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    SEC Women's Basketball Recap: Sunday, February 2

    SUNDAY WOMEN'S HOOPS SCHEDULE
    Kentucky 63, LSU 56
    Vanderbilt 71, Texas A&M 69
    Florida 81, Ole Miss 60
    South Carolina 78, Missouri 62
    Mississippi State 80, Georgia 67
    Auburn 56, Arkansas 48
    Tennessee 64, Alabama 54

     

    UK Hoops' Defensive Effort Leads to 63-56 Win Over No. 14 LSU

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 13 Kentucky got a much-needed 63-56 win over No. 14 LSU Sunday, as the Wildcats bounced back from Thursday's loss to Georgia.

    The Wildcats were led by Bria Goss' 11 points, which included two free throws with 10 seconds left in regulation to seal the victory. Goss has now made 23 consecutive free throws which ties for fourth all-time in school history.

    UK hit six 3-pointers in the first half, just one shy of their season high.

    The Wildcats (17-5, 5-4 SEC) forced LSU (17-5, 6-3 SEC) into 18 turnonvers while snapping the Lady Tigers' three-game winning streak.

    Raigyne Moncrief led all scorers with 19 points, 14 of those coming in the second half.

    UK held LSU to 56 points, a season low for them in conference play.





    Commodores prevail in back-and-forth battle of ranked teams

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Morgan Batey made two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining to push No. 16/19 Vanderbilt to a 71-69 victory Sunday over No. 17/15 Texas A&M at Memorial Gym.

    Vanderbilt had lost two straight games. It is the second win in as many years over Texas A&M in Nashville.

    Vanderbilt improved to 17-5 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. Texas A&M dropped to 17-6 overall and 7-2 in the SEC.

    Batey led Vanderbilt with 17 points. Christina Foggie scored 14 points and Jasmine Lister added 11.

    Batey's game-winning free throws capped a wild sequence to end the game.

    A three-point play by Batey gave Vanderbilt a 63-61 lead with 2:42 to play. After a free throw by Texas A&M, Kady Schrann pushed VU's lead to three with a jumper just outside the lane.

    Texas A&M would cut the deficit to one on a steal and layup, but the Commodores again answered with a layup by Morgan Batey with 31 seconds remaining to give Vanderbilt a 67-64 cushion. Texas A&M's Karla Gilbert made two free throws on the ensuing possession to cut VU's lead to one, 67-66, with 20 seconds to play.

    Batey was then fouled on the inbounds play and made both free throws in a one-and-one situation to push the lead back to three. However, A&M answered again three-point play by Gilbert with 10 seconds remaining.

    Vanderbilt led until the 12:38 mark of the game after a layup by Karla Gilbert gave the Aggies a 40-39 lead. Texas A&M would add another basket in what was an 11-0 run that gave the Aggies a 42-39 lead with 12:01 to play.

    The Commodores got the lead back on a layup by Kady Schrann with 8:52 remaining in the game. The basket began a furious exchange of teams trading baskets and the lead on four straight possessions.

    Vanderbilt owned a 30-23 lead at the half and were paced by Foggie's 10 points.

    Texas A&M did not convert its first field goal until the 13:12 mark of the first half after starting 0-of-11 from the floor. The Commodores built a 9-1 run during that time and led throughout the half.

    Vanderbilt will now have a rare off week heading into at game at Tennessee on Monday, Feb. 10.





    Super Sunday for the Gators in Big Road Win at Ole Miss

    OXFORD, Miss. -- The Gators used a 17-1 run early in the second half to fuel an 81-60 road win at Ole Miss in the Tad Smith Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday.

    A number of individual performances highlighted Florida's third consecutive victory.

    Kayla Lewis scored 19 points on 9-12 field goals and 12 rebounds with three steals, as the Gator junior posted her fifth double-double of the season and eighth of her career.

    Sophomore Antoinette Bannister scored a career-high 18 points, hitting 7-13 from the floor, including a 3-5 effort from the three-point arc. Bannister sparked UF's early 19-6 first-half run when she scored 12 points, one shy of her career-best scoring effort, and successfully converted the first three-point-play of her career.

    Senior Lily Svete scored all of her 12 points in the second half when the Gators outscored the Rebels, 48-29. Svete drilled four three-pointers on nine attempts, while grabbing five rebounds.

