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Smalley scores 22 as Auburn upsets No. 9 Georgia
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AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn Tigers shrugged off an embarrassing loss to one top 10 in plenty of time to beat another.

Alli Smalley scored 22 points to help the Tigers upend No. 9 Georgia 67-53 on Sunday, dealing the limping Lady Bulldogs their third consecutive defeat.

KeKe Carrier added 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for Auburn (12-10, 3-6 SEC), which came into the game on a four-game losing streak that included Thursday night’s 29 point shellacking at No. 5 Tennessee.

“We hadn’t talked about it a whole lot,” Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. “We just used it to learn some things from but we put that behind us quickly.

“They were totally prepared to play this game.”

Two of the defending SEC champions’ three league wins have come against ranked teams, LSU and Georgia.

The Lady Bulldogs (18-4, 5-4) have been reeling since an upset of the Lady Vols that                   followed a school-best 16-0 start. Starters Ashley Houts and Angel Robinson were limited by nagging ankle injuries and combined for nine points.

Jordan Greenleaf had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers while Morgan Toles handed out 10 assists. Auburn outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 39-27 and collected 17 offensive boards.

“That definitely helped us stay in the game early and it helped us confidence-wise,” Fortner said. “Offensive rebounding is a confidence builder and it’s an energy destroyer for the other team.”

Jasmine James led Georgia with 13 points and five assists, but she made just 5 of 15 shots and scored three points after halftime.

“We’ve got to get in gear,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “We’ve got to make plays like we did earlier in the year. We’ve got to get healthy. We miss a lot of shots.”

Regarding rebounds, he was even more blunt.

“They kicked our butts,” Landers said.

The Lady Bulldogs were 5 of 24 from 3-point range and missed half of 12 attempts from the free throw line. They scored just 21
points in the second half.

Porsha Phillips fouled out after playing only 17 minutes, helping leave Georgia with three freshmen on the court at times.

Auburn went on a late 12-1 run capped by Smalley’s 3-pointer before Georgia closed with a basket in the final seconds. The Tigers kept Georgia off-balance with plenty of second and third shots after offensive rebounds and crisp passing that resulted in assists on 20 of 25 baskets.

Robinson’s lone basket came 5 minutes into the second half and pulled the Lady Bulldogs to within 43-41, but they couldn’t come any closer.

Leading scorer Houts played only 4 minutes in the opening half, but scored six points during that span. She came back with her team trailing by eight points and only 5 minutes left, but couldn’t spark a rally for the Lady Bulldogs.

With its court leader limited, Georgia committed 17 turnovers.

“That was huge for us. She’s the leader of their team,” Smalley said. “She’s used to playing 40 minutes a game. That’s probably a big factor. She likes to push the ball. Someone else had to step up and play the point so that might have slowed them.”

The Tigers had led 37-32 at halftime but Georgia took some momentum into the locker room after James scored the final two baskets, including a pullup jumper at the buzzer.
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