LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Ashley Houts scored 22 points to lead four Lady Bulldogs in double figures as Georgia (18-12) defeated Kentucky (15-15), 82-64, in the first round of the SEC Tournament at Alltel Arena on Thursday afternoon.
Georgia shot a scorching 63.3 percent from the field and weathered a 16-0 Kentucky run. After trailing by nine with 16 minutes, 28 seconds left, the Lady Bulldogs outscored Kentucky 49-22 the rest of the way.
Christy Marshall and Porsha Phillips came off the bench to chip in 17 and 14 points, respectivley, and Angel Robinson contributed a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Two more Lady Bulldogs made key second-half contributions.
Freshman Meredith Mitchell scored seven points, all after intermission, including a three-pointer to tie the game at 42-42. Angela Puleo tied her career high with four steals and scored eight in the second stanza.
Georgia quickly grabbed an early lead and gradually built an eight-point edge at 22-14 with 9:45 left in the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs held the same advantage at 29-21 following a Marshall jumper at the 6:54 mark but then failed to extend that margin on three straight possessions.
A Carly Morrow three then ignited a 9-0 UK run to end the period. Carly Ormerod’s stickback of a Morrow miss with eight seconds left put Kentucky up 30-29 at the intermission, the Wildcats’ first lead since 2-0.
Kentucky started the second half with a 7-0 run over the first 1:17 to push its lead to 37-29. After the Wildcats led 42-33, the Lady Bulldogs rallied with a 12-0 run to regain a lead they would not relinquish.
The Lady Bulldogs will now face second-seeded Vanderbilt in the quarterfinal round on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT. Georgia split its season series with the Commodores, with both teams winning on their home floors.