    Despite big foul trouble early, freshman Ronni Williams finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists in just 14 minutes of action. The rookie scored six of her points during the game-breaking 17-1 run, when Lewis scored four points, Svete three and Bannister and Jaterra Bonds two each.

    That spree put the Gators in front 56-36 with 14:42 remaining and Florida never looked back, as Svete seemingly drilled a three every time Ole Miss tried to make a run.

    Bonds finished with nine points, while Cassie Peoples dished a game-high seven assists with just three turnovers, while collecting four of UF's 11 steals.

    Ole Miss jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before Williams successfully converted the first three-point play of her career. UM came right back with a bucket before Bonds' scoop shot fell and Williams nailed a 16-footer that brought Florida within two points.

    The teams traded scores and with UM holding a 14-10 lead, the Gators ripped off a 19-6 spree and took a 29-20 advantage capped by Lewis' offensive rebound putback at the 7:38 mark.

    Ole Miss went on an 11-2 run and tied the game at 31 with 42 seconds remaining in the first half, but Lewis picked up a loose ball rebound and hit the five-footer in the paint, as Florida took a 33-31 halftime lead.





    No. 7/8 Gamecocks Score 20th Win of Season, 78-62 Over Missouri

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- With six Gamecocks in double figures for the second game in a row, No. 7/8 South Carolina shot past Missouri 78-62 Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (20-2, 8-1 SEC) reached the 20-win plateau in front of a season-high crowd of 7,828, the sixth-best women’s basketball crowd in Colonial Life Arena history.

    After starting the game down by three, the Gamecocks put up eight unanswered points, started by Aleighsa Welch’s jumper off her own offensive rebound. South Carolina converted back-to-back three-point plays from Elem Ibiam and Tiffany Mitchell to go ahead 8-3 less than four minutes into the game.

    Leading 8-5, South Carolina launched a 10-2 run over the next four minutes, bookending the run with 3-pointers by Asia Dozier, building the lead to 18-7 with 11:44 left in the first period. Defensively, three Missouri turnovers contributed to the surge, which included points in the paint from Welch and Ibiam as well.

    The Tigers rallied, chipping away at the Gamecock lead with solid defensive rebounding and better shot selection until they were within six at 25-19 with 6:45 remaining in the half.

    With a renewed urgency, South Carolina locked in on the defensive end, holding Missouri scoreless for just over four minutes while pushing the tempo on offense to sprint to a 39-19 lead with under three minutes left in the half. Khadijah Sessions and Ibiam combined for nine of the 14, including five from the free-throw line, while Alaina Coates added a bucket from each block to cap the run.

    The Tigers started scoring again, but could not stop the Gamecocks, who closed the half on a 6-0 run, including four points from Sessions, to take a 48-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

    Welch started the Gamecocks off in the second period with a turnaround jumper, extending the lead to 25, but Missouri began lining up 3-pointers to knife into South Carolina’s advantage with a 15-3 as the defense forced four Gamecock turnovers and the offense hit three 3-pointers and a traditional three-point play from Bri Kulas to make it a 53-40 game with 13:05 to play.

    Buoyed by the boisterous crowd, the Gamecocks responded with the next nine points. Coates started the run with a basket on the low block then snagged a defensive rebound on the other end. Mitchell added the next five points with a 3-pointer from the left side and a layup off her own steal to put the Gamecocks back up by 20. Welch finished off the spurt with a free-throw line jumper, making it a 62-40 lead with 8:57 to play.

    The Tigers had one more run in them, but South Carolina was able to ebb their offensive flow again as Mitchell’s second 3-pointer of the game squelched a 10-3 surge that brought them within 15 points at 67-52 with 5:30 to play. Missouri tried to keep it going by sending the Gamecocks to the free throw, but South Carolina made just enough to stay in front and secure their 20th win of the season.

    All five starters and Coates off the bench were in double figures, accounting for all 78 of the Gamecocks’ points on the afternoon. Mitchell led the way with 20, while Sessions and Coates added 13 each. Welch and Dozier netted 11 each, and Ibiam rounded out the group with 10. Mitchell just missed her second double-double of the season with nine rebounds to go with three assists and four steals. Sessions showed great vision all day with six assists and four steals.

