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Saturday, July 20, 2019

SECrets: Tennessee Thumped at Home by South Carolina; Kentucky Now Holds Two-Game Edge in SEC Race

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Photo Caption: Markeshia Grant (Black, No. 5) posted a career- and game-high 27 points, knocking down seven of her 12 three-point attempts, to lead South Carolina to a 64-60 upset of No. 8 Tennessee on Thursday. The victory moves the Gamecocks into third-place in the SEC conference standings, and leaves the Lady Vols two games behind undefeated Kentucky in conference play.

Photo Credit: Courtesy University of South Carolina Athletics Media Relations

By Mike Siroky

The mighty Southeastern Conference has arrived at that time of the season when the top teams are winning the expected games, and no second-tier team seems willing or able to step up and challenge the top guns.

The time when the top teams win the expected games, that is, except when they don’t.

This Thursday’s SEC women’s basketball action saw one of those games, as South Carolina ventured up to Rocky Top to knock off No. 8 Tennessee, 64-60.

As Full Court Press has been reporting for weeks now, South Carolina has been a team with ups all season, a program laying the foundation for one of its strongest seasons ever.

But even we didn’t predict this upset. It is South Carolina’s first win over the Lady Vols since 1980, when Tennessee game coach Holly Warlick was the point guard and SC’s head coach Dawn Staley was just nine years old. Tennessee had won 40 straight in the series between these two schools.

Indeed, it was also the Gamecocks’ first win against any Top 10 team in the past 32 years. And with the victory, South Carolina, which now boasts its best record in a decade, cemented its own place in the SEC’s top tier.

The Gamecocks now stand in third place, one conference loss behind Tennessee, which in turn is now two games back from the still-undefeated Kentucky Wildcats.

“I’m just glad our players got a chance to experience this experience, knowing the tradition of Tennessee,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “By far, this is the biggest win of my career.”

Remember, that’s a career that has spawned three Olympic gold medals.

The Lady Vols certainly didn’t make it easy for the upstart Gamecocks, who needed a career-high 27 points from Markeshia Grant and strong performances from the rest of the team’s guards to pull out the win. Grant also knocked down seven (of 12) threes over the course of the game, firing up her bench while Tennessee looked lackadaisical throughout.

Tennessee out-shot South Carolina 41.4 percent to 39.4 percent and held a 44-36 advantage in rebounding but had little answer for the Gamecocks guards, especially down the stretch.

The Gamecocks trailed, 55-60, when Ashley Bruner grabbed Grant’s missed three-pointer, putting back the offensive board with 3:18 to play. Bruner, who was fouled in the process, couldn’t convert the foul shot for a traditional three-point play, but her basket launched a 9-0 South Carolina run to close out the game.

Bruner picked Ariel Massengale’s pocket and dished out to freshman Aleighsa Welch, who laid it in to close the gap to one point. Next it was Welch who grabbed the board off Massengale’s missed three-point attempt to put the Gamecock’s back in possession.

La’Keisha Sutton missed what would have been the go-ahead jumper, but again the Gamecocks went hard to the glass with Clarenee Stephens grabbing the offensive board and got it out to Walker, who dropped in the go-ahead layup with 2:15 to play.

With Tennessee back in possession, Taber Spani launched a jumper from midrange, but Welch forcefully swatted it down. Tennessee recovered the ball, but Stricklen missed a trey (she would miss another in the waning seconds), and from there, with the clock showing under a minute, the game was played largely at the foul line.

Walker ShootsPhoto Caption: South Carolina’s Ieasia Walker tallied 11 points and dished out six assists, tacking on four boards, two steals and a block on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2012, to help the Gamecocks to an historic upset of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Photo Credit: Courtesy University of South Carolina Athletics Media Relations

In that final minute, Walker went one-for-two from the line and Sutton knocked down two-of-two, and the Gamecocks grabbed just enough boards on both ends of the court to seal the win. In the final three minutes, the Gamecocks forced a turnover by point guard Ariel Massengale and tied the ball up twice. South Carolina gained possession on the second jump ball, preventing Tennessee a chance at a game-tying shot with 47 seconds left to play.

