Rutgers hands Georgia women first loss of season

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm •  Published: December 21, 2013
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer was hoping her team would be ready for a Top 25 challenge.

The Scarlet Knights answered with a thrilling 61-58 victory over No. 16 Georgia.

Kahleah Copper and Betnijah Laney each scored 18 points to help Rutgers hand Georgia its first loss of the season.

"We needed to have our confidence as this is a young group," Stringer said. "This is a major game to find out how well we're going to play at that level."

Rutgers (9-2) lost its only other game against a ranked opponent this season, falling to LSU. The Scarlet Knights also had added incentive after losing at Georgia last year.

"We try not to look too far ahead," said Laney, who also had 10 rebounds. "When it came up it was something we were looking forward to because we lost to them last year. This time we were at home and didn't want to be mad for Christmas."

Rutgers led by four at the half and the Scarlet Knights couldn't build on that early in the second half. Georgia took its first lead of the game, 46-45, on a three-point play by Tiaria Griffin with 7:25 left.

The Scarlet Knights answered with six straight points to make it 51-46 with 5 minutes left.

Rutgers led 59-52 with 21 seconds left before Shacobia Barbee hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game. After a missed free throw by Syessence Davis, Barbee swished another 3 from the top of the key to make it 59-58 with 7 seconds left.

Tyler Scaife hit two free throws with 5.9 left and Khaalidah Miller's 3-pointer from 35-feet at the buzzer bounced off the front rim.

Barbee finished with a season-high 18 points — 17 of them in the second half — to lead Georgia (11-1), which had 24 turnovers.



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