|THURSDAY WOMEN'S HOOPS SCHEDULE
|Georgia 60, Arkansas 58
|Vanderbilt 80, Ole Miss 74
|Auburn 61, Alabama 39
|Tennessee 67, Mississippi State 63
|LSU 87, Missouri 68
|Texas A&M 65, South Carolina 62
Georgia Holds Off Arkansas, 60-58
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia women’s basketball picked up its first conference win of the season Thursday night in dramatic fashion defeating Arkansas 60-58. While moving the Lady Bulldogs’ conference record to 1-4 it also improved their overall record to 13-5.
Georgia was led in scoring by Shacobia Barbee who scored 17 points, with Krista Donald and Marjorie Butler adding 11 and 10 points respectively. Merritt Hempe led the team in rebounding as she collected nine boards. Butler’s 11 points were a season high while her team-high 38 minutes were a career high.
The Lady Bulldogs’ ball movement was in full effect again as six of eight players to see action recorded dimes. Khaalidah Miller led this group with five while Butler and Barbee both dished three scoring passes.
Georgia clinched the game after a dramatic last few minutes that saw the Razorbacks close the gap from 10 points at the 6:09 mark to one point at 2:05 as a Calli Berna 3-pointer made the score 52-51. Some strong Georgia defense forced the Razorbacks into several key fouls later on with Barbee, Hempe and Butler hitting key free-throws down the stretch. Despite a Keira Peak 3-pointer with two seconds left, the Lady Bulldogs were able to launch a long outlet pass to Barbee that saw the last two seconds tick off the clock.
“I laugh when I say this but if they had stepped up a little earlier at the free throw line we might have not needed them to come back so late,” Georgia head coach Andy Landers said. “But when the intense heat was on and the clock was running low and we needed points people went to the free throw line and made big baskets.”
Butler started the second stanza with a bang as she hit a corner 3-pointer to stretch the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to double digits. The Lady Bulldog defense continued to stifle the Razorbacks early as the home team grabbed three turnovers in the first 2:06 of the period, the last of these being followed by Butler’s second 3-pointer of the half.
Butler was not the only Tennessee native giving the Lady Bulldogs a lift out of the half time break as Barbee added three points, two steals and an assist all inside the first four minutes of the period.
Despite the early momentum, Georgia’s missed shots allowed the Razorbacks back into the game with the visitors trimming the lead to 11 points. A Barbee 3-pointer after great inter-passing from Miller and Butler gave the Lady Bulldogs some breathing room just when it seemed Arkansas was preparing to make a run.
Lady Bulldog fouls kept the door open for the Razorbacks as the visitors entered the double-bonus at the 8:42 mark.
Despite the Razorbacks closing the gap to one point, a key Butler steal and foul on Barbee with 54 seconds remaining stretched Georgia’s lead back to three points, a score which proved crucial at the conclusion of the game.
Barbee scored a crucial 13 second half points while all of Butler’s 10 came in the second stanza.
After a nip-and-tuck early period the Lady Bulldogs were able to open up a lead as they held Arkansas scoreless for 7:22 in the first half between the 11:51 mark and the 4:29 point. During this stretch Georgia opened the lead to double-digits behind two buckets each for Donald, Hempe and Barbee.
Butler’s speed and decisiveness bringing the ball up court continually put the Lady Bulldogs in favorable positions as the half proved one of Georgia’s most prolific offensive periods of conference play. Butler contributed three assists and a steal to just one turnover in a joint-team high 18 minutes.
Georgia’s biggest improvement from their first four conference games was an improvement in shooting as the Lady Bulldogs hit 46.2 percent from the floor in the first half.
Hempe led Georgia in scoring in the first period with seven points, with Donald adding six more. Hempe also led in the rebounding category as she pulled down six first half boards.
The victory over Arkansas was the Lady Bulldogs last game at home for two weeks as they hit the road to face Florida on Sunday at 1 PM ET and then Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 26, at 3 PM ET. Both games will be shown live on CSS.
Georgia returns home on Jan. 30, when the Lady Bulldogs welcome Kentucky to Stegeman Coliseum at the unusual time of 9 PM ET. This game will be broadcast live by SportSouth.
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.
Vanderbilt earns hard-fought win at Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. -- Just four days after generating a big upset, the Vanderbilt women managed to avoid being the victims of one.
The No. 24/25 Commodores, who stunned Tennessee on Sunday, survived a scare Thursday night while downing Ole Miss, 80-74.
Christina Foggie scored 20 of her team-high 28 points in the second half as the Commodores improved to 5-1 in the SEC (15-3 overall). Vanderbilt has now won three straight games and 11 of its past 12.
Foggie finished 9-of-14 from the floor and was 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Vanderbilt -- which ranks first in the SEC and second in the nation in field-goal percentage -- shot 57 percent from the floor (32-of-56).
Valencia McFarland had 28 points for Ole Miss (9-9, 0-4) and Tia Faleru had 20. Jasmine Lister finished with 17 points and Morgan Batey added 11 to help the Commodores grind out the win in a contest that wasn't decided until the final two minutes.