Moreover, Tennessee, usually a strong three-point shooting team, connected on 41.4 percent of its field-goal attempts in this game, but netted only 12.5 percent (one-of-eight) of their long balls. Nevertheless, three of the Lady Vols’ final six shots—all of them misses—were three-point attempts, all but one of which came when the Vols trailed by only a single point, making a three-ball totally unnecessary.

“We didn’t have an answer for them the last four minutes of the game. We didn’t have an answer for their runs,” Warlick said. “We continue to let star players put up big numbers against us, and that’s been a focal point for us, but obviously it hasn’t been good enough.”

Glory Johnson scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds in 26 minutes for Tennessee (16-6, 7-2) before fouling out of the game, but foul trouble kept her from being the force in the paint the Lady Vols have come to expect. Ariel Massengale scored 12 points and dished up three assists, but coughed up four turnovers, and Shekinna Stricklen was held to eight points but grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Lady Vols hadn’t dropped a home game in SEC play since their loss to LSU on Feb. 14, 2008. But despite their high standings in the Top 10 of the national polls, this year’s edition of the Vols has struggled in its first season since coach Pat Summitt announced she’d been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s-type.

“We have the fan support. We have home-court advantage. We’re sleeping in our own beds before the game. We’re having a great pregame meal. We’re completely prepared with the scouting report from our coaches, so this loss is on us. There are no excuses,” Johnson said.

In addition to Grant’s game-high 27, La’Keisha Sutton put up 12 points and pulled down six rebounds for South Carolina, while Walker added 11 points and handed out six assists with no turnovers. Welch came off the bench for nine boards to go with six points.

But much of the credit for this win belongs to the Gamecocks’ defense, which South Carolina pursues with the same kind of sharp focus that used to belong to Tennessee. South Carolina is second in the nation in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 47.5 points per game and tops in the nation in three-point shooting defense, holding opponents to just 19.8 percent from long range. Opponents have netted only 37 three-balls—out of 187 attempts—against the Gamecocks all season.

That defense frustrated Tennessee all over the floor on Thursday. The Lady Vols struggled to get second-chance points, hit just one three-pointer and turned the ball over 11 times.

“I really can’t put it into words because I don’t think it has hit me yet,” Sutton said. “I’m really happy for our team, Coach Staley, our coaching staff for preparing us and just every player who ever put on a Gamecock uniform.”

The South Carolina road show continues Sunday at Arkansas, the team just a game behind them in the conference. Tennessee hopes to get well at home as it hosts Auburn.

Though someone else will have to stumble to make the room, there are plenty of candidates, so don’t be surprised to see the Gamecocks pull into the Top 25 in next week’s national polls if they keep up their current level of performance.

Summing Up the Midweek SEC Results: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

  • South Carolina 64 @ No. 8 Tennessee 60
  • Florida 73 @ LSU 64
  • Ole Miss 41 @ No. 6/5 Kentucky 82
  • Mississippi State 60 @ No. 21/20 Georgia 70
  • Vanderbilt 66 @ Auburn 61
  • Alabama 52 @ Arkansas 70

Looking Back at the Midweek SEC Highlights: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

  • Florida 73 @ LSU 64

  • LSU started off its season well enough (despite unexpected and heartbreaking close defeats by Tulane and Northwestern), but have struggled of late, losing their last five conference games in a row. Four of those losses have come since the Tigers lost their starting point guard, Destini Hughes, for the remainder of the season in the first half of their 56-65 loss at Tennessee. And though LSU did manage to break the chain of defeats by the narrowest of margins with a 71-68 overtime win at East Tennessee State, an out-of-conference team that had won only five of its 20 games all season, the Lady Tigers have not shown any response to their new coach’s efforts to snap them out of the doldrums.

