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Late surge sparks Longhorns 71-58

Associated Press
Published December 21, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas - It was fitting the play that keyed fifth-ranked Texas' win over No. 10 Georgia came at the defensive end.

Tiffany Jackson recorded the first of four steals that led to a decisive 20-7 run. The late surge lifted the Longhorns to a 71-58 victory Saturday.

"We really turned the defensive tempo up after halftime," said Texas coach Jody Conradt. "We're learning that even when we don't shoot the ball well, there's other ways to win."

Texas (10-1) overcame 4-for-20 shooting to start the game en route to its 25th consecutive home victory.

The Longhorns led 49-47 when Jackson triggered the run with a steal and pass to Nina Norman for a layup. Kala Bowers followed with a steal and a coast-to-coast layup that she flipped in over her head while being closely guarded by Sherril Baker, then Texas had two straight steals that led to layups and a 69-54 lead with 1:30 remaining.

"During a timeout I asked who the catalyst was going to be, and Kala answered with that play," Conradt said.

Heather Schreiber scored 25 points and added nine rebounds, and Stacy Stephens had 11 points and 11 for Texas.

The top scorers for Georgia (7-2), Kara Braxton and Christi Thomas, were on the bench with four fouls each during much of the Texas run. Thomas led Georgia with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Jamie Carey had 15 points for Texas.

Georgia led 37-34 at halftime but was held to 22 percent from the field after that.

"Texas played at a much higher level in the second half," Georgia coach Andy Landers said.

Texas forced 16 turnovers.

NO. 3 DUKE 105, NORTHWESTERN STATE 53: In a return to the state where she grew up, Alana Beard scored 19 for the visiting Blue Devils. Beard, a native of Shreveport, La., started a 22-0 run with a driving basket followed by a steal and an assist late in the first half. "I didn't feel there was that much pressure on me," she said. "It was great to see all the people who had supported me in the past there to see me play." Monique Currie and Vicki Krapohl scored 17 each for the Blue Devils, who led 59-27 at halftime. Northwestern State was limited to 34 percent shooting.

NO. 14 COLORADO 69, USC 67: Tera Bjorklund scored 19 points and Emily Waner 15 for the visiting Buffaloes. Southern Cal allowed Colorado to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit. Colorado took the lead on a 3-pointer by Waner with 8:35 left. Waner then had a steal and a layup to give Colorado a 55-51 lead with 7:18 left. The Buffaloes never trailed again, leading by as many as seven down the stretch. The Trojans missed a shot at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

NO. 15 NORTH CAROLINA 77, SOUTH CAROLINA 53: The visiting Tar Heels were led by a pair of freshmen, Ivory Latta and Camille Little, who combined for 31 points. Iva Sliskovic scored 16 for the Gamecocks, who came in with an eight-game win streak, but never seriously contended. USC missed 12 of its first 13 shots. Latta had a personal 7-0 run in the first half to give the Tar Heels a 19-7 lead. Then after South Carolina cut the margin to 32-27, Latta hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and get her team back on track.

NO. 16 LSU 97, SE LOUISIANA 47: Doneeka Hodges scored 20 and helped the host Tigers to their seventh consecutive victory. Seimone Augustus added 15 and Temeka Johnson 14 for LSU. The Lions kept it close in the opening minutes until LSU went on a 10-0 run to make it 26-10 with 7:36 left in the first half. LSU had an 11-0 run later in the half to make it 39-14 and led 43-19 at the break. The Tigers forced the Lions into 27 turnovers and scored 49 off them.

NO. 18 OHIO ST. 67, ST. JOHN'S 53: Michelle Munoz scored 12 to lift the hosts of the Buckeye Classic. Angie Clark had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Red Storm. Candace Dark added 11 points for the Buckeyes, who will face either Dayton or Penn in the final today.

NO. 19 UTAH 51, WEBER STATE 38: Mandie Little had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Kelsy Stireman added seven steals for the host Utes. Kim Smith, Utah's leading scorer, played the entire game, but made just two shots and scored a career-low 5. Despite that, Utah (7-3) never trailed in its 21st consecutive home win.

NO. 23 AUBURN 54, ARMY 37: Mandisa Stevensen had 15 rebounds as the host Tigers won their fourth consecutive. Auburn led 30-18 at halftime, and was up 41-26 midway through the second half when Army mounted a rally. Shavonne Holden hit a pair of free throws and Hansen made a 3-pointer to cut it to 10 before the Tigers recovered.

ARKANSAS 78, INDIANA 70: Shameka Christon's 28 points - and two assists in the crucial closing minutes - proved decisive for the host Razorbacks.

Jenny DeMuth led Indiana with 20 points. Sarah McKay had 19 and Cyndi Valentin 14.

Kristin Peoples was the only other Razorback in double figures, with 13.

MISSISSIPPI STATE 81, MCNEESE STATE 58: Seneca Anderson and Tan White scored 18 each for the host Bulldogs. Rebecca Kates added 14 for Mississippi State.

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