"It wasn't easy," said head coach Melanie Balcomb. "But that's OK. In the SEC, it's not going to be easy. This was a game we needed."
By posting the victory, Vanderbilt prevented history from repeating itself. Two seasons ago, the Commodores followed up an upset of Tennessee by losing their next game to Georgia. Vanderbilt, in fact, lost three of its next four games after downing Tennessee during the 2011-12 season.
But the Commodores avoided a letdown Thursday, thanks to the play of the seniors, Lister and Foggie, and some clutch work by freshman Kylee Smith. She scored all nine of her points in the final 4:40 while helping Vanderbilt turn a three-point lead into a 10-point cushion down the stretch.
"I like her aggressiveness," said Balcomb.
Ole Miss was on fire in the first half, hitting 17-of-25 shots (68 percent) from the floor and carrying a 38-37 lead into the locker room. Vanderbilt also shot the ball effectively, making 16-of-29 shots in the half.
The Commodores ran out to a quick 9-2 lead, but Ole Miss, fueled McFarland and Faleru, charged back with a 28-14 surge to take a 30-23 lead. The Commodores whittled the deficit to one point at halftime after scoring on their final two possessions of the first half, including a buzzer-beating jumper by Batey.
Lister led all scorers with 15 points in the first half. McFarland and Faleru had 13 points each for the Rebels.
Auburn Dominates In 61-39 Win At Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Auburn’s Tanner Sisters combined for 29 points and 19 rebounds against their in-state rival Thursday night, leading Auburn (11-6, 2-2 SEC) to a 61-39 win at Alabama. Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers with 15 points and nine rebounds while Tra’Cee Tanner notched 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The sister combination, both natives of Birmingham, Ala., also combined for seven Auburn steals and three blocked shots.
“They came out and played extremely hard, I thought the tempo we set right away and changing of the defense really kept Alabama’s point guard off balance,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “The first half was our best half of basketball this season, playing well both on offense and defense.”
The rivals locked horns early and Auburn led just 12-7 early on, but a 14-2 run in the middle of the half gave the Tigers their first big lead of the night. Alabama answered with a couple baskets, but Auburn closed out the half on a 17-0 run, highlighted by a Katie Frerking 3-pointer before the buzzer, to take a 41-14 halftime lead.
The 14 points marked the fourth time this season for the Tigers to hold an opponent to 20 or fewer points in a half.
Auburn struggled in the second half with fouls and turnovers, allowing Alabama to cut into the lead, but the damage was done as the Tigers held on for the 61-39 win.
Auburn’s defense set the tone for the game as the Tigers totaled 10 blocks and 10 steals in the win. The 10 blocks were the most for Auburn since it totaled 10 against George Washington on Dec. 12, 2012. The 10 assists mark the 11th time this season the Tigers have picked up 10 or more in a game.
Hasina Muhammad led the block party with five, making her the first Tiger to notch a five-block game since Jassany Williams hit the mark against Tennessee on Jan. 1, 2012. Tra’Cee Tanner led Auburn with four steals while Tyrese Tanner added three.
The Tigers also dominated the boards in the win, taking a 52-38 rebounding advantage. Four Auburn players totaled eight or more rebounds in the win, led by Tra’Cee Tanner’s 10. Brandy Montgomery and Tyrese Tanner pulled down nine each while Peyton Davis added eight.
Montgomery nearly finished with a double-double as she was the third Tiger in double figures with 10 points.
Alabama was led by Shafontaye Myers with 14 points while Ashley Williams added 12. Briana Hutchen pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
Auburn will return to action at 1 p.m. CT, Sunday as the Tigers host No. 10/12 Kentucky at Auburn Arena. The game will be televised live on SEC TV (check your local listings).
Lady Vols Stay Perfect Vs. MSU With 67-63 Win
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tennessee remained perfect all-time against Mississippi State, but it didn't come without a fight. The #12/10 Lady Vols withstood the feisty Bulldogs to post a 67-63 victory at The Hump on Thursday night.
Tennessee is a now a perfect 35-0 all-time vs. Mississippi State including a 16-0 record on the Bulldogs home floor.
Bashaara Graves (13), Ariel Massengale (13) and Isabelle Harrison (10) topped Tennessee's scoring chart as the Lady Vols improved to 14-3 and 3-2 in the conference.
Mississippi State (14-4, 1-3 SEC) was led by Kendra Grant's 21 points. Katia May (14) and Martha Alwal (10) also scored in double-figures.
The Lady Vols led for the final 34 minutes of the game, but MSU was within eight points for the entire second half. The Bulldogs cut their deficit to three in the final minute at 62-59 on a jumper by May with 53 seconds left. But, the Lady Vols got hot from the field to secure the win.
Tennessee made nine of their final 11 field goal attempts -- including six in row -- late in the game to continue to maintain a narrow advantage.
Andraya Carter's layup on a back-door cut with 35 seconds left off a feed from Harrison gave the Lady Vols a 64-59 lead..
