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    SEC Women's Basketball Recap: Sunday, February 9

    SUNDAY WOMEN'S HOOPS SCHEDULE
    Georgia 84, Ole Miss 63
    Florida 86, Kentucky 80
    Alabama 59, Missouri 56
    Texas A&M 72, LSU 67
    South Carolina 67, Arkansas 49
    Auburn 51, Mississippi State 43

     

    Offensive Outburst Takes Lady Bulldogs To 84-63 Win Over Ole Miss

    ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia Lady Bulldogs used a powerful first half performance to systematically pull away from the visiting Ole Miss Rebels 84-63 at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The win pushes Georgia to 16-7 overall and 4-6 in conference play.

    Georgia was led in the scoring column by Erika Ford who collected 16 points, she was joined in double digits by Shacobia Barbee (14 points), Khaalidah Miller and Tiaria Griffin (13 apiece) and Merritt Hempe (10 points). Miller and Barbee led the Lady Bulldogs in their rebounding effort as they grabbed 7 boards each. Miller continued her recent sharing streak as she tied her career high with six assists.

    The 84 points the Lady Bulldogs recorded was their highest points total in SEC play, surpassing the 70 points they scored against Tennessee. It was also Georgia’s highest scoring output since Dec. 15 when it scored 91 points against Kennesaw State.

    “It was a very good effort. I thought early on our defense set the tempo and knocked some balls loose and perhaps put Ole Miss a little bit off balance. We were able to transition and score and we were able to execute in the half court. I thought Erika Ford was very good early in the game, first two or three possessions, doing some things that we wanted her to do with the basketball in that situation," said Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "It was a good game, 40 minutes of reasonably good play. The only thing I think that I would like to see is when somebody makes a little run or cuts into us a little bit, I’d like to see a different fight out of us.”

    Georgia opened up an early lead built on the Lady Bulldogs dominate defense that has become something of a calling card for the Lady Bulldogs. The home team was able to stretch its lead to 11-2 on a deep 3-point bomb from Khaalidah Miller.

    The visiting Rebels however were able to trim the lead to just three points on a Tia Faleru layup; however that Ole Miss fight back just seemed to spur the Lady Bulldogs forward. From the 10:23 mark to 5:32 left in the first half Georgia went on an 11-0 run that extended the lead from 21-18 to 32-18.

    The Lady Bulldogs finished the first period in style as Miller hit another long 3-pointer from the corner with 30 seconds left on the clock then, after Amber Singletary answered with a 3 of her own for the Rebels, Erika Ford nailed a deep ball at the buzzer to give Georgia a 48-29 lead at the half.

    Georgia’s offensive output in the first half was spearheaded by Miller and Ford who managed to notch 11 points apiece including 5 combined 3-pointers. Miller provided a large portion of Georgia’s rebounding output for the half as she grabbed 7 boards and also dished three dimes to lead the home team in the first stanza.

    The Lady Bulldogs’ momentum continued into the early portion of the second half as Tiaria Griffin and Ford added two more 3-pointers as the home five found an offensive groove in the opening few minutes. The Lady Bulldogs stretched the lead to 23 points on Griffin’s 3-pointer and kept their foot on the gas with a Hempe layup and Barbee free throw establishing the lead at 62-36 with 14:36 left in the contest.

    The offensive rhythm continued for the Lady Bulldogs as they produced their best offensive performance of the calendar year. Georgia hit four 3-pointers in the second half including one by Krista Donald, her first deep ball since the Jan. 19 win over Florida.

    The Lady Bulldogs were led in second period scoring by Barbee who notched 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Barbee and Halle Washington grabbed four second stanza rebounds.

    Georgia returns to action Thursday night as it takes the long road trip to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M. The game will tip-off at 8 PM ET.

    The Lady Bulldogs return home next Sunday, February 16 as they welcome Florida to Stegeman Coliseum. The game will tip off at 1 PM ET and will be televised live by ESPNU.

    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.





    Gators Earn Sweep Over Nationally-Ranked Kentucky

    GAINESVILLE, FL -- Sophomore January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) scored 20 points, junior Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) had a monster performance and Florida defeated No. 15/13 Kentucky, 86-80, on Sunday afternoon in the O’Connell Center.

