Roundup: Tennessee avoids upset bid
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Candace Parker scored a career-high 26 points and had 10 rebounds Thursday night, and No. 1 Tennessee remained undefeated with a 94-85 victory over No. 13 Georgia.
The Lady Vols (16-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) won their 62nd straight league home game. Georgia (11-4, 2-1) was the last SEC team to win in Thompson-Boling Arena in December 1996, and the Lady Bulldogs looked like they could end the drought.
Georgia trailed by nine points with 8.5 minutes left but cut it to 77-76 on two free throws by Sherill Baker with 3:53 to go.
Tennessee answered with a quick 7-0 run. Georgia wasn’t finished and got within five after Baker made two free throws with 1:20 remaining. Parker followed with a fade-away jumper, but that didn’t put it away. Alexis Kendrick hit a 3 for Georgia to make it 88-84 with 43 seconds left.
That was the Lady Bulldogs’ last field goal. Zolman and Spencer each made two free throws in the final 39 seconds, and Alexis Hornbuckle got a rebound and drove for a layup with 8 seconds to go.
Sidney Spencer and Shanna Zolman each scored 17 points, and Hornbuckle added 12 despite getting into foul trouble late in the game.
Baker tied her career high with 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting and had six rebounds.
Tasha Humphrey added 23 points and Kendrick had 11 for the Lady Bulldogs, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
No. 3 LSU 79, South Carolina 46
In Baton Rouge, La., Seimone Augustus scored 22 points, and LSU defeated South Carolina for its 24th consecutive home win and 17th straight in the SEC.
Augustus was 9 for 17 from the field for the Lady Tigers (14-0, 3-0), while Sylvia Fowles had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Quianna Chaney added 12 and Schloanda Hoston had 11.
Reserve guard Stacy Booker led South Carolina (9-6, 0-3) with 15 points. Lauren Simms, who scored 13 points, was the only Gamecocks starter to make more than one field goal. The 31-point loss was the largest of the season for South Carolina, whose previous worst defeat came in a 66-51 setback to No. 1 Tennessee.
No. 7 Connecticut 92, Cincinnati 71
In Hartford, Conn., Mel Thomas had 16 of her 21 points in the second half to lead Connecticut over Big East newcomer Cincinnati.
Thomas, who grew up in Cincinnati, hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 20-2 UConn run to open the second half.
The Huskies (14-2, 4-0 Big East) made nine of their first 13 shots in spurt. The run helped UConn finally shake free of the Bearcats (10-4, 0-3), who played the Huskies close in the first 20 minutes.
No. 8 Ohio St. 72, Iowa 62
In Iowa City, Iowa, Jessica Davenport scored a season-high 34 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and had six assists to lead Ohio State past Iowa, the Buckeyes’ sixth win in seven games.
Debbie Merrill added 15 points for Ohio State (12-2, 3-1 Big Ten), which never trailed as the Buckeyes’ post players dominated play. Led by Davenport’s seventh double-double of the season, Ohio State outrebounded Iowa, 39-30, and outscored the Hawkeyes, 52-30, in the paint.
Crystal Smith led the Hawkeyes (10-6, 3-2) with 26 points and Megan Skouby added 11.
No. 9 Michigan St. 69, Wisconsin 63
In Madison, Wis., Liz Shimek scored 18 points and grabbed her 1,000th career rebound, and Michigan State scored the final nine points of the game in defeating Wisconsin.
The Spartans (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) trailed the entire second half until Aisha Jefferson’s jumper gave them a 64-63 lead with 1:05 left. Michigan State added five free throws in the final minute to cap the game-closing 9-0 run.
Wisconsin (6-10, 1-4) took a 55-45 lead on consecutive 3-pointers by Jolene Anderson with 7 minutes left.
But the Badgers struggled down the stretch against Michigan State’s fullcourt press. The Spartans took advantage of turnovers and second-chance points to get back in the game.
No. 12 Purdue 60, No. 17 Minnesota 56, OT
In Minneapolis, Aya Traore scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half and overtime to lead Purdue over Minnesota in a defensive struggle between the last two unbeaten teams in the Big Ten.
Traore’s driving layup with a minute to go in overtime gave the Boilermakers (13-2, 5-0) the lead for good, and she added a free throw in the final seconds to put the game out of reach, giving Purdue its ninth straight victory.
The Gophers (10-4, 3-1) had one last shot to tie the score in final 10 seconds, but Shannon Schonrock’s 3-pointer was off the mark, giving Purdue its first win on the road over a Top 25 team in more than two years. They beat No. 23 Michigan State in East Lansing, on Jan. 8, 2004, a span of eight games.
No. 23 Vanderbilt 87, Mississippi St. 48
In Nashville, Tenn., Liz Sherwood scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half, and Vanderbilt defeated Mississippi State.
Sherwood, the NCAA Division I leader in field goal percentage entering the game at 69.3 percent, hit her first six shots and finished 9 for 12 from the field with nine rebounds.
Vanderbilt (12-4, 1-1 SEC) scored the first 14 points of the game and led 46-13 in the final minute of the first half.
Heather Hollis scored 21 points for Mississippi State (6-10, 1-2), which trailed, 46-15, at halftime after shooting 4 of 23 from the field and committing 17 turnovers.