Breanna Richardson converted two free throws for the Bulldogs with 26.4 on the clock to close the margin to three again at 64-61.
Graves made one of two foul shots with 23.7 on the clock to put UT up 65-61. Then Massengale made a pair with 20.3 left to put the Lady Vols ahead 67-61. Savannah Carter knocked down a jumper with six seconds left, but it was too little too late the MSU.
Tennessee outrebounded Mississippi State, 35-31, but no Lady Vol corralled more than five boards. Five different players had five.
The Lady Vols led 26-23 at the half. It was a tough shooting half for both teams as they combined to shoot 34.4 and made a total of 1-of-13 from 3-point range.
Graves and Alwal each led their teams with eight points apiece.
Tennessee used a 12-2 lead to take a 20-12 lead midway through the first half. The Lady Vols led for the final 14:26 of the first half.
Tennessee returns home to host No. 2 Notre Dame on ESPN Big Monday Night. The game airs nationally at 7 p.m., on ESPN and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.
Lady Tigers Set Record in Big Win at Missouri
BATON ROUGE -- The No. 14 LSU women’s basketball team buried 13 three-pointers to establish a new single game program record, and Jeanne Kenney exploded for a career-high 30 points to fuel an 87-68 victory over Missouri Thursday at Mizzou Arena.
LSU’s (14-3, 3-1 SEC) previous three-point single game record was 12 treys versus Jackson State back on Feb. 9, 1995. The 87 points for the Lady Tigers were a season-high, and it marked the seventh time on the season that LSU has eclipsed the 80-point mark.
Missouri (13-5, 2-3 SEC) was handed its second home loss in three games after winning its first eight home decisions on the season. Bri Kulas garnered a career-best 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
For Kenney, the 30 points came on an efficient 7-of-10 from the floor. She knocked down a career-high tying six triples and was 10-of-12 at the foul line. The last time a LSU player amassed 30 points was Allison Hightower against Ole Miss on Feb. 7, 2010.
Theresa Plaisance tacked on 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals. The 15 points enabled Plaisance to become the 31st member of LSU’s 1,000 points club.
Anne Pedersen provided a spark off the bench with a career-high 13 points. She made four of her six field goal attempts which included all three of her triples.
DaShawn Harden, Shanece McKinney and Raigyne Moncrief provided six points apiece for the Lady Tigers. Rina Hill chipped in five points and three assists. All 10 players who saw action for LSU scored a basket and tallied an assist.
After erasing a 10-point early deficit, LSU regrouped to take a 42-40 advantage into the locker room. The Lady Tigers seized momentum midway through the second half and outscored Missouri by a 45-28 margin during the second 20 minutes.
LSU wraps up its lone two-game SEC road swing of the season Sunday against No. 24 Vanderbilt. Tip time is slated for 1 p.m. CT from Memorial Gym. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Network (FSN), SportSouth (SPSO) and www.WatchESPN.com.
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 Take Down No. 8 South Carolina in OT Thriller
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS -- Texas A&M took over first place in the SEC as the No. 25 Aggies defeated No. 8 South Carolina 67-65 in overtime Thursday evening at Reed Arena.
The Aggies won their seventh straight game and ninth straight home game. A&M, who now is the only unbeaten team in SEC play, owns a victory over two of the four one-loss teams in SEC play.
A&M had four players score in double figures, with Courtney Walker leading the way with 18 points. Courtney Williams added 17, to go along with Jordan Jones' 16 points and Karla Gilbert's 11.
Texas A&M (14-4, 4-0 SEC) went on a 30-6 run during the first half, giving the Aggies a 34-17 lead at intermission. The Aggies’ defense shined again, as South Carolina was the fourth team this season, and second ranked team, to score fewer than 20 points in the first half against the Aggies.
South Carolina (16-2, 4-1 SEC) trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half, but was able to cut Texas A&M's lead to one on several occasions in the second half. After a well-timed steal gave South Carolina the ball with 15 seconds remaining, Tiffany Mitchell banked in a circus-shot 3-pointer to tie the game with 5.1 seconds to play and send the game to overtime tied at 56.
With Texas A&M up 60-58 in overtime, Jones stole the ball from South Carolina, then scored an and-one layup to give A&M a 63-58 lead with 1:27 to play. Walker hit a six-foot jumper on the Aggies' next possession, which kept A&M up by two possessions with 58.8 to play, a deficit that South Carolina was not able to overcome. A buzzer-beating 3-pointer from South Carolina only served as window dressing for the 67-65 final score.
Jones added in seven assists, five rebounds and four steals to her total, helping lead the Aggie offense to a 12-7 advantage on fast break points and a 23-10 margin on points off turnovers.
Williams had nine rebounds, coming one away from her third double double of the season.
With the win, the Aggies win their third straight game against a Top 10 opponent and and are now 3-1 against the AP Top 25 this season.
The Aggies look to maintain their place atop the SEC standings on Sunday, January 19 as they host Mississippi State at 2 p.m. The game marks the return of long-time Texas A&M assistant coach, Vic Schaefer, to Reed Arena as coach of the Bulldogs.