    So Florida, which beat LSU in Gainesville in mid-January and came into Thursday’s content just one game behind the Tigers in the conference standings, knew that this was the time to keep LSU off-balance.

    And they did just that. The Gators led wire-to-wire as, for the first time since 1996, they won in Louisiana, 73-64.

    Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.), the Gators’ second-leading scorer and top three-point threat, missed Thursday’s game with a concussion sustained during a double-overtime loss at Arkansas last Sunday. Jones had started 43 consecutive games.

    “This was a total team effort in every way, starting with the way we prepared,” Florida coach Amanda Butler said. “The mindset our team had in practice and not being discouraged. Throw on top of that a little extra adversity in not having Jordan Jones available tonight, this win couldn’t be better. I couldn’t be prouder. It’s an awesome team win. Historically, we haven’t played well here at LSU so it’s a great program win, as well.”

    The highly touted LSU defense was nowhere in evidence as the Gators shot 50 percent from the floor. Azania Stewart hit her first double-double of the season, 10 rebounds and 12 points. Stewart also swatted down back-to-back blocks in the closing minutes to keep the Gators’ margin secure. Ndidi Madu scored a season-high 12 for Florida; Lanita Bartley also notched 12 while hauling down seven boards.

    “It was a shared responsibility,” Butler said of her team’s shooting performance. “We had so much more focus on playing great defense than we did hitting shots.

    “We just weren’t as concerned about that. We just were concerned with our defensive effort and executing that plan. We also wanted to focus on rebounding with them because they are quite a bit taller than us.”

    Adrienne Webb notched a game-high 19 points for LSU, while also grabbing four rebounds and three steals. Jeanne Kenney, back in the line-up after suffering a concussion at Tennessee, and Courtney Jones put up 10 apiece for the home team. But apart from that, LSU’s first-year head coach Nikki Caldwell was disappointed in her team’s performance.

    “When you play a team like Florida and any team from here on out, it’s going to be a tough battle for our team because everybody is gunning for us,” said Caldwell. “They understand that and they knew our vulnerability.

    “There were three things that I put on the board for this team going into this game to help them be successful,” added Caldwell. “The first thing that I put on the board was that we needed to have confidence and believe in each other. The second thing is that we needed to be mentally tougher. The third thing was that we needed to max-out. Those three things, we did not do tonight. I felt like Florida did do all of these things, and I give them much credit.”

    With the loss, LSU drops into a tie with Florida for seventh-place in the league standings.

    LSU takes on visiting No. 6/5 Kentucky on Sunday, while Florida hosts Ole Miss.

  • Ole Miss 41 @ No. 6/5 Kentucky 82

    Kentucky remains the class of 2012, the first team in the league to 20 wins and therefore the first team to 21, after coasting to an easy, 82-41, victory at home on Thursday against Mississippi.

    Though the two teams traded buckets for the first eight minutes, the Wildcats launched a 15-2 run to take a 31-18 lead with five minutes to go in the first half. Kentucky still led, 37-23, at the intermission and then used a 20-4 to put the game out of the reach early in the second period in which the Rebels never came within single digits. Kentucky stretched its lead to 40 with 87 seconds left.

    Kentucky forced Mississippi (12-11, 2-8) into 36 turnovers, the most in a conference game this season.

    The Wildcats pulled off the 41-point rout despite an off shooting night for leading scorer A’dia Mathies – a sure all-conference leader who averages 15.4 points per game, but hit just two-of-14 from the field in this outing. Mathies still finished with 11 points thanks to a perfect six-for-six performance at the charity stripe.

    Kentucky’s Kastine Evans scored 12 and grabbed a career-high seven steals, while UConn transfer Samarie Walker added 11 points off the bench. Indeed, every Wildcat played in this game, and all but one scored. Making her SEC debut, freshman Bra’Shey Ali compensated for her lack of points by pulling down five rebounds, grabbing a steal and swatting down a block in her eight minutes of action.