    South Carolina is back on the road on Thu., Feb. 6, at Mississippi State, then returns to Colonial Life Arena for a Sunday game against Arkansas.





    Super Sunday for Women’s Hoops In 80-67 Win Against Georgia

    STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For the Mississippi State women’s basketball team, it was a Super Sunday indeed.

    Thanks to balanced scoring and a tough effort on the defensive end, Mississippi State knocked off Georgia 80-67 in a Southeastern Conference contest played in the Humphrey Coliseum.

    MSU placed three players in double figures, led by Martha Alwal with 20 points. Katia May added 17 points and Breanna Richardson collected 13.

    Head coach Vic Schaefer’s squad won back-to-back conference home games to improve to 16-7 overall and 3-6 in conference play. Georgia fell to 15-7 and 3-6.

    State has won three of its last four in the series at home, and claimed its first back-to-back wins against UGA since 2010. Mississippi State’s 80 points was the most it has scored in the series since the 2004 campaign.

    “We executed and were committed to playing together today,” MSU senior guard Katia May said. “On the defensive end, we played well. On offense, we did a good job of getting the ball to the open person. I felt good shooting in pre-game, so I tried to practice at places on the floor where I could get open.”

    May notched a new career high on 6-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range. When May was forced to the bench with foul trouble, Jerica James provided 14 strong minutes off the bench, hitting a pair critical 3-point baskets as well. The duo had seven assists and six steals from the point guard position.

    “Katia was playing great,” James said. “It was my job to come in and keep leading the team. I had to make sure we weren’t making mistakes. The team was ready to go and get the win. I am a junior, so (entering) a game like this is not that big a deal. It’s the SEC where everybody is bigger and stronger.

    “You have to raise your game to match that play.”

    Mississippi State raised its game and put together one of its best first halves of the season. In the opening stanza, Alwal, May and Richardson all reached double figures. The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, while also hitting its first 13 free throws of the contest.

    MSU quickly built a 17-9 lead on a jumper by Dominique Dillingham with 12:29 left in the half. The lead grew to 12 at 23-11 after a 3-point play by Alwal.

    The host Bulldogs stretched the lead to 17 at 42-25 with 2:40 left in the opening half, but Georgia ended the half with a 12-2 run to bring the deficit to 44-37 at halftime.

    “I am really proud of my kids,” Schaefer said. “Give the Good Lord credit for the effort and energy those kids played with. Georgia is really good. They have a Hall of Fame coach. I love how we competed today. We threw the first punch and I thought we kept punching.

    “Every kid on this team today made a play when we needed it most.”

    In the second half, Georgia closed within 46-41 less than two minutes into the half. Mississippi State responded with the game’s next eight points, including a 3-pointer by James for a 54-41 lead with 15:49 left in the contest.

    Georgia closed within seven twice but State had the answer time and time again.

    A critical 3-pointer by Kendra Grant ran the lead to 71-61 with 3:35 left. Georgia scored on its next two possessions but got no closer.

    “Savannah (Carter) and Dominique (Dillingham) were playing so hard,” Grant said. “It was my job to keep that up. I wanted to come in and keep things going.”

    For the contest, the Maroon & White shot 51.9 percent (27 of 52) from the field, its best in SEC play this season, and hit 6 of 9 shots from 3-point range (66.7 percent) and 20 of 26 shots from the foul line (76.9 percent). Georgia connected on 25 of 57 shots from the field (43.9 percent), 3 of 9 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 15 of 15 shots from the foul line (93.3 percent).

    Georgia held a 31-29 rebounding advantage. MSU had 16 assists and 17 turnovers, while Georgia had 11 assists and 21 turnovers.

    MSU will host No. 7/8 South Carolina Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.





    Auburn Women Come from Behind to Win at Arkansas

    AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn women’s basketball team went on a 10-2 run in the final 1:52 to record a come-from-behind 56-48 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., at Bud Walton Arena.

    “It was a defensive come back” Auburn head women’s basketball coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. “We switched the defense in the second half, and upped the pressure. We went more to our full court man-to-man press. Arkansas was controlling the tempo early, that’s why the score was so low in the first half.”

    Auburn (12-10, 3-6 SEC) forced 14 of Arkansas’ 17 turnovers in the second stanza, and held them to just six field goals.

