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    SEC Women's Basketball Recap: Wednesday, December 18

    WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Results
    Auburn 64, Presbyterian 27
    Baylor 87, Ole Miss 80
    Vanderbilt 89, James Madison 85
    North Carolina 74, South Carolina 66

     

    Auburn Closes Out Homestand With 64-27 Win Over Presbyterian
     
    AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn women's basketball team (8-3) held Presbyterian (2-8) to 27 points Wednesday night, picking up the 64-27 win in the final game of a four-game homestand. Senior Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers with 18 points and seven rebounds.
     
    "We're definitely happy to be 8-3, a win is a win," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "You look at the first half, and you're not happy with it. You look at the second half, and you see improvements. At the end of the day, you're just happy for the win because we've got some tough games ahead of us."
     
    Following tonight's game, Auburn will go on the road for the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The Tigers will take on UCLA (4-5) and host Minnesota (9-2) at the tournament.
     
    Auburn utilized its defense to pick up the win as the 27 points by Presbyterian was the fewest by an Auburn opponent since the Tigers downed New Orleans 76-27 on Dec. 9, 2004. The Tigers forced the Blue Hose into 23 turnovers, scoring 29 points off turnovers. Presbyterian was limited to 20.0 percent shooting from the field and 10.0 percent from 3-point range.
     
    Freshman Brandy Montgomery joined Tyrese Tanner in double digits, notching 11 points. Montgomery has scored in double figures in nine out of 10 games this season. Tra'Cee Tanner scored nine points with a team-high eight rebounds.
     
    Auburn opened the game with an 11-0 run, holding Presbyterian scoreless for the first 5:06, and without a field goal the first 8:32. The Tigers would go on to lead 27-15 at the break.
     
    The Tigers upped their intensity with a 13-0 run in the beginning of the second half. Auburn forced three consecutive 10-second backcourt violations during a stretch midway through the half. The Tigers put away the game with an 18-3 run to end the second half.
     
    "I thought we just upped our defensive press a little bit. I really thought in the first half we were just going through the motions," said Williams-Flournoy. "I think when you play a team like Presbyterian College you sometimes think that you really don't have to play as aggressive on defense and be in the right position. You think you can just steal the ball and not really play hard. I think they found out that Presbyterian College plays pretty hard, so we had to be in the right position and play tougher on defense in the second half."
     
    Presbyterian was led by senior Karlee Taylor with seven points and four rebounds. Aianna Kelly added six points while Keyonna Allen pulled down eight rebounds.
     
    With her 18 points, Tyrese Tanner moved into Auburn's top-25 in career scoring. She passed Samantha Williams and now ranks 25th with 1,116 career points.
     
    "We have some tough games ahead of us," Williams-Flournoy said. "As with most non-conference games these two are a little more of the caliber of our teams in the SEC, so I really hope this prepares us as we begin SEC play."
     
    The Tigers will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Subway Classic, Dec. 21-22. Auburn will take UCLA (4-5) at 2 p.m., Saturday and host Minnesota (9-2) at 2 p.m., Sunday.
     
     

     
    Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Upset Bid Falls Just Short at No. 9/9 Baylor
     
    WACO, Texas – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team went wire-to-wire with No. 9/9 Baylor for 40 minutes, but the upset bid fell just short in a 87-80 road loss in Waco, Texas on Wednesday (Dec. 18).
     
    In a game that featured eight lead changes and 10 ties, the last 3:42 certainly didn’t disappoint.  With Ole Miss up 74-72, Baylor used a three-point play from Nina Davis and a triple from Makenzie Robertson to go ahead, 78-74.
    A pair of Baylor (9-1) free throws gave the home team 80 points, but a three-point play from Texas native Diara Moore pulled Ole Miss (8-5) within one point, 80-79, but the home team sealed the win from the line, stopping the Rebel upset bid.
     