    “We have a very balanced team,” observed Walker, stating the obvious.

    “I was particularly impressed with the way the players went about earning this one,” Mitchell said. “They really played with great energy.”

    Mississippi, playing without Nikki Byrd, who was averaging 13.1 points and 9.5 rebounds but was hurt late in the Rebels’ loss last Sunday to Auburn, did not have a single player reach double figures. Courtney Marbra led the Rebels with just seven points and three rebounds, but six turnovers, while Ole Miss’s leading scorer Valencia McFarland, who averages 13.6 points per game, was held to just six points by the Kentucky defense.

    “Their team is on a mission,” said Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner. “Their style of play affects everyone, obviously, in this league and tonight we got bit by the same bug—turnovers, pressure. “They’re definitely the hardest team to play against because of their relentless pressure and their ability to sub,” Ladner added.

    Kentucky was also a player short, as freshman Azia Bishop did not dress because of an unspecified violation of team rules.

    The victory extended an in-conference win streak to 10-0 for the Wildcats, the only unbeaten team still standing in league play.

    Kentucky’s next really tough game doesn’t roll around until Feb. 13, when they face Tennessee in Knoxville.  Having already bested the Lady Vols in their first meeting of this season in Lexington, the worst that should happen for the Wildcats, who are off to their best start in program history, would be a one-game edge for the conference championship.

    And the Wildcats can already taste the title.

    Take, for example, freshman Bria Goss – the undoubted SEC Rookie-of-the Year and the hero of Thursday’s win in which she notched 19 points to lead all scorers.

    “If we do all this and come out with nothing, we’re going to be disappointed,” Goss said. “We’re here to make a statement.”
    “We’re not going to let up. This is the time we need to push harder,” Goss added. “We don’t want this opportunity to slip away. We’re just going to continue to focus on Kentucky.”

    “I just think when you have an effort like tonight and you play Kentucky basketball, that’s the most encouraging thing,” Kentucky coach Matt Mitchell said.

    “If we will just do that, we believe we can be SEC champions. As the standings go, you hope you get as much separation as you can. You’d love to see a huge lead in the standings.”

    Its visit to Kentucky began a stretch in which Ole Miss spends five of its final seven regular-season games on the road. Next up for the Rebels is Florida in Gainesville on Sunday.

    Kentucky visits slumping LSU on Sunday.

    “We’re getting closer and closer,” Goss said. “We just want to take advantage of this opportunity that we have.”

  • Mississippi State 60 @ No. 21/20 Georgia 70

    Georgia, which typically relies heavily on its smothering defense, may have realized that without starting point guard Jasmine James, they simply have to outscore their.

    James sprained her right knee for the second time of the season on Jan. 15, six minutes into Georgia’s first meeting with Mississippi State. Since then, heading into Thursday’s rematch with MSU, James had missed four straight games, with Georgia losing three of the four.

    James’s absence has meant extra minutes for her fellow starters, and Georgia head coach Andy Landers said the impact is felt mostly on defense. “We’re not as disruptive because J.J. has an instinct for making plays,” said Landers, who described James’s status as “day-to-day.” “She makes steals. She ties balls up. She gets charges. She is one of our main disrupters on defense, so we’ve missed that and consequently on defense, we’ve suffered a little bit.” James’s back-court mate Khaalidah Miller agreed. “Not having J.J. (James) has definitely taken a toll on us,” Miller stated. “She is our point guard and she is the one who runs the floor and runs the game, so we kind of look for her being there for us. I think it’s affected us more so defensively than offensively. On defense we don’t have the subs that we did have before her, so everybody’s logging an extra five or 10 minutes a game.” This time out, James, though still hobbling a bit, dressed for the game, and Landers said she would be available if needed, but James remained on the bench for her fifth straight game.