    Three times in the second half, Auburn trailed by as many as eight points. Arkansas’ Kiera Peak scored on a layup at the 4:07 mark, but the Razorbacks (15-7, 2-7 SEC) would only muster one additional field goal in the final minutes. With the game tied at 48-48, freshman guard Khady Dieng hit a three at the 1:19 mark, which gave Auburn the lead they would never relinquish.

    “(Khady Dieng) hit a huge three, there was no hesitation,” said Williams-Flournoy. “She’s been practicing well. She doesn’t mind hitting those shots in practice, but more importantly she had a huge box out to allow Hasina to get a rebound at the end of the game.”

    In Auburn’s final 18 points of the game, the Tanner sisters, both playing with four fouls, came up with 13. Tyrese scored seven, while Tra’cee recorded six. Bench play was key for Auburn with 23 points scored from reserve players, which outpaced the Razorback’s bench, 23-5.

    Auburn got out to a great start in the first half, jumping on Arkansas 16-10 through the first 10:40 of the game. But then the shooting went cold and only scored another four points in the last 9:20 of the first half and went in to the locker room down, 27-20.

    “I told them at halftime, they were about to blow a huge opportunity.” said Williams-Flournoy. “They just really came back and played hard.”

    Ty Tanner led the team in scoring with 13, and Dieng posted a career-high 10-points as the team’s other player in double figures. Ty Tanner also posted eight rebounds which gives her 498 for her career, moving to No. 24 on the Auburn all-time rebounds list, tying Diann McNeil.

    All three of Auburn’s SEC wins this year have come on the road, winning at Mississippi State, Alabama and now at Arkansas.

    The Tigers will be back in action on Sunday, Feb. 9 when they play host to Mississippi State. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. at Auburn Arena.

    For complete coverage on the Auburn women’s basketball team, visit AuburnTigers.com, follow on Twitter @Auburnwbb and `like' the Auburn Women’s Basketball page on Facebook.





    UT Rallies For 40th Straight Win Vs. Bama

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 10 Tennessee rallied from down by as many as 15 points to beat Alabama for the 40th consecutive time, 64-54, on Sunday at Foster Auditorium.

    Junior Cierra Burdick keyed the comeback and finished with a career-high 20 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Isabelle Harrsion had 11 points and 11 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. Meighan Simmons scored all 11 of her points in the second half.

    Tennessee won its fourth game in a row to move to 18-4 overall and 7-2 in the SEC. Alabama fell to 10-12 and 3-6 in the league.

    The Lady Vols outscored the Crimson Tide, 46-28, in the second half. Tennessee made 6-of-12 3-pointers in the second half to key the comeback as UT posted a 10-point win for a 25-point turnaround.

    The Crimson Tide was led by Daisha Simmons, who had 18.

    Alabama's last win over Tennessee came on March 3, 1984 in the SEC Tournament.

    After trailing by 15 with five minutes left in the first half, Tennessee reeled off 11 consecutive points bridging the halves to cut the deficit to four at 26-22.

    Meighan Simmons' first made basket of the game -- a 3-pointer -- brought Tennessee within two at 32-30 with 12:37 left in the game.

    Burdick tied the game at 32 on a jumper with 11 minutes on the clock. The Lady Vols tied the game 35, 37 and 39

    Tennessee finally regained the lead on three consecutive 3-pointers by Burdick, Meighan Simmons and Andraya Carter. The treys gave the Lady Vols a 48-39 lead with 6:12 left in the game. It was the first UT lead since 4-2.

    Tennessee used a 19-2 run to break open the game with five minutes left. Tennessee took a 55-41 lead on a Carter layup.

    Alabama led 26-18 at halftime after holding a 26-11 advantage with 5:13 left in the half. Tennessee scored the final seven points of the period as Burdick accounted for five of the seven points.

    The Lady Vols made just four of their first 17 shots in the game and finished shooting 28 percent in the first half. Meighan Simmons was relegated to the bench after picking up two fouls in the game's first three minutes. She sat for the final 17 minutes.

    Daisha Simmons scored 11 points in the first half including the final four for the Crimson Tide, putting Alabama up by 15.

    The Lady Vols return to action on Thursday at Ole Miss. The game tips at 9 p.m., on CSS and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.