11-seed Bama puts game out of reach vs. 6-seed Georgia
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alabama pulled off the biggest upset thus far of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament, as the No. 11-seeded Crimson Tide defeated 6-seed Georgia, 74-62, in a second-round game at Bridestone Arena on Thursday night.
Hot-shooting Brittany Davis led the Tide with 26 points and Megan Abrams added 24.
Alabama controlled the tempo from the outset, getting out to an 18-10 lead after the first quarter and extending it to 37-22 by halftime.
Although Georgia attempted to rally time and time again in the second half, the Bulldogs could not close the gap enough, as the Crimson Tide grabbed its first lead 4:31 into the game and never relinquished it thereafter.
Georgia got 18 points from guard Que Morrison, 14 from center Jenna Staiti, and 12 from guard Reigan Richardson. Morrison was appearing in her 136th career game, setting the UGA school record.
Georgia trailed by as much as 20 points in the second half, but trimmed the deficit to seven at 52-45 on guard Tineya Hylton's 3-pointer with 57 seconds left in the third quarter. But Jayma Mingo-Young's ensuing layup for the Tide proved to be the final basket of the quarter, making it 54-45 heading into the final period.
And when Davis drilled a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, extending Bama's lead back to 12 at 57-45, it seemed to settle the Tide and stymie the Bulldogs, who got no closer than within 11 the rest fo the way. It was one of five 3-pointers Davis made on the night in just six attempts, as Alabama shot 50 percent overall (9 of 18) from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Lady Bulldogs were hounded all night by an agressive Tide defense that led to 18 turnovers. Alabama converted those into 23 points, outscoring Georgia 23-10 on points off miscues.
Georgia was boosted by 25 bench points, highlighted by Richardson's 12. But it was not enough.
Alabama also got 10 points from forward Allie Craig Cruce.
The Crimson Tide (17-12) advances to face No. 3 seed Tennessee (22-7) in the quarterfinals on Friday at 9:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to 20-9 on the season and will await their assignment for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 13.