|Saturday Women's Hoops RESULTS
|Vanderbilt 83, UNC Asheville 57
|Rutgers 61, Georgia 58
|Auburn 66, UCLA 60
|Stanford 76, Tennessee 70
|Florida 90, FIU 74
Vandy Extends Win Streak to Seven
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Vanderbilt women's basketball team gave their fans an early Christmas present Saturday by delivering a dominating performance, and Jasmine Lister provided a stocking stuffer by reaching a career milestone.
Freshman Kylee Smith scored a game-high 17 points, Heather Bowe added 16 and Lister notched her 500th career assist as the Commodores extended their winning streak to seven games by rolling past UNC Asheville, 83-57, before a crowd of 3,201 at Memorial Gym.
Smith finished 7-of-9 from the floor and pulled down six rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Sophomore Jasmine Jenkins added 12 points and Marqu'es Webb had 10 as the Commodores put four players in double figures. Christina Foggie and Lister had nine points each.
Tianna Knuckles scored 17 to lead UNC Asheville (4-7).
Lister finished with a team-high seven assists, including the 500th of her career when she fed Marqu'es Webb for a short jumper late in the first half.
Lister now has 503 career assists, the sixth most in Vanderbilt history, and is likely to soon pass former Commodore Rhonda Blades (505) for fifth place on the all-time list.
"Jasmine has done nothing but overachieve since she (got to Vanderbilt)," said head coach Melanie Balcomb. "She's set a standard here."
The NR/RV Commodores improved to 10-2, and will now head into the holidays on a high note. They will now have four days off before returning to campus to begin preparing for their next game against UAB on Dec. 30.
Bowe, who finished 6-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the foul line, said Saturday's game was a good momentum builder as the Commodores move closer to the conference schedule.
"This was a solid win before the break," said Bowe. "UNC Asheville was a good team ... (and) we play some great teams in January."
Saturday's win helped highlight a big day for the Vanderbilt program, which hosted a women's and men's doubleheader. (The men played Georgia Tech later in the day). Also, the women's game featured the popular Teddy Bear Toss promotion -- which provides stuffed animals for local children and was sponsored by Erie Insurance.
The Vanderbilt players were certainly in the giving spirit, as they produced a season-high 28 assists in the victory.
Smith said Vanderbilt's ball movement was the key to the victory, and said her teammates showed faith in her by getting her open shots.
"Having the confidence of the team behind you can boost you to do anything," said Smith.
The freshman from Alpharetta, Ga., said the Commodores are pleased with their 10-2 record but they know they have plenty of work ahead of them.
"We're not content," she said.
The Commodores have been plagued by slow starts in several home games this season, but that wasn't the case against UNC Asheville.
Vanderbilt jumped out to an 8-2 lead on the strength of six early points from Bowe, stretched the advantage to 20-10 on a 3-pointer by Foggie and then used a 10-0 run -- which featured six points from Jenkins -- to take a 38-17 lead late in the half. UNC Asheville scored the final basket just before the horn, and the Commodores took a 38-21 lead into the locker room.
Smith had 11 points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes, and Bowe added 10 points and three rebounds.
Vanderbilt built its big lead despite struggling from 3-point range. The Commodores, who came into the day as the SEC's top 3-point shooting team, were just 2-of-9 from long range in the first half and finished 3-of-13.
Georgia Suffers First Loss at Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. --- Khaalidah Miller's 30-foot, 3-point attempt to tie the game drew front iron at the final horn, thwarting a furious Georgia rally and preserving a 61-58 upset for Rutgers over the 16th-ranked Lady Bulldogs at The RAC on Saturday afternoon.
The defeat snapped Georgia's 11-game winning streak to open the season which equaled the seventh-best start in the program's history.
"I'm proud of the fact that we didn't fold," head coach Andy Landers said. "They were handing it to us the first five or six minutes. We kind of got our balance and played well the rest of the way. We came up short but give credit to Rutgers."
The Lady Bulldogs trailed 59-52 with 37 seconds remaining following a Kahleah Copper lay-up.
Shacobia Barbee nailed a 3-pointer with 21 ticks left to pull Georgia within four. After Syessence Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Barbee hit another 3 with seven seconds on the clock to close the gap to 59-58. Tyler Scaife made two free throws a second later to push the margin back to three before Miller's buzzer-beating attempt to force overtime rimmed off.
Barbee finished with a season-high 18 points, 17 of those coming in the second half. Miller chipped in 11 points and Krista Donald grabbed a game-high 11 boards for Georgia (11-1).