    “What a great game that was between two teams that just left everything on the floor,” said head coach Matt Insell. “I give Baylor all credit in the world they have a great team and program. I told our players it was going to take 40 minutes to win the basketball game and we played about 38 minutes. I’m proud of my team, we’ll figure out a way to get two more minutes, but we’ll grow from this loss.”
     
    Statistically speaking the game was about as even as you could get with the Rebels shooting 38.4 percent (28-of-73) to Baylor’s 37.8 percent (28-of-74) while Bears won the battle of the boards, holding a 50-45 rebounding edge.
    Tia Faleru led the Rebels with 22 points and 10 rebounds, for her third consecutive double-double and eighth this season, while Valencia McFarland was a rebound shy of the fourth triple double in program history with 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. Danielle McCray added 13 points and 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and Moore contributed 13 points.
     
    The Rebels hung tough with the nation’s No. 9 team from the outset of the game, matching not only Baylor’s intensity but also in the scoring column, going bucket-for-bucket with the Bears. With BU leading 15-12, Ole Miss went on a 17-4 over the next 4:31 to take a 10-point, 29-19, lead – the largest by either team in the first half. Gracie Frizzell and Shequila Joseph each nailed triples to keep the Bears at bay, while McFarland went to work slicing through the Baylor defense to get easy layups at the rim.
     
    Baylor used a 6-0 run to get as close as four points down the stretch, but Frizzell silenced the home crowd with a triple from the top of the key to keep the lead with the Rebels, 35-29 at the final media timeout of the half. The teams went back-and-forth in the final minutes of action but it was the Rebels who took a 41-40 advantage into halftime, marking the first time Baylor had trailed at halftime all year.
     
    Odyssey Sims lead all-scorers with 39 points while Nina Davis added a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. 
     
    The Rebels will take some time off for the holidays before returning back to the Tad Smith Coliseum on Dec. 30 to take close out the non-conference slate. Ole Miss will host Austin Peay at 11:30 a.m.

     


    Gutsy effort carries Vanderbilt past James Madison in overtime

    HARRISONBURG, Va. - Even when her shots weren't falling in the first half, Christina Foggie didn't stop firing. 

    Soon enough, she heated up -- and she eventually hit the game's biggest shot. 
     
    With Vanderbilt seemingly in trouble in overtime against James Madison, Foggie hit a clutch 3-pointer that tied the game and sparked an 11-4 game-ending run that lifted Vanderbilt to a gutty 89-85 road victory. 
     
    Foggie finished with 29 points, making 9-of-22 from the floor, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range. Jasmine Lister added 16 points and freshman Marqu'es Webb had a breakout game, scoring a season-high 15 points before fouling out. 
     
    The win pushed Vanderbilt to 9-2 and extended the Commodores winning streak to six games. James Madison fell to 8-3. 
     
    Heather Bowe had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. Bowe hit the go-ahead jumper that gave Vanderbilt an 83-81 lead in overtime, and the Commodores stayed in front from there. The tightly-contested game featured plenty of momentum swings and lots of emotion and energy. And in the end, it proved to be one of Vanderbilt's most impressive wins of the season. 
     
    "I like to test my team with road games before we get into SEC play," said head coach Melanie Balcomb. "And I knew we'd have to play well to win tonight. This felt like an NCAA tournament game, really." 
     
    James Madison, which came into the night on a three-game winning streak, was led in scoring by Toia Giggetts' 25 points. 
     
    James Madison's Kirby Burkholder, who was the preseason pick for the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. She came into the game averaging 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, team highs in both categories. 
     
    Vanderbilt endured a sluggish start but recovered to build a 39-36 lead at the half. 
     
    After falling into an early 10-2 hole, the Commodores ripped off a 26-8 run to reverse the game's momentum. Webb ignited the surge with some strong work inside, scoring six straight points and showcasing a soft touch in the paint. The Vanderbilt guards took over from there, with Lister and Foggie each hitting 3s. Lister also contributed a traditional 3-point play during the big run, which gave Vanderbilt a 28-18 lead at the 6:54 mark of the first half. 
     