    The Gators, who earned a 83-73 win against the Wildcats on January 5 in Lexington, won back-to-back games in the series for the first time since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Sunday’s victory also marked the third time that Florida has swept Kentucky in a season series, with this year’s outings marking the 12th time the two programs have met multiple times in the same season.

    Miller’s scoring outburst was the second time in her career she has topped the 20-point plateau, as she was two shy of tying her career-high set earlier this year.

    Lewis recorded her seventh double-double of the year with 18 points (6-11 FG) and a career-high-tying 17 rebounds in addition to a career-high six assists with a game-high three steals and two blocked shots.

    Senior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) scored a career-high 17 points, passing previous standard of 15 that she tallied three times, converting 5-of-9 from the three-point arc.

    Sophomore Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) carried the Gators to their lead at 40-36 halftime, when she scored 10 of her 14 points in the opening frame.

    With Florida holding an 81-78 lead, Kentucky’s Bria Goss was whistled for an offensive charge against Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) with 70 seconds remaining that sent the home crowd into a frenzy and swung the momentum the Gator’s way for the final time en route to the victory as the ensuing play led to a layup by Lewis and a two-possession lead they maintained through the final horn.

    Florida shot 48.4 percent (31-64) from the floor, its second-highest mark in an SEC game this season behind the 49.1 percent effort against Kentucky in the Jan. 5 meeting. The Gators also drilled 9-of-20 three-pointers, the ninth time this year the team has hit as many.

    While the game featured five lead changes and three tied scores, all except one of the tied scores occurred during the first half.

    A basket and a pair of free throws saw Kentucky tie it up at 40 coming out of the locker room, but three consecutive three-point-plays, two from Miller and the other by Lewis, re-energized the Gators and helped them build a nine-point lead with 16:57 left to play.

    With all the momentum on Florida’s side, the next play saw Peoples steal the ball and throw it to Svete who then converted a 3-pointer from the left side to put the Orange and Blue up 52-40 with 16:13 remaining.

    Lewis made sure to continue the Gators’ run by stealing the ball from the Wildcats that led to a layup by Peoples and forcing Kentucky to call a timeout with 16:13 on the clock after Florida extended its lead to 14, the largest of the game.

    For the next eight minutes, both teams traded baskets and went back-and-forth down the court with the Wildcats scoring 22 points and the Gators netting 14 while watching their lead cut to 68-62 with 8:19 left.

    With 4:45 remaining, Kentucky’s Jennifer O’Neal made back-to-back baskets to close the gap to 71-70 but a foul on teammate Bria Goss sent Bonds to the line where she converted both attempts and gave the Gators a 73-70 lead.

    Kentucky quickly droved to their end of the court and once again cut UF’s lead to one, 73-72, after a transition layup with 3:57 on the clock.

    As they had all afternoon, the Gators responded with Svete sinking her fifth 3-pointer of the game that gave UF a 76-72 edge.

    The four-point lead didn’t last long, as the Wildcats hot-shooting streak in the second-half continued. With less than a minute left to play and the Gators’ lead down to three, an assist by Miller led to a layup by Lewis, giving Florida a five-point advantage that allowed them to close out the game and earn the win.

    The Gators got off to a hot start and jumped in front with consecutive baskets by Ronni Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Peoples and Lewis. But the Wildcats quickly responded with a 7-2 run that gave them the 9-8 edge with 17:16 to play in the first half.

    A 3-pointer by Peoples gave Florida the lead again but Kentucky answered with a three of their own and went ahead 12-11 at the 16:42 mark.

    Keeping things tight for the next few minutes, it wasn’t until there was 5:50 left on the clock that the Gators began to break it open in the first 20 minutes of action.

    A missed three-pointer from the Wildcats and a defensive rebound by Bannister began a 6-2 run for the Gators which was ignited with a dish from Miller to Bonds.

    The sequence saw the Gators jump to their largest lead of the half, claiming a 35-25 edge with 4:25 remaining, but a couple of turnovers allowed the Wildcats to close out the half with an 11-5 run and cut UF’s lead to 40-36 heading into the locker room.