Copper and Betnijah Laney both scored 18 points to pace Rutgers (9-2).
The end of the game wasn't the Lady Bulldogs' only rally.
Rutgers raced to a 9-0 lead as Georgia struggled to get anything going offensively. The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over on their first seven possessions and did not even attempt a shot until the 15:41 mark of the first half.
Erika Ford finally got Georgia on the board with a jumper with 14:00 left in the opening period.
After Rutgers built a 21-11, the Lady Bulldogs used a 12-4 surge to close the gap to 25-23 and then knotted the score at 27-27 on a Miller 3-pointer with 1:59 on the clock. After Miller missed a lay-up in transition that would have give Georgia its first lead, the Scarlet Knights scored the final four points of the half.
"I was obviously disappointed with the way we started the game," Landers said. "We dug ourselves a deep hole, but we fought out of it and after that opening series played reasonably well."
Georgia entered the game averaging 15.0 turnovers per game but committed 14 in the first half alone against the Scarlet Knights, which led to 13 Rutgers points.
The Lady Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the day at 38-37 with 12:57 left on a pair of Donald free throws. Rutgers regained the lead on a Briyona Canty jumper 34 seconds later. Georgia last led following a 3-point play by Tiaria Griffin made it 46-45.
A pair of Copper free throws opened a 14-6 run over the next 6:25 to seemingly give Rutgers control before Barbee's heroics began.
Georgia will return to action next Saturday when the Lady Bulldogs host Illinois at Stegeman Coliseum at 4:00 p.m. That game will be televised regionally on CSS.
Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Bulldog games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.
Single-game tickets are on sale via georgiadogs.com, by calling 877-542-1231 or in person at the UGA Ticket Office in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall from 8:30-4:30 on weekdays. In addition, single-game tickets go on sale at the Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off of every home game.
Tanner Leads Auburn Past UCLA
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Auburn never trailed, picking up 24 points from senior Tyrese Tanner en route to a 66-60 win over UCLA (5-6) Saturday in the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. The Tigers improve to 9-3 on the season and will face host Minnesota on Sunday for the tournament championship.
"I really thought our defense picked it up in times we really needed it," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "We gave up some easy baskets and turned the ball over in some bad times, but they did not let it get to them. They kept their heads up and kept playing. Tyrese Tanner did an awesome job at the top of our press as well."
Tanner picked up her second 20-point game of the season and her fifth game in a row with at least 17 points. She was 8-of-15 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line while also notching eight boards and four steals.
"Tyrese was our leader today, she attacked the basket hard and hit some great shots against their 2-3 zone," said Williams-Flournoy. "Ty said in the second half, `we are not going to lose.'"
Auburn jumped out to the early lead and was up by as many as seven points early in the game, but UCLA came back to tie things up at 19-19. Auburn pulled back away for a nine-point lead and went into the locker room up, 33-27.
Twice early in the second half, Auburn extended its lead to eight, but UCLA kept coming back. An 8-0 run midway through the half gave Auburn a 55-46 lead, but the Bruins answered with a 6-0 run of its own to keep the Tigers in check.
Ahead by just three with less than a minute left in the game, Auburn freshman Allina Starr, a Minneapolis native, stepped up to the line and knocked down a pair of key free throws to give the Tigers a five-point lead. After a defensive stop, Hasina Muhammad knocked down a free throw to give Auburn a six-point lead and the win.
Freshman Brandy Montgomery, who has scored in double figures in all but one game as a Tiger, followed Tyrese Tanner with 14 points and six rebounds. Muhammad finished the day with 10 points, a team-high four assists and four steals.
Atonye Nyingifa led UCLA with 19 points, followed by Nirra Fields who nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, eight steals and eight rebounds. Thea Lemberger added 10 points for the Bruins.
Auburn will return to the court at 2 p.m. CT, Sunday as the Tigers take on Subway Classic host Minnesota at Williams Arena. The Gophers are 9-3 on the season after falling to UCLA, 58-55, on Friday. Fans can listen live on WANI 98.7 FM in Auburn or online at AuburnTigers.com/AllAccess.
No. 3 Tennessee Falls on the Road to No. 6 Stanford
PALO ALTO, Calif. — The No. 3-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols rallied from a double-digit deficit late but could not complete the comeback in their first loss of the season, 76-70, to No. 6/5 Stanford on Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford (10-1) scored 13 unanswered points early in the game and stayed in front from there. Tennessee (10-1) cut that lead to just two points with a minute left at 70-68 before the Cardinal iced the game with free throw shooting.