    From there, JMU chipped away at the Commodores, eventually narrowing Vanderbilt's lead to three points at the half. Burkholder hit three 3s in the first half and scored 10 points. 
     
    Vanderbilt was 11-for-11 at the line in the half. 
     
    James Madison entered the night coming off an impressive 64-51 win over St. John's on Dec. 15. During the win, the Dukes recorded 12 blocked shots. (By comparison, Vanderbilt had 11 blocked shots all season coming into Wednesday's game). James Madison surrendered just 13 first-half points against St. Johns. 
     
     

     
    Gamecocks’ Second-Half Run Falls Short in 74-66 Loss to North Carolina
     
    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – No. 10/10 South Carolina lost its first game of the season Wednesday night to No. 14/13 North Carolina at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 74-66, despite a furious comeback in the second half. Junior forward Aleighsa Welch scored a career-high 23 points on the night, but the Tar Heels won the battle of the boards 43-33, including turning 16 offensive boards into 18 second-chance points.
     
    The Gamecocks were the early aggressors, but the Tar Heels fought back, getting in front and then stretching the lead to 39-27 at halftime. South Carolina got want it wanted early, going inside to Elem Ibiam and letting Welch use her athleticism to get inside shots. The two combined with the game-opening bucket from Tiffany Mitchell to grab a 10-6 lead five minutes into the game. North Carolina’s Allisha Gray hit a 3 in between two Ibiam baskets to cut narrowly into the lead. The Tar Heels then turned a Gamecock turnover and a offensive rebound on a missed free throw into a 6-0 run that lasted just 40 seconds and gave them a 15-12 advantage.
     
    The Gamecocks began to struggle from the free throw line and on the glass, while the young Tar Heels gained confidence and speed to take advantage of the Gamecocks’ centers on the offensive end. The combination led to the Gamecocks’ first halftime deficit of the season despite 12 points from Ibiam and 11 from Welch in the opening period.
     
    The second half opened much like the first with the Gamecocks scoring six straight points – Welch in the lane and a drive and two free throws from Mitchell to pull within six. The Tar Heels found their footing and pushed their lead out to 46-33 with 16:01 to play. 
     
    South Carolina launched its 14-3 run from their, holding the Tar Heels to just one basket – a 3 pointer – over the next five minutes of play. The defense forced five turnovers in the run, and the Gamecocks made the Tar Heels pay for each of them. Welch hit a bucket in the lane, and Khadijah Sessions drove for another bucket to pull within nine at 46-37. Mitchell hit a pair of free throws, but North Carolina’s Xylina McDaniel drained one of her two timely 3-pointers to stem the tide. South Carolina went right back to work, hawking the ball from baseline to baseline as Olivia Gaines came in to give a different defensive look to the Gamecocks’ pressure. Her pull-up jumper launched another 8-0 surge as it was followed by a right hook from Ibiam and baskets in the paint from Welch and Mitchell, who was aggressive all through the second half, made it a 49-47 game with 11:33 to play.
     
    North Carolina called a timeout to regroup, and McDaniel hit another 3-pointer out of that break. South Carolina drew within two twice more over the next two minutes, but the Tar Heels found points when they needed them. After Welch’s free throws made it a 55-53 game with 9:21 to play, North Carolina got back-to-back layups to again stretch out their advantage. As the Gamecocks left a few points at the free throw line down the stretch, North Carolina held on for the win.
     
    The Gamecocks shot 41.1 percent from the field, but hit just 1-of-11 from beyond the arc. After a first half that saw just three Gamecocks hit a field goal, scoring came from a variety of sources in the second half, during which South Carolina hit 46.2 percent from the field. Mitchell finished with 18 points, while Ibiam added 14, hitting 7-of-10 from the field.
     
    Welch led South Carolina on the glass with six rebounds, including five offensive, while Ibiam added five to go with four blocked shots.
     
    South Carolina is back in action twice before taking a short break for the holiday. The Gamecocks host Winthrop on Fri., Dec. 20, at noon, and South Carolina State on Sun., Dec. 22, at 1 p.m.