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    SEC Women's Basketball Recap: Sunday, January 12th

    SUNDAY WOMEN'S HOOPS SCHEDULE
    LSU 82, Florida 68
    Texas A&M 58, Georgia 44
    South Carolina 72, Auburn 66
    Mississippi State 54, Arkansas 50
    Alabama 93, Ole Miss 79
    Vanderbilt 74, Tennessee 63
    Kentucky 80, Missouri 69

     

    No. 12 Women’s Hoops Hands Florida First SEC Loss, 82-68

    BATON ROUGE -- Theresa Plaisance matched a season-high with 19 points, while Danielle Ballard provided her first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds to spark the No. 12 LSU women’s basketball team to an 82-68 victory over Florida Sunday as a paid attendance of 3,672 fans gathered at the Maravich Center.

    In the process, LSU (13-3, 2-1 SEC) ended the Gators (13-4, 3-1 SEC) nine-game winning streak and snapped a three-game losing skid to Florida which dated back to the 2010-11 season.

    “I thought we could learn from Texas A&M,” head coach Nikki Caldwell said. “I thought their guards set the tone, and they really disrupted our rhythm. They were showing that they were ready to play. We talked about that in our preparation and leading into our preparation. We got on the floor 30 minutes earlier than we typically do. We got on the floor and got mentally prepared for what we needed to do today. I think you have to play that way in the SEC. The team that comes out more aggressive and plays with a lot of energy, effort and plays together – those are the teams that will prevail in the end.”

    For Plaisance, she poured in 15 of her 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting and was a spotless 5-for-5 at the foul line during the second half. She has reached double figures in six straight games and accounted for four consecutive 15-plus scoring efforts. The New Orleans native also scored 19 points as part of LSU’s 58-51 win over Arkansas-Little Rock on Dec. 15.

    Ballard turned in a solid all-around performance with 15 points, a season’s best 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals. She recorded six of LSU’s 20 offensive rebounds for the game.

    “I thought she (Ballard) was two different players. I think Thursday night (against Texas A&M) she played as complacent as I’ve seen her play all year,” Caldwell said. “Today, I felt like she was aggressive and had a ‘you can’t stop me’ mentality. I thought she was ready to set the tone for our team, and she did just that.”

    Jeanne Kenney nearly joined Ballard by compiling her first career double-double. She dished out a career-high 10 assists and added nine points.

    Shanece McKinney pumped in 10 points on 5-of-10 from the floor to go along with seven rebounds. It was McKinney’s first double digit scoring effort since the Indiana State game back on Dec. 3.

    DaShawn Harden and Sheila Boykin led LSU’s bench effort. Harden secured nine points, while Boykin notched a season-high seven points on a 3-for-4 shooting clip.

    Raigyne Moncrief came away with six points and matched a career-best with nine rebounds whereas Derreyal Youngblood hauled in a season-high five rebounds in her seven minutes of action.

    Florida had four players register double figures led by Cassie Peoples’ 22 points and Carlie Needles 17 points, respectively. Kayla Lewis tacked on 15 points and 17 rebounds, while the reigning two-time SEC Player of the Week, Jaterra Bonds, was limited to 11 second-half points on 2-of-11 shooting.

    The Lady Tigers dominated the glass en route to a 50-29 rebounding advantage and scored 38 of the game’s 50 points in the paint. LSU also held a 26-5 edge in second-chance points.

    “I think it’s a combination of effort, energy and making sure we try to keep them off the boards,” Caldwell said. “(Kayla) Lewis was the one who was really hurting us on the offensive glass in the first half. We really tried to key in keeping her off the glass. Our size was an advantage for us. I like the fact that we had (Raigyne) Moncrief and (Danielle) Ballard get on the boards. Our guards were rebounding the basketball so that makes a big difference. Derreyal Youngblood came in there and got some nice defensive rebounds which made a statement.”

    LSU raced out to a 14-2 lead during the game’s first six minutes. The Lady Tigers were firing on all cylinders with a 6-of-12 shooting coupled with suffocating defense that forced Florida to misfire of 15 of their 17 field goal attempts. LSU pieced together four consecutive layups – two from Ballard sandwiched between McKinney and Plaisance bunnies.