Junior Ariel Massengale scored 17 points to lead the Lady Vols in the loss, thanks to 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. Sophomore Isabelle Harrison recorded her 10th career double-double and fourth this season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike led all scorers with 32 points on 15 of 25 shooting. She also earned 20 — nearly half — of her team’s 43 rebounds.
Stanford built a 70-59 lead with 4:32 left in the game on a pair of free throws by Mikaela Ruef, but the Lady Vols were not finished yet.
Tennessee went on a tear from that point, scoring nine unanswered points. Four different players scored during the 9-0 run, and redshirt freshman Andraya Carter hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 70-68 off a pass from Massengale with 1:03 left.
The Cardinal drained most of their shot clock and Amber Orrange completed a 3-point play to put Stanford ahead by 73-68 with 28 seconds left. Stanford hit three more free throws during the closing seconds to assure the victory.
Four Lady Vols finished with at least 10 points. In addition to Massengale and Harrison, senior Meighan Simmons added 15 points and sophomore Bashaara Graves finished with 14.
A 13-0 Stanford run early in the opening minutes ultimately spelled the difference in the game. Russell eventually drove in for a layup to end the streak for the Lady Vols, but by that time, Stanford led 13-6 with 14:35 on the clock and never trailed from there.
Stanford led by as many as 12 points in the half and took a 37-29 lead into halftime. Ogwumike scored 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting plus 11 rebounds to lead her team.
Taylor Greenfield hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the half to give the Cardinal a 37-29 lead heading into the locker rooms. Greenfield accounted for three of Stanford’s four first-half 3-pointers, while the Lady Vols were held scoreless (0 for 6) from beyond the arc.
Tennessee kept the scoring pace thanks to a solid 9-of-11 performance from the free throw line. Stanford shot just two free throws in the first half, making one of them.
Graves and Harrison had eight points each at the half to lead the Lady Vols.
The Lady Vols started the second half by getting right back in the game. Massengale hit Tennessee’s first 3-pointer of the game to cap a 7-0 UT run and cut the lead to 44-40 with 16:03 left in the game.
The Lady Vols finished the game shooting 24 of 67 from the field (36 percent), while Stanford was 28 of 66 (42 percent). It marked the first time this season a team shot better than 38 percent against UT.
Tennessee’s next game is Dec. 29 at home against in-state foe Lipscomb at 2 p.m.
Florida WBK Defeats FIU in Gator Holiday Classic Final
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Sophomores Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) and Christian Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) both enjoyed career nights with 24 and 31 points, respectively, as the duo combined to lead the Gators to their fourth consecutive Gator Holiday Classic championship with a 90-74 win over FIU on Saturday at the O'Connell Center.
Florida shot a season-best and GHC-record 62.9 percent (39-62) from the field en route to its fourth straight victory.
Peoples was named the tournament MVP after connecting on 10-of-14 from the field, including a 3-of-4 effort from long range against FIU, one night after scoring 16 points against Tennessee State.
Mercer was fantastic off the bench in both tournament games, hitting 15-of-17 from the floor against the Panthers on Saturday after posting her first double-double of the year with a then-career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds in the first round. The sophomore earned a spot on the All-Tournament team and became the first Gator to score 30-plus points since Sha Brooks tallied 31 against Mississippi State on Jan. 8, 2009.
Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) added 17 points and dished out seven assists, while Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) returned to lead the Gators with 10 rebounds, as she posted her fourth consecutive game with double-digit rebounds.
After holding a 20-16 edge with 11:05 to play in the first half, the Gators used a 22-7 run over the next 5:56 to take a 42-23 lead and never looked back. Peoples scored 10 points in the spree, while Bonds added six, Mercer four and Lewis two.
The teams traded scores for the remainder of the period and Florida turned defense into offense in the first half, forcing 14 turnovers en route to shooting 66.7 percent. The Gators scored 40 points in the paint, 27 points off of turnovers and 18 fast break points to storm out to a 53-34 halftime lead.
FIU outscored Florida 40-37 in the second half thanks to Jerica Coley, who led the nation in scoring last year and finished with 37 points tonight. Mercer's 19 second-half points helped the Gators quell the Panther's late rally.
Florida led by as many as 24 points with 15:35 to go, but FIU never gave up and whittled its deficit to 10 points as late as 4:24 remaining. Mercer scored all eight points during an ensuing 8-3 run that lifted UF's lead back to 17 points with under two minutes to play and secured the victory.
Coley was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 70 points in two games, the second-most ever in the 23-year history of the GHC.
Florida won its home tournament for the 19th time.