    Alabama Women’s Basketball Wins at Missouri, 59-56

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Alabama women’s basketball team came away with a 59-56 victory over Missouri on Sunday at Mizzou Arena. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 11-12 on the season and 4-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while the loss drops the Tigers to 14-10 overall and 3-8 against league opponents.

    The 4-6 record in conference for the Tide is its best mark through the first 10 league games since the 2004-05 season when it also had four wins.

    Junior Sharin Rivers had a career-high 18 points to lead Alabama offensively, while junior Briana Hutchen had a game-best 13 rebounds in the win. Freshman Ashley Williams and sophomore Nikki Hegstetter also finished in double figures with 12 points and 10 points, respectively. For Missouri, junior Morgan Eye had a game-high 19 points.

    Alabama led at the start, opening the game with the first four points and remained in front until Missouri was able to tie it up twice midway through the half. With the game locked at 16, the Tide would score eight unanswered points over the next four minutes to lead 24-16 with 4:35 remaining. Alabama continued to distance itself and, behind a pair of made free throws by Hutchen with 1.7 seconds remaining, went into the locker room with a 10-point advantage, 32-22.

    The Tigers used a 12-6 run at the beginning of the second half to pull within six at the 15:24 mark. The Tide would bring its lead back out to eight minutes later, but again Missouri would strike, going on an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game with 7:40 to play. The Tigers continued to lead until Williams drove in for the layup with 4:17 to go to put Alabama in front, 50-49. The game would go back and forth down the stretch, but five-straight points from junior Daisha Simmons gave the Tide just enough distance to seal the victory.

    For the game, Alabama shot 36.5 percent (19-52), while Missouri was 32.2 percent (20-62) from the floor. The Tide was solid on defense, holding the Tigers to just five three-pointers, which is nearly five less than they average.

    Next up, Alabama heads to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks on Thursday, Feb. 13. The game will tip off in Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m. CT.

    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.





    Walker Leads Aggies Past No. 16 LSU

    COLLEGE STATION -- Courtney Walker scored 22 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to lead No. 19 Texas A&M to a 72-67 win over No. 16 LSU Sunday afternoon at Reed Arena.

    The win marks Texas A&M's first two-game regular season sweep of an SEC opponent since joining the league in 2012-13, as the Aggies defeated LSU 52-48 in the teams' first matchup in Baton Rouge.

    The Aggies are now 11-1 at home this season, and have defeated four ranked opponents during SEC play.

    LSU (18-6, 7-4 SEC) led for much of the first half, taking a 24-17 lead before Texas A&M scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 25-24 lead into the break.

    Texas A&M (18-6, 8-2 SEC) came out of the gates strong in the second half, scoring twice in the first 19 seconds of the half to extend their lead to five points. The Aggies never trailed in the second half, but LSU forced several tense moments in the second half, closing the deficit to a single point on several occasions.

    The second half was dominated by physical play, as 34 of the game's 51 fouls were called in the second half, putting several players on both teams into foul trouble.

    With the Aggies leading 64-63 and 2:41 to play, Courtney Walker scored on three straight A&M possessions, extending the Aggie lead to three points each time. LSU's Danielle Ballard answered Walker's first two scores, but with 31.2 seconds remaining, Karla Gilbert forced a tie-up on a missed LSU shot that gave Texas A&M the ball and the ability to shoot free throws to ice the game.

    Four Aggies reached double figures in scoring, with Walker's 22 leading the way. Courtney Williams had 16 points, while Karla Gilbert reached double figures for the fourth straight game with 12 points. Tori Scott came off the bench to score 11 points.

    A&M returns to Reed Arena on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. as Georgia visits for their second matchup with the Aggies this season. A&M won the first matchup 58-44 in Athens on Jan. 12, and the rematch in College Station is televised on Fox Sports Southwest.





    No. 6/7 Gamecocks Lock Down Arkansas 67-49

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- No. 6/7 South Carolina used an early run and solid defense throughout to post a 67-49 win over Arkansas Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. In front of 7,545 fans, the Gamecocks (22-2, 10-1 SEC) held the Razorbacks to just 29.8 percent shooting in their second-lowest scoring game of the season. South Carolina had four players in double figures, led by 16 from Aleighsa Welch, who also blocked a career-high five shots.