    Ahead 30-20 at the 5:17 mark, LSU used an eight-point surge over the next 3:06 capped by a Ballard jumper, a Harden triple and a Jasmine Rhodes jumper to grab its largest lead of the opening stanza at 38-20. The Lady Tigers carried a 40-25 edge into the locker room.

    “We definitely wanted to come out and start off better than we did in the first half against Texas A&M,” Plaisance said. “That is where we feel we lost that game was in the first half. We didn’t come out with intensity or focused ready to play. We knew Florida was a great team, and they were on a nine-game winning streak. We knew we didn’t have room for any errors. Coming out strong was something we definitely focused on.”

    LSU pushed its advantage to as big as 52-33 on a Moncrief jumper with 15:47 remaining in the second half. Midway through the frame, the Gators pieced together a 17-6 spurt to pull back to 64-57 with 7:07 to go on a pair of Peoples free throws.

    The Lady Tigers turned to their bench where Harden and Boykin answered the call with a trio of jumpers. Youngblood added a free throw and Rina Hill drove the baseline for a left-handed layup to finish off a 9-2 LSU spurt which made it 73-59 advantage with 4:49 left on the clock. The Lady Tigers would close out victory by an 82-68 margin.

    As a team, LSU was an efficient 32-of-68 from the floor. It marked the fourth time on the season that the Lady Tigers made 30-plus field goals. LSU was 2-for-8 from three-point range and registered a 16-for-21 mark at the free throw line.

    The Gators secured a 17-for-56 shooting performance which included a 6-for-20 effort from triple territory. Florida was an impressive 28-for-31 from the charity stripe. The 28 free throws are a season’s best for a LSU opponent.

    LSU begins its only two-game SEC road trip of the season Thursday at Missouri. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Mizzou Arena with no television coverage.

    The LSU Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game on Talk 107.3 FM in the Baton Rouge and inside the Geaux Zone at LSUsports.net/live. Patrick Wright, the voice of the Lady Tigers, will call the action.

    For all of the latest news and information on Lady Tiger basketball, visit www.lsusports.net/womensbasketball. Fans can also follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/lsuwbkb along with @lsuwbkb and @nikkicaldwell on Twitter.





    Aggies Down No. 25 Georgia For Sixth Straight Win

    ATHENS, Ga. -- Texas A&M’s women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to six games, with a 58-44 win over No. 25 Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum.

    Texas A&M (13-4, 3-0 SEC) picked up back-to-back wins over ranked opponents for the first time since the Aggies defeated three ranked teams to win the 2013 SEC Tournament.

    The Aggies went on a 17-4 run that spanned over eight minutes of the first half, helping the Aggies to a 31-17 halftime advantage. Georgia was the fourth A&M opponent held to 20-or-fewer points in the first half this season, and the 11th such opponent since the start of 2012-13.

    No. 25 Georgia (12-5, 0-4 SEC) was unable to score a second half point against the Aggies stifling defense until a free throw at the 14:24 mark. By that time, the Aggies built up a 21-point lead that the Lady Bulldogs could not overcome.

    The Aggies are 5-2 in their last seven games against ranked opponents, dating back to 2012-13 and 7-2 in their last nine games against ranked opponents away-from-home.

    Courtney Walker had 16 points to lead the Aggies, her second straight game with 12+ points.

    Jordan Jones had a career-high 13 points, and added in eight rebounds and seven assists. She entered the game ranked 24th in the nation in assists, a mark bolstered by her 7.6 assists per game in her previous five games.

    Achiri Ade had a career-high 16 rebounds, tied for the 16th-most in a single game in A&M history.

    Tori Scott had 11 points, her third double digit scoring game this season.

    The Aggies join No. 1 Connecticut, No. 3 Duke, No. 5 Louisville and No. 13 North Carolina as teams to win multiple games against ranked opponents in a single week this season.

