wolverines outscored LSU 16-4 in the first seven minutes of the second stanza to erase a seven-point halftime deficit.
LSU used its athleticism in the first half with a 12-0 run to take a 29-22 lead into the locker room. DaShawn Harden made an immediate impact upon her return, collecting two steals that led to a coast-to-coast layup and a Jasmine Rhodes bucket. The Wolverines went nearly six minutes without a field goal.
LSU will visit Times Square Sunday morning before catching a commercial flight back to New Orleans and returning to campus. The Lady Tigers return to action quickly when they host Indiana State at 11:30 a.m. CT Tuesday in the Maravich Center. East Baton Rouge Parish schools have been invited to attend the game.
Bulldogs Down James Madison To Earn Spot In Gulf Coast Showcase Title Game
ESTERO, Fla. – For a second straight night, Mississippi State knocked off a previously-undefeated opponent in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
A huge first 15 minutes helped push Mississippi State past James Madison 65-52 in a semifinal round game of the three-day event at the Germain Arena.
MSU (7-0) will face Middle Tennessee State (3-3) at 4 p.m. CT Sunday for the tournament championship.
“It was our best game of the year,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I like how we threw the first punch and never really took one, other than maybe a jab. Really proud of how hard we played to beat a team, which will win 20-plus games this year.
“We represented Mississippi State and the entire Southeastern Conference the way you want to when you play in a prestigious event such as this.”
The Bulldogs placed three players in double figures. Martha Alwal led the way with 19 points. Alwal had four blocked shots to tie Chanel Mokango for the all-time MSU career blocked shots record with 180 total blocks.
“I really came in not thinking I would be in the record books for anything here at State,” Alwal said. “However, to be in the record books now is pretty awesome. We are 7-0 and since I have been here, we have never started with this many wins.
“We normally win like 13 or 14 games a year, so to already being 7-0 makes all of us very excited.”
Held scoreless in Friday night’s 71-62 win over Grand Canyon, Kendra Grant bounced back strong with 16 points. Katia May continued her strong play of late by adding 14 points.
After spotting James Madison (5-1) the initial basket of the game, MSU responded with the game’s next 14 points. The Dukes were held scoreless for five minutes during that stretch.
The strong defensive play was a sign of things to come. Already among the nation’s best in field goal percentage defense, MSU held JMU to 25 percent shooting in the first half and less than 30 percent for the contest.
After JMU closed within nine at 16-7, MSU responded with the game’s next six points, including back-to-back baskets by Grant.
“I am really proud of how both Kendra and Savannah (Carter) answered the bell,” Schaefer said. “They didn’t play well last night but I thought both of them brought a different level and a smarter level tonight.
“Kendra can get into that groove where she makes four of five shots in a row. When that happens, we are going to keep feeding her.”
MSU led by 15 twice in the first half and led 37-24 at the intermission.
The Bulldogs quickly ran the lead to 17 in the early stages of the second half only to see the Dukes close within nine at 45-36 with 13:46 left. Alwal, Grant and Carter followed with successive baskets to move the Maroon and White out of danger.
The lead would grow to as many as 19 down the stretch.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 21 of 45 shots from the field (46.7 percent), 2 of 6 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 21 of 31 shots from the foul line (67.7 percent). The Dukes hit 16 of 55 shots from the field (29.1 percent), 1 of 11 shots from 3-point range (9.1 percent) and 19 of 21 shots from the foul line (90.5 percent).
James Madison held a 38-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 13 assists and 17 turnovers, while the Dukes had eight assists and 21 turnovers.
Alwal finished with a team-high eight rebounds, while Carter had six points, four rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes of play.
JMU received 16 points from Toia Giggetts and 13 points from Jazmon Gwathmey.
Auburn Falls To #23/15 Iowa State, 68-57
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Auburn led early, but cold shooting spots through the game put the Tigers (4-3) in a hole they could not get out of as Auburn dropped a 68-57 decision to No. 23/15 Iowa State (6-0).
Hasina Muhammad led Auburn with 15 points while Tyrese Tanner added 11. Brandy Montgomery scored 10 points while Tra’Cee Tanner pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
The Tigers trailed early in the game, but a 12-0 run midway through the first half put Auburn in the lead for the majority of the half. AU led by as many as 11 points with 7:31 to go in the half, but went cold from the field and did not connect on a field goal in the final 5:09 as Iowa State pulled ahead for a 33-32 lead.
Auburn trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, but cut the Cyclone lead to five with 6:04 remaining. ISU scored their last nine points at the free throw line and pulled away for the 68-57 win.
Auburn will return to the court for the first of four-straight home games at 6 p.m. CT, Tuesday as the Tigers host Tulane (4-2). Doors at Auburn Arena will open at 4:30 p.m. CT. Fans get purchase tickets online at AUBTix.com or by calling 1-855-282-2010.