No. 8 Georgia 62, South Carolina 58
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Elena Vishniakova scored 18 points, including the game-winning layup with 19.2 seconds left, to lift No. 8 Georgia to a 62-58 victory over South Carolina on Wednesday.
Vishniakova, a Russian exchange student who spent her last two prep years only a few miles from South Carolina’s campus at Heathwood Hall, hit nine of 11 shots for the Lady Bulldogs (19-3, 7-3 Southeastern Conference).
Tawna McDonald blocked Shaunzinski Gortman’s drive to the hoop on South Carolina’s next possession, and Kiesha Brown hit Georgia’s final points.
The Lady Gamecocks (10-11) remained winless in 10 SEC games. But they threw a big scare into Georgia, leading 50-42 with 12:45 to go.
Georgia overcame sloppy play _ finishing with 29 turnovers _ to outscore South Carolina 20-8 down the stretch.
The Lady Gamecocks led 58-54 on Gortman’s jumper with three minutes left, but twins Kelly and Coco Miller each scored to tie the game.
After Nikki Miars and Annie Lester missed go-ahead shots for South Carolina, Brown fed a wide-open Vishniakova with the decisive shot.
Georgia came in after losses to No. 1 Tennessee and Mississippi State and looked ready for one of the year’s mammoth upsets.
The Lady Gamecocks took a 14-2 lead and Georgia needed almost 16 minutes to go up 30-29 on Brown’s basket in the final minute of the first half.
But South Carolina opened the second half with eight straight points and seemed again in control, ahead 39-30 after Lester’s 3-point play.
Vishniakova had two short baskets to cut the lead to 46-42.
The Miller twins, who lead the Lady Bulldogs with identical 19.1 scoring averages, were held to 12 points less than their combined averages and committed 11 turnovers.
Kelly Miller scored 15 points and Coco Miller had 11 on combined 12-of-27 shooting.