    The Aggies return home to Reed Arena on Thursday, January 16 to host No. 10 South Carolina at 7 p.m. That game is televised on Fox Sports Southwest.





    Gamecocks Rally Past Tigers 72-66

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- No. 10/11 South Carolina used a 10-4 run at the end of the first half and gritty defense in the second to post a 72-66 win at Auburn Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks (16-1, 4-0 SEC) shot 68.8 percent in the second half and held Auburn to just 35.5 percent in the period to drive past a scrappy Tigers’ team after being tied at the half. Three Gamecocks were in double figures, led by Tiffany Mitchell’s 18 and including 14 from Alaina Coates, all in the first half to keep South Carolina going in the opening stanza, as South Carolina improved to 4-0 in SEC action for the first time in program history.

    The Gamecocks needed a furious rally to go into halftime tied after trailing by 12 at 25-13 with 8:30 left in the period. Gamecock turnovers and Auburn’s good work on the offensive glass had the Tigers feeling confident early. South Carolina called a timeout to regroup then made headway by excising a season-long demon by converting at the free throw line.

    After a Tyrese Tanner free throw line jumper put the Tigers up 25-13, the Gamecocks rattled off the next five points thanks to a pair of Auburn turnovers. Khadijah Sessions got it going with an aggressive drive through the lane, and Aleighsa Welch picked up a steal on the Tigers’ trip up the floor. Her transition layup rimmed out, but Olivia Gaines was fouled going for the rebound and hit the front end of the 1-and-1 opportunity to make it a nine-point game. After solid post defense from Alaina Coates forced Peyton Davis to travel, Welch delivered a baseline jumper to make it a 25-18 game with 6:28 to go.

    From there, the game became a parade to the free throw line as both teams were in the bonus and whistles came on nearly every possession. The Gamecocks dug into the lead by converting at the line and by sneaking in a few transition baskets. A steal from Tiffany Mitchell led to a transition layup from Welch to bring the Gamecocks within five at 29-24. After a pair of Auburn free throws, Coates hit one of her two on the next possessions, then made the Tigers pay for another turnover with a bucket from the right block off a great lob in from Wilka Montout to pull within four. Auburn stretched it back out to 35-29 with 2:19 remaining, but the Gamecocks closed on a 10-4 run that started with a traditional three-point play from Coates to get within three. After a Montout defensive rebound, Mitchell put back her own miss to pull within one at 35-34. Brandy Montgomery drove for a basket to put the Tigers back up by three, but Tina Roy erased that with a 3-pointer from the left sideline to knot the game at 37-37. The teams traded free throws in the waning seconds of the half to go into the locker room tied 39-39.

    Auburn scored the first bucket of the second half, but South Carolina scored the next five to claim its first lead of the game. Dozier put the Gamecocks on top 42-41 with a 3-pointer from the right wing, and Elem Ibiam followed her defensive rebound with a transition layup to make it a three-point advantage. The game was tied at 45-45 with 17:13 to play when the Gamecocks launched a 4-0 mini-run to go up 49-45 with 15:26 to play.

    The Gamecocks could not pull away, though, and the Tigers stayed tough. After a pull-up jumper from Mitchell made it a 55-48 game, Auburn used a pair of turnovers and a missed opportunity on the free throw line into a 7-0 run that tied the game at 55-55 with 8:09 on the clock.

    South Carolina went back on top with a Sessions 3 from the right wing after great ball movement around the perimeter as the Auburn zone locked down the Gamecock interior. Mitchel came up with the fifth of her career-high six steals on the Tigers’ next possession, converting it into a layup on the other end for a 60-55 South Carolina lead with 6:37 to play.

    Davis briefly interrupted the surge with a spin move inside for a bucket, but the Gamecocks went right back to work, finally pulling away from the Tigers. Asia Dozier hit a floater in the lane, and Mitchell turned her defensive rebound into a transition basket that put South Carolina up eight at 65-57 with less than four minutes to go. After an empty possession for the Gamecocks, Mitchell’s final steal of the game kept the Tigers from advancing. She doubled the impact with a 3 from the left corner after Welch found her in interior traffic to stretch the lead to double digits at 68-57 with 2:17 to play.