    But her teammates rose to fill the void, as Miller and Jasmine Hassell scored 16 each to lead Georgia past Mississippi State in Athens, 70-60. Miller added seven boards and snatched a career-high six steals, while Hassell hauled down six rebounds, to help Georgia snap its two-game losing streak. Meredith Mitchell contributed 11 points, plus four boards, three assists and three steals but four turnovers.

    Anne Marie Armstrong led the Lady Bulldogs on the boards with eight rebounds to which she added nine points, five assists and four steals.

    “Anne Marie just gets better and better,” continued Landers. “She has such a good sense for the game and she’s unselfish. That’s what makes her so much fun to watch. She’ll help her teammates on defense and run the risk of her man scoring. She’ll pass when other people are open and she is too. She’s a fun player to coach and watch.”

    Kendra Grant and Diamber Johnson notched 14 apiece; Porsha Porter added 12, plus seven rebounds but six turnovers, and Martha Alwal came off the bench to tack on 11 points, eight boards and seven blocks for Mississippi State, which lost its third in a row.

    Half of Hassell’s scoring came during a 15-4 Georgia run run over the first six minutes of the opening half. Mississippi State gradually chipped away at that gap, briefly taking the lead at the 4:38 mark on a Grant free throw after Georgia’s Danielle Bennett committed the cardinal sin of fouling the three-point shooter.

    Georgia responded with a 14-4 run, to take them into the break up 10, 36-26.

    Georgia would never trail again, though MSU did manage to tie things up at 40 all, on an Alwal jumper just shy of six minutes into the second half. But once again, Georgia responded with a surge, this one a 15-0 run, that put the Lady Dawgs on top, 57-42, with nearly nine minutes to go, a lead Georgia stretched to as many as 22 points over the game’s final minutes.

    “Tonight’s game was wild,” said Georgia coach Andy Landers. “We did a lot of good things. We almost created a lot of good plays, but we didn’t finish, which made this just a wild basketball game.”

    Georgia heads next to Alabama, a team still looking for its first conference win, while MSU hosts Vandy in Starkville on Sunday.

  • Vanderbilt 66 @ Auburn 61

    Vanderbilt, which has played better since slipping out of the Top 25, got its first conference road win, 66-61, at Auburn on Thursday.

    Junior forward Tiffany Clarke scored 26 – 18 in the second half—on an impressive nine-of-11 from the field and eight-of-nine from the foul line. Clarke also grabbed eight rebounds.

    Vanderbilt also got 10 points and eight rebounds from center Stephanie Holzer, while guard Jasmine Lister contributed 13 points and six assists.

    Chantel Hilliard led the Tigers with 13 points and five rebounds before fouling out of the game. Camille Glymph added 12 points, three rebounds and three assists for Auburn, but coughed up four turnovers; Morgan Jennings came off the bench for 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Vanderbilt opened the game on a 10-3 run, and led for the first 10 minutes until Glymph tied things up with a trey at the 9:58 mark. From there, the two teams battled their way to a 33-33 tie at the half.

    Vandy headed out on a 7-0 sprint to launch the second period, and though Auburn repeatedly threatened, never allowing the gap to swell to double digits, the Commodores would never relinquish their lead.

    With a minute-twelve left to play, the Tigers were well within strike distance, having carved the ‘Dores’ edge to a single point, 62-61. But Clarke quickly answered with a lay-up to make it a three-point ball game and the Vandy defense, which forced two Auburn turnovers in the final minute, held onto that advantage until the five-second mark when Auburn’s Jennings missed a three-point attempt, forcing the Tigers to foul.

    Elan Brown knocked down two-of-two from the line to seal the win.

    Though Auburn won the battle of the boards, 34-27, Vanderbilt made up for it in part by shooting 48.9 percent (22-45) from the field, to Auburn’s 39.3 percent (24-61). In the end, however, the game was won and lost at the free-throw line, where Vanderbilt notched 20 points in 22 visits (90.9 percent). Auburn got to the penalty stripe only 15 times, netting just 10 points there (66.7 percent).

