February 12, 2018 10:37:48 AM
OXFORD -- Shaquera Wade's layup after a steal with 36 seconds remaining and Jordan Lewis' two free throws moments later Sunday helped the Alabama women's basketball team rally for an 82-79 victory against Alabama at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
Wade stripped Alissa Alston of the basketball and converted the layup to give Alabama an 80-79 lead with 15 seconds left. The Rebels failed to convert following a timeout to set the stage for Lewis' free throws with seven seconds remaining.
"We were fortunate to get one more stop," Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. "I thought both teams showed incredible toughness and character. I'm just really proud of my team today. They continue to battle. We've had some crazy things happen and things that just don't go our way, but like I tell them, you have to make your luck, and today, I thought our kids just stayed the course and showed tremendous grit and character down the stretch."
Lewis had a career-high 23 points, a game-high seven rebounds, and a game-best three steals for Alabama (15-10, 5-7 Southeastern Conference). Quanetria Bolton had 16 points, Hannah Cook had 15, Ashley Williams added 11, and Wade had 10.
Torri Lewis led Ole Miss (11-14, 1-11) with 26 points, 21 of which came from beyond the arc. Shelby Gibson added 20.
Lewis was 7-for-11 from 3-point range to tie the most by an individual in the SEC this season.
Madinah Muhammad (11 points, five rebounds, three assists) returned from injury to spark Ole Miss.
n No. 7 South Carolina 64, Florida 57: At Columbia, South Carolina, National Player of the Year candidate A'ja Wilson scored 22 points as seventh-ranked South Carolina survived a scare from Florida.
Sitting on the bench for the first half of the second quarter as coach Dawn Staley elected to give her some rest, Wilson watched her undermanned teammates give up a 15-0 Gators run. Trailing by 10 at home, Wilson re-entered the game and led a burst to tie the game at halftime. South Carolina went on to a win Sunday.
Funda Nakkasoglu stroked five 3-pointers among her 21 points to keep Florida close, but South Carolina received 18 points from Ty Harris to claim a 20-win season for the seventh straight year.
"I have to pick and choose spots in which to give her a blow because I knew she would probably have to play the rest of the way, so I chose to do it at that point," Staley said. "When someone's as good as A'ja, you're going to feel the void when she's off the floor. And obviously, we're thin and young, and that's what they're going to be."
Down to nine players for the season when Lindsey Spann was lost for the year, the Gamecocks (20-5, 9-3) traded punches with Florida before trading runs at the end of the second quarter. The Gamecocks quickly spurted ahead by 10 points out of the halftime locker room, but Florida closed it to four with seven minutes to play.
Doniyah Cliney hit two free throws and Harris scored five straight points to keep the Gators (10-15, 2-10) at bay. It's the second top-25 win Florida nearly nabbed in three games.
n No. 11 Tennessee 62, No. 18 Georgia 46: At Knoxville, Tennessee, Mercedes Russell reached a milestone and was on the verge of another as No. 11 Tennessee dominated No. 18 Georgia on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Russell scored 13 points, leaving her one shy of 1,500 for her career, and grabbed 15 rebounds, making her the six Tennessee player to reach 1,000 boards.
Jaime Nared led the Lady Vols (21-4, 9-3), who have won four straight, with 15 points and Meme Jackson and Rennia Davis added 11.
Taja Cole and Mackenzie Engram had 11 points apiece for the Bulldogs (21-4, 9-3), who have not won in Knoxville since 1996.
Davis closed the first quarter with a 3-pointer for a 17-13 lead and the Lady Vols scored the first 10 points of the second quarter. After two Georgia free throws, Tennessee scored the next nine points and led 36-19 at halftime. Georgia missed its first 14 shots of the second quarter.
Taja Cole and Mackenzie Engram had 12 points for Georgia (21-4, 9-3). Engram added a team-high 10 rebounds.
Georgia and Tennessee are tied with South Carolina for second place, three games behind league leader Mississippi State.
n LSU 80, No. 14 Texas A&M 78: At Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Chloe Jackson had a season-high 27 points, and Raigyne Louis added a season-high 26 to help the Tigers earn their fourth top-20 win of the season.
The win helped LSU (16-7, 8-4) bounce back from a 70-62 loss to Auburn on Monday.
Khaalia Hillsman had 23 points for Texas A&M (19-7, 8-4).
Jackson added four assists and four rebounds, while Louis had six rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Louis, Jackson, and Ayana Mitchell played 40 minutes. Jaelyn LSU led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, but the Texas A&M tied the game at 27 with 6 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Texas A&M opened the second half with seven unanswered points as LSU went scoreless from the field until Khayla Pointer's 3-pointer with a little more than six minutes remaining in the third quarter. The shot sparked an eight-point run that tied the game at 42.
Louis, Jackson, and Richard-Harris outscored the Aggies 16-7 in a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to give LSU its largest lead of the second half, 72-64, with a little more than two minutes remaining.
LSU committed a season-low five turnovers. It also had an 18-4 advantage in points off turnovers after forcing the Aggies into 12 turnovers.
LSU will play host to Ole Miss at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
n Missouri-Arkansas game postponed: At Fayetteville, Arkansas, the game between No. 15 Missouri and Arkansas scheduled for Sunday was postponed until 6 tonight.
Weather issues delayed Missouri from arriving in Arkansas.
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