    The Tigers had one more run in them, though, again forcing a pair of Gamecock turnovers to score six straight points and pull within five with under a minute remaining. Auburn sent the Gamecocks to the free throw line, where the Gamecocks began to struggle. After Welch hit 1-of-2 from the stripe, Dozier did the same after she was fouled on a clutch defensive rebound. Montgomery buried a 3 from the right wing to pull the Tigers within four, but the Gamecocks got the ball into Sessions’ hands on the next possession, and the sophomore point guard hit both her free throws to help ice the game.

    Welch joined Mitchell and Coates in double figures with 10 to go with her three assists, which tied Dozier and Sessions for the team lead. Coates missed a double-double for the first time in league play, but still led the team with six boards.

    The Gamecocks continue their road swing at Texas A&M on Thu., Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. (ET). South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Sun., Jan. 19, to face Alabama in a 3 p.m. contest.





    Mississippi State Women's Hoops Picks Up SEC Road Win At Arkansas

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Mississippi State erased a nine-point second-half deficit to win its first Southeastern Conference game of the season Sunday afternoon.

    Behind Martha Alwal’s 24th career double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) and a standout performance from Breanna Richardson (15 points, 9 rebounds), MSU knocked off Arkansas 54-50 in women’s basketball action at the Bud Walton Arena.

    With the win, MSU improved to 14-3 overall and 1-2 in league play. MSU’s first win in Fayetteville since 2010 also topped the Bulldogs’ win total from last season. Arkansas fell to 14-3 and 1-3.

    “It was a heck of a basketball game,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “I was really proud of my kids. They are so competitive. They really compete on most nights. We did an unbelievable job on Jessica Jackson. She is really one of the best players in our league.

    “I told my freshmen before the game, it was freshman versus freshman. Breanna did a great job on one of their best players. We have been rebounding so poorly. However, we hold Arkansas to three offensive rebounds.”

    Jackson was averaging 19.7 points per game in conference play but was held to four points, with Richardson being her primary defensive responsibility. Ketara Chapel also assisted on the defense.

    “All week it was Jessica Jackson this, Jessica Jackson that,” Richardson said. “Coach told us the key to winning the game was to control her. We really took that as a personal challenge. Coach told me if I wanted to impact the game, the best way I could do that was by stopping her.”

    Richardson also delivered on the offensive end, with a 6-of-10 night from the field and 3-of-5 night at the free throw line. For Richardson, the point total was a career high, while her rebounding total gives her 34 boards in the last four games.

    “We had an inside presence this game,” Ricahardson said. “We started out slow. Sometimes the guards missed us in the first half. In the second half, they did a better job of getting us the ball and our job then was to finish.”

    The Bulldogs quickly built a 10-3 lead with a 10-1 run in the early stages of the half. The Razorbacks slowly received and grabbed their first lead at 19-17 with 4:38 left in the half. From there, the teams were virtually even with Arkansas easing into halftime with a 25-23 lead.

    “In the first half, I started out terrible, like 0-of-6 from the field,” said Alwal. “In the second half, I wanted to play harder and finish my shots. The key to the game was Breanna’s defense. She did a great job of stopping (Jackson).

    “In the second half, I wanted to make up for a really horrible first half.”

    Alwal did just that as she helped spark a 10-0 run which erased a 37-28 Arkansas lead. Dominique Dillingham also had a couple of huge defensive plays during the run.

    Still, the Razorbacks recovered again and enjoyed a 42-38 lead with 9:58 left.

    From there, MSU took over for good. A layup by Richardson gave MSU a 44-43 lead. The game’s last tie was broken when Dillingham drained a back-breaking 3-point basket with 1:47 left in regulation.

    “We really responded after Arkansas went up nine,” Schaefer said. “We had a 10-0 run. We are still a young, inexperienced, immature team. That is just the way it is. We grew up a little bit last week against Auburn. We grew up more. Our competitiveness was great tonight. Winning on the road in this league is almost impossible to do.”