    “I’m looking at the stat sheet. More field goals, more field goal attempts, more offensive rebounds, less turnovers. We did a lot of things right,” said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner, “but we lost at the free-throw line. We couldn’t get to the free-throw line as much as they got, and I think that was a real problem. I thought that we deserved to get to the free-throw line a lot more than we were able to get there.”

    But Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb focused instead on her team’s defensive effort, especially on the perimeter, where she pointed in particular to her team’s stand over the final decisive minute of play and to Jennings’s missed trey in the final seconds.

    “I’m proud of, first of all, getting a stop to win the game. The intensity level that they had to get a stop and to defend three-point shooters that I think are probably the best three-point percentage and they did it all night,” said Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb.

    Vandy’s defense held Auburn’s sharpshooters to just three-of 13 (23.1 percent) from the arc.

    “Secondly, just having a confidence level that they have earned in practice and that they deserve to win tonight,” Balcomb continued.

    “I felt a different level of intensity, communication and determination to win tonight than I have all season on the road. Obviously it is our first conference win on the road, but I could just see that we were going to win by watching it.

    “We have more mental toughness than we had early on. We have never been a team that is really good early in the season. We try to be the best team we can be in March and just keep getting better every game and I felt like we were doing that, we’re getting better each game and those two wins at home we built confidence and it gave us the ability against a very good team on the road.”

    The Commodores have another winnable game Sunday, at Mississippi State. Meanwhile Auburn heads to Knoxville to take on the Lady Vols to whom the Tigers lost, 52-73, in their first meeting of the season on New Year’s Day.

  • Alabama 52 @ Arkansas 70

    Arkansas now owns a school-record six straight conference wins after senior Ashley Daniel led the Razorbacks to a 70-52 victory over Alabama on Thursday with 12 points and six boards.

    Junior Sarah Watkins scored 11 points on five-of-nine from the field, plus four rebounds, two blocks and two steals (but four turnovers) in just 18 minutes; senior Lyndsay Harris also logged 11 points, including three treys, to which she added four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

    Kyra Crosby led Alabama with 14 points (eight of them coming at the free-throw line) and six rebounds, but four turnovers. Jessica Merritt notched 12 points, eight boards, four assists, and three steals, but four turnovers; Jasmine Robinson chipped in 10 points and three steals.

    “This win means a lot,” Arkansas coach Tom Collen said.  “It’s pretty hard to win six in a row in any sport in this league.  We are getting better. Tonight wasn’t a pretty game but the team got the message at the half and found the energy they needed to finish strong.”

    But according to Alabama coach Wendell Hudson, the game was won and lost in the first half, which the Razorbacks won, 26-16, not the second, in which the Crimson Tide came closer to holding its own, scoring 36 to Arkansas’s 44.

    “This game was lost in the first 10 minutes,” said Hudson. “We came out with no energy. There is no excuse for the lack of effort. You could tell by looking at us and the way we were playing that, at times, we didn’t know where anything was going to come from.”

    In truth, neither team got off to a roaring start, with nearly three minutes rolling off the clock before either team founds its way to the iron.

    Arkansas finally got clicking seven minutes in, when Ricketts’ three-pointer gave the Hogs an 8-6 edge and ignited a 13-3 Arkansas run over the next nine minutes to take a 21-9 advantage. The Tide finally got back into the game for the last three minutes of the half, but made little headway, as Arkansas carried a 26-16 edge into the locker room.

    The Razorbacks came out of the break on fire, launching a 20-5 run—fueled by two three-pointers by Lyndsay Harris and one each from Dominique Robinson and Quistelle Harris,  over the first six minutes of the second stanza. By the 13:47 mark, Arkansas led by 26 points, 47-21, a lead they expanded to 30 points (59-29) with just under 10 minutes remaining.

    ‘Bama outscored the Razorbacks, 23-17, the remainder of the way, but it was far too little, far too late.

