TOP 25 SEC WOMEN:
SEC road trouble continues for UA
LITTLE ROCK Arkansas’ women’s basketball team is off to its usual start in SEC play, which is bad news for the Razorbacks.
Tyrese Tanner scored 10 of her 15 points in a secondhalf spurt as Auburn built a large lead and then held on to beat cold-shooting No. 23 Arkansas 50-47 in the conference opener for both teams in Auburn, Ala.
The loss dropped the Razorbacks to 4-18 in SEC openers and 1-21 in SEC road openers. Arkansas also saw its nine-game winning streak end as Auburn (12-2, 1-0) earned its ninth consecutive victory.
Arkansas had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but a threepointer by Calli Berna was off the mark as Auburn improved to 8-0 at home this season.
“We lost our composure a couple times, and that was the difference,” said Arkansas Coach Tom Collen, who fell to 0-6 in SEC road openers. “There weren’t a lot of things we did great. They are a hard team, and we knew that was going to happen. We didn’t deal with their physicalness very well.
“We played better in the second half, but we had a couple of spurts where we turned it over and they turned those into layups.”
Neither team shot well, with Arkansas shooting just 27.6 percent from the field (16 of 58) and Auburn 32.8 percent (21 of 64).
After Auburn used a 19-6 run fueled by Tanner to pull ahead 43-33, Arkansas pulled to within 48-47 with 3:23 left on a layup by Quistelle Williams, who led the Razorbacks with 13 points.
Arkansas (12-2, 0-1) did not score again, with the Tigers holding Arkansas’ leading scorer Sarah Watkins to nine points.
Hasina Muhammad added 13 points for Auburn, and Peyton Davis grabbed 17 rebounds.
Both teams shooting struggled started early in the first half as Arkansas took a 20-19 lead into halftime. Arkansas came out more aggressive in the second half, but Auburn’s defense and rebounding quickly wore on the Razorbacks.
Auburn used a 12-2 run midway through the half to take a seven-point lead — its largest lead to that point — as the Razorbacks’ inside game remained stagnant.
NO. 6 KENTUCKY 76, FLORIDA 69
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A’dia Mathies scored 20 points and Jennifer O’Neill had 12 of her 17 in the second half and No. 6 Kentucky topped Florida in the teams’ SEC opener. DeNesha Stallworth added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats (13-1) won their school-record 12th consecutive game. Jaterra Bonds scored a game-high 21 points for Florida (11-4), which had its six-game winning streak end. January Miller had 17 and Jennifer George 14 for the Gators. Bria Goss added 10 points for the Wildcats, who also tied a school record with their 30th consecutive home victory.
NO. 10 GEORGIA 77, MISSOURI 46
ATHENS, Ga. — Jasmine James scored 16 points to help No. 10 Georgia beat Missouri in the Tigers’ first SEC game. Khaalidah Miller and Marjorie Butler added 11 points apiece for Georgia (13-1, 1-0). Bri Kulas scored 14 points and Morgan Eye had 13 for Missouri (11-4, 0-1).
NO. 12 TENNESSEE 73, NO. 18 SOUTH CAROLINA 53
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Isabelle Harrison tied her career best with 18 points and set career highs with 14 rebounds and seven blocks as No. 12 Tennessee rallied with a big second half to beat No. 18 South Carolina. Taber Spani finished with 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc for Tennessee. Ariel Massengale scored 13 and Meighan Simmons finished with 10 points, eight of those in those in the second half. Tiffany Mitchell led the Gamecocks (12-2, 0-1) with 14 points.
NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 91, ALABAMA 52
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Kelsey Bone had 20 points and 14 rebounds as No. 24 Texas A&M opened SEC play with a victory over Alabama. Kristi Bellock added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Aggies (11-4), who have won 11 of their past 12 games after an 0-3 start. Peyton Little had 13 points, while Adrienne Pratcher and Karla Gilbert had 12 apiece. Daisha Simmons scored 12 points for Alabama (10-4), which had won four consecutive games heading into its SEC opener.
Sports, Pages 20 on 01/04/2013