    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 21 of 51 shots from the field (41.2 percent), 2 of 5 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 10 of 21 shots from the foul line (47.6 percent). The Razorbacks hit 14 of 45 shots from the field (31.1 percent), 1 of 12 shots from 3-point range (8.3 percent) and 21 of 28 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent).

    MSU held a 42-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 15 assists and 15 turnovers, while the Razorbacks had eight assists and eight turnovers.

    Arkansas received 18 points from McKenzie Adams and 10 points from Keira Peak.

    MSU hosts No. 8 Tennessee at 8 p.m. Thursday. Comcast Sports Southeast will have the regional telecast from the Humphrey Coliseum.





    Alabama Women’s Basketball Defeats Ole Miss, 93-79, for First SEC Win of the Season

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama women’s basketball team (8-8, 1-2 SEC) captured its first Southeastern Conference win of the season with a 93-79 victory over Ole Miss (9-8, 0-3 SEC) on Sunday at Foster Auditorium.

    “Today is all about great energy and great effort,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “Energy never fails and our kids have worked so hard. To get this first win in SEC play, I’m so incredibly proud of them because they’ve done everything we have asked for them to do, and I know I say that over and over, but this week has been incredible.”

    Four Alabama players turned in double-digit scoring performances, as the Tide set a season-high for points in a regulation game and the most points against an SEC opponent since Feb. 21, 1999, when Alabama had 102 against Vanderbilt. Senior Shafontaye Myers (28) and junior Daisha Simmons (23) combined for 51 points. Freshman Ashley Williams scored 14 points, while junior Briana Hutchen chipped in 13.

    Simmons, who shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line, also added eight rebounds and seven assists. Myers shot 10-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-7 on three-pointers, and swiped four steals.

    Tied 9-9 at the 15 minute mark in the first half, the Tide offense came alive and outscored Ole Miss 39-25 the rest of the half to take a 48-34 lead into halftime. Alabama continued its offensive run in the second half. The Tide shot better than 53 percent from the field in the second half and led by as much as 25 points late in the game.

    Next up, Alabama will host Auburn on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. CT in Foster Auditorium.

    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.





    Commodores silence the eighth-ranked Lady Vols

    NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- Vanderbilt used a second-half run and combined it with timely scoring to defeat No. 8 Tennessee, 74-63, Sunday at Memorial Gym.

    It was just Vanderbilt's ninth win in the series, but its third at Memorial Gym in the last six years. Vanderbilt improved to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the SEC. Tennessee fell to 13-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.

    Vanderbilt got 22 points from Jasmine Lister and 21 points from Christina Foggie. Marqu'es Webb scored 12 points.

    Meighan Simmons paced the Lady Vols with 16 points. Jasmine Jones added 13.

    Tennessee opened the second half by scoring the first nine points to open up a 10-point advantage, but Vanderbilt answered with a 13-5 run to pull back within two, 44-42 with 11:27 to play.

    However, Tennessee would maintain its slight advantage until the Commodores used an 8-0 run to go ahead 55-50 with 5:30 to play. Tennessee cut the deficit to three points on two occasions, but Vanderbilt answered each time and eventually led by as many as 10 points with 36 seconds to play.

    Tennessee held a 30-29 advantage at the half after closing the first frame on a 16-9 run. Vanderbilt led by as many as eight points in the first half when the Commodores led 10-2 with 15:01 to play.





    Goss Leads UK Hoops to Win Over Missouri

    LEXINGTON, KY -- Five Kentucky players scored in double figures as the No. 9 Wildcats knocked off Missouri on Sunday, 80-69.

    UK (14-3, 2-2 SEC) was led by Bria Goss' 20 points, as the junior went a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line.

    Senior forward Samarie Walker registered her 17th career double-double and sixth of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

    The win - the Wildcats' 700th win in program history - snapped a two-game losing streak.

    Bri Kulas recorded 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead led Missouri (13-4, 2-2). Morgan Eye added 14 points for the Tigers.

    Up next, the Wildcats are off Thursday and travel Sunday, Jan. 19 to Auburn for a 7 p.m. ET tipoff.