    Collen wasn’t kidding when he said it wasn’t a pretty game. His Razorbacks forced 20 turnovers, but coughed the ball up 25 times themselves, with Alabama reaping 24 points off turnovers to Arkansas’s 17.

    The Crimson Tide netted just four field goals in the opening half and 13 in the entire game, shooting 27.1 percent (13-48) from the field and 25 percent (three-of-12) from the arc. Only penalty points kept Alabama in the game at all, not because ‘Bama shot the ball all that much better without a hand in their faces (63.9 percent from the charity stripe), but because they got there so often, reaping 23 points in 36 visits to the line.

    Meanwhile, the Razorbacks shot a respectable, if uninspiring, 40.8 percent from the field (29-71) and 42.1 percent (eight-of-19) from the arc. But they got to the free-throw line just 13 times, making just four of their attempts for a pathetic 30.8 percent from the line.

    In the end, this game was won on the boards, where the Razorbacks ruled, 53-32, which they turned into 24 second-chance points, to Alabama’s four.

    Senior C’eira Ricketts entered the game with 288 career steals.  She needs five to tie and six to break the school record of 293 held by Tracy Webb (1983-87) who had 293 in 117 games. Ricketts had two steals in this one.

Current SEC Standings

SEC Women’s Basketball Standings
(As of Feb. 3, 2012)
Rank School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
1 Kentucky 10-0 1.000 21-2 .913
2 Tennessee 7-2 .778 16-6 .727
3 South Carolina 7-3 .700 18-5 .783
4 Arkansas 6-4 .600 17-5 .773
5 Georgia 6-4 .600 17-6 .739
6 Vanderbilt 5-4 .556 17-5 .773
7(tie) Florida 4-5 .444 14-8 .636
7 (tie) LSU 4-5 .444 14-8 .636
9 Mississippi State 3-6 .333 13-9 .591
10 Auburn 3-7 .300 11-12 .478
11 Ole Miss 2-8 .200 12-11 .522
12 Alabama 0-9 .000 10-13 .435
Source: secdigitalnetwork.com

Coming Up this Weekend: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012

  • Auburn @ Tennessee
    The Lady Vols tamed the Tigers, 73-52, on their home floor. Despite Thursday’s loss to South Carolina, there is little reason to believe Sunday’s outcome will turn out much differently from the New Year’s Day match-up between these two teams.

    When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, 2:00 p.m. EST, Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn.(SEC Network)

  • Ole Miss @ Florida
    Sunday marks the first home game in 17 days for the Gators, who will likely get a shot in the arm from however many of their fans pull themselves away from their Super Bowl parties to cheer on the home team. Florida, 4-5 in conference play and 14-8 overall, is still in the mix for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament; Ole Miss, at 2-8, 12-11—well, not so much. And Florida won its last game on Thursday against LSU, whereas the Rebels are riding a five-game losing streak. The safe money is on the Gators. When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, 2:00 p.m. EST, O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.

  • Georgia @ Alabama
    Stranger things have happened, but it’s highly unlikely that the Tide will pick up their first conference game of the season against nationally ranked Georgia, who may have starting point guard Jasmine James back in action.

    When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, 3:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. CST, Foster Auditorium, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (FSN)

  • Kentucky @ LSU
    The Tigers are having a difficult time trying to regroup after the loss of starting point guard Destini Hughes, having lost their last five conference games. Kentucky is unbeaten, and even if any particular player suffers a bad game, has the depth to overcome it. This may not be an easy win for Kentucky, especially if LSU returns to its defensive root. But count on yet another Wildcats win nonetheless.

    When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, 3:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. CST, Maravich Center, Baton Rouge, La. (CST)

  • Vanderbilt @ Mississippi State
    The Bulldogs have lost three in a row, and six of their last nine. Vandy has won its last three and will be highly motivated to keep that streak, and its postseason hopes, alive.

    When: Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, 3:00 p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. CST, Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.


Originally published Fri, February 03, 2012

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20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
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Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.