20-3, 6-2 Conf
19-4, 6-2 Conf

Houts nails winning shot to lift Georgia over No. 7 LSU

ATHENS, Ga. -- For the fourth time in the last five meetings between the schools, Thursday night's LSU-Georgia game was decided by no more than two points.

The difference: For the first time in that stretch, Georgia won.

Georgia freshman Ashley Houts sank the winning baseline shot at the buzzer, lifting No. 14 Georgia to a come-from-behind 53-51 win over No. 7 LSU on Thursday night.

Georgia led by seven with less than 3 minutes left, but LSU charged back to tie the game on a basket by Sylvia Fowles with 7 seconds remaining.

Houts then drove the length of the floor to hit the winning shot.

Officials reviewed the play to verify Houts made the shot before time expired.

Georgia had no timeouts after Fowles tied the game. With so little time, Houts had one plan in mind.

"I was just trying to go to the hole and either get fouled or make a shot," Houts said.

The game-winner was only the second shot attempted by Houts, who was contained most of the game by LSU's Erica White.

Houts dribbled past the Georgia bench, where players and coaches were screaming for her to get off the shot, before hitting the short pull-up jumper. She had six points.

The shot capped another in a recent series of tight games between the teams: LSU's 62-60 win in the 2004 NCAA West Regional final, LSU's 65-64 win in Athens last season and the Lady Tigers' 57-55 home victory over the Lady Bulldogs on Jan. 7. LSU beat Georgia 68-61 in Baton Rouge last season.

"This was a typical Georgia-LSU game," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "It's kind of how our games have gone. They are always hard-fought."

Quianna Chaney scored 20 points while setting a career high with five 3-pointers to lead LSU (20-3, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), which got 17 points and 18 rebounds from Fowles. The Lady Bulldogs moved into a tie with LSU for second place in the SEC.

"I thought it was a game of bookends for us," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "The first 8 minutes, we executed well. The last 6 1/2 were good, too. It's the middle part where we had the lull. We went away from what we needed to do."

LSU's RaShonta LeBlanc said the game shouldn't have come down to Houts' last shot.

"The last shot wasn't the difference, it was us not executing in the second half, missing layups and not making free throws."

Tasha Humphrey scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Georgia (19-4, 6-2) in the defensive struggle. Georgia shot 30.5 percent from the field and LSU hit 31.5 percent while making only 12 of 20 free throws.

Georgia trailed most of the game before Angel Robinson, playing with four fouls, scored six straight points to cap a 12-0 second-half run and give the Lady Bulldogs their first lead.

Georgia, which trailed by seven early in the second half, took its first lead at 41-40 with 8:27 left on Humphrey's first 3-pointer of the game. The Lady Bulldogs gained momentum with Humphrey and Robinson in the lineup together, and Landers stuck with the plan even after Robinson was called for her fourth foul with 6:12 left.

"We felt we had a mismatch at the 4," Landers said, referring to the 6-foot-5 Robinson's matchup at power forward against LSU's 6-foot Ashley Thomas. "We felt we had a size advantage there and wanted to exploit it."

Robinson answered the vote of confidence with three straight inside baskets for a 47-40 lead, completing the 12-0 run.

Landers said Georgia couldn't exploit the advantage most of the game because of the inside dominance of the 6-6 Fowles.

Robinson, who scored 12 points, fouled out with 2:04 left and Georgia leading 49-42. Chaney cut the lead to 49-47 on her fifth 3-pointer with 1:27 to go, but missed a potential tying layup, and Cori Chambers made two free throws to push the lead back to 51-47.

Fowles scored with 24 seconds left to cut the lead to two, and Houts missed a free throw with 22 seconds left.

Chaney had three 3s in the first 10 minutes as the Lady Tigers adjusted to Georgia's double-team on Fowles.

Fowles was 1-for-6 from the field in the first half, but LSU led 26-21 on the strength of Chaney's 14 points.