    Both teams struggled offensively early, but Tiffany Mitchell generated enough offense to get in front until her Gamecock teammates caught up. Defensively, the Gamecocks were locked in defensively from the opening tipoff, holding the Razorbacks to a season-low 18 points in the opening 20 minutes on just 20.0 percent shooting.

    After Mitchell scored the first five points of the game, the Gamecocks went inside to Elem Ibiam on the next possessions, and the junior answered with a pair of hook shots to go up 9-2 six minutes into the game. The Razorbacks found some offense, but not enough to keep up with the Gamecocks for long. After Keira Peak swiped a steal and hit a layup in transition to make it a 17-10 game with 9:32 left in the half, South Carolina scored 10 unanswered points with four Gamecocks contributing.

    Alaina Coates got the run going with a putback of her own missed shot, and Khadijah Sessions delivered three free throws after being fouled outside the arc. After a Tina Roy defensive rebound, Ibiam hit from underneath. Welch blocked a shot on the other end, and Roy drained a 3 at the end of the hsot clock to put the Gamecocks up 27-12 with 5:52 to left in the period.

    Arkansas inched closer, only to see the Gamecocks respond and carry a 33-18 lead into the locker room at halftime after shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

    The Razorbacks chipped away at the lead in the second half, pulling within 10 at 37-27 with 15:26 to play, but the Gamecocks again answered the call. Coates hit a short jumper, then Welch pulled in a pair of defensive rebounds to hold the Razorbacks to one tough shot on each of the next two possessions. The Gamecocks pushed the ball up the floor on both occasions, resulting in traditional three-point plays for Mitchell and Welch to stretch the lead to 18 less than two minutes later.

    South Carolina battled for points down the stretch, finishing the second half shoot just 34.6 percent from the field in the period, but the defense stayed solid, not allowing the Razorbacks to make much headway the rest of the way.

    Joining Welch in double figures were Mitchell at 15 an Ibiam and Coates with 10 each. Coates and Mitchell led the way on the glass, where the Gamecocks out-rebounded the Razorbacks 42-28 in the game, with eight rebounds each. South Carolina won despite 19 turnovers, limiting the Razorbacks to just 11 points on those miscues while scoring 11 points off nine Arkansas turnovers.

    The Gamecocks are on the road for the next two games, beginning at No. 16/14 LSU on Sun., Feb. 16.





    Tanner takes over, leads Auburn women past Miss. St.

    AUBURN, Ala. -- As Auburn’s women’s basketball team left the court at halftime Sunday, it faced the looming possibility of a damaging loss to Mississippi State.

    But Auburn senior Tyrese Tanner wasn’t going to have it. Not this day.

    Tanner scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half. She finished with 10 rebounds and four of Auburn’s 20 steals as the Tigers held the Bulldogs to 15 second-half points and ran away with a 51-43 victory. Every time Mississippi State crept close, Tanner had an answer.

    “Once again, we played as bad as we could in the first half,” Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, “but when you have a player like Tyrese Tanner that just puts the team on her back, that’s a pretty good player right there.”

    The Tigers won their second straight game, improving to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in the SEC going into Thursday night’s game at Vanderbilt. They broke a five-game homecourt losing streak. Mississippi State fell to 16-9 and 3-8.

    Tanner and her teammates were stone cold for much of the first half, hitting just 7-of-23 shots.

    “I was a little rusty in the first half,” Tanner said. “As a team, we kept missing wide-open layups. We regrouped in the second half and came out and did what we had to do.”

    It was defense, senior Hasina Muhammad said, that turned the game in Auburn’s favor.

    “Our team philosophy is defense,” Muhammad said. “You might get tired, but you have a sub coming in. It’s real fun to play, and it helps our transition offense.”

    But most of all, this was Tanner’s game. No other Auburn player had more than seven points or more than five rebounds. And Tanner, saddled with foul trouble, did her damage in 27 minutes.

    “Really, we depend on Ty,” Muhammad said. “When she is having a good game, we’re usually having a good game.”

    Auburn started the second half with a 16-4 run. The Bulldogs did not lead again. When they got to within 43-41, Tanner hit a jumper with 3:50 left. When they answered to make it 45-43, Tanner answered again with 2:09 left. She hit a free throw to make it 48-43, and that was that.