NASHVILLE — Brittany Davis shot 5-for-6 from 3-point range while scoring 26 points as Alabama beat 24th-ranked Georgia 74-62 on Thursday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament.
The 11th-seeded Crimson Tide (17-12) have won five of their past six games, including two in as many days at Bridgestone Arena to reach the SEC quarterfinals for a second straight year. A day after a 75-68 victory against 14th-seeded Auburn — their third win this year against the rival Tigers — the Tide snapped a five-game skid to sixth-seeded Georgia.
Now they will play 18th-ranked and third-seeded Tennessee (22-7) in the last of four quarterfinals Friday. Alabama beat the Lady Volunteers 74-64 on Feb. 17 in Tuscaloosa, avenging a 62-44 loss on Dec. 30 in Knoxville in the SEC opener for both teams.
Megan Abrams had 24 points and seven rebounds for Alabama on Thursday, making nine of her 12 free throws, and Allie Craig Cruce added 10 points and six rebounds for the Tide, who made half of their 18 tries from behind the arc.
Davis scored the first 11 points of the game for Alabama and also hit a 3 to open the fourth quarter after Georgia pulled within 54-45. Davis wound up scoring 10 in the quarter to seal the victory, and she also had five rebounds and as many steals in the game.
Georgia (20-9), the SEC tournament runner-up last year to South Carolina, will miss the league quarterfinals for the first time since 2019. The Lady Dogs had won eight of the past 11 in their series with Alabama, including a 72-68 victory in early January in Athens.
Que Morrison led Georgia with 18 points before fouling out with 1:09 left, while Jenna Staiti added 14 and Reigan Richardson had 12. Javyn Nicholson notched game highs with nine rebounds and three blocks, while Mikayla Coombs led the Lady Dogs with seven assists.
Georgia hit back-to-back 3s to open the scoring and led 8-3 before Davis took over, igniting Alabama's 15-2 run to finish the first quarter for an 18-10 lead. It was 37-22 at halftime.
The Tide pushed their lead to 20 before the Bulldogs finished the third on a 19-8 spurt to pull within 54-45 at the end of the quarter.
Kentucky 83, Mississippi State 67
Kentucky freshman Jada Walker matched her season high with 21 points as one of five Wildcats who scored in double figures, and the team pushed its winning streak to seven games by beating Mississippi State in the SEC tourney opener for both teams.
The seventh-seeded Wildcats (16-11) improved to 5-0 in SEC second-round games. They will face sixth-ranked and second-seeded LSU (25-4) in the quarterfinals Friday.
Dre'una Edwards scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Kentucky. Former Bradley Central High School standout Rhyne Howard added 14 points, and Robyn Benton and Jazmine Massengill scored 12 apiece.
Massengill — another former Chattanooga-area prep star, she played for Hamilton Heights Christian Academy — also had seven assists, six rebounds and two blocks. Walker had eight rebounds to help Kentucky finish with a 47-25 advantage.
No. 10 seed Mississippi State (15-13) lost for the sixth straight game, a skid that began with a Feb.15 loss at Kentucky.
JerKaila Jordan led the Bulldogs with 21 points and four steals, Caterrion Thompson added 19 points with eight rebounds, Anastasia Hayes scored 13 and Myah Taylor had seven assists.
No. 23 Florida 53, Vanderbilt 52
Nina Rickards made two free throws with 8.2 seconds left, and the Gators rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Vanderbilt, snap a three-game skid and advance to a quarterfinal against No. 4 seed Ole Miss (22-7).
Florida (21-9) is seeded fifth, its highest seed since 2016, but seemed headed for a quick exit until the fourth quarter, when the Gators turned in a furious 20-8 rally. Their one and only lead of the game came on Rickards' first trip to the foul line.
Vanderbilt (14-18), the No. 13 seed, scored the first 12 points of the game and was up by 14 late in the third quarter. A day after an 85-69 win against No. 12 seed Texas A&M, the Commodores were looking for a second straight victory at a tournament where they hadn't won even once since 2016.
Sacha Washington missed both free throws with a chance to pad Vanderbilt's lead with 11.9 seconds remaining. After Rickards' free throws, Jordyn Merritt blocked Vanderbilt guard Iyana Moore's layup and the Gators started celebrating a victory in their tourney opener before officials sent them to the bench for a review.
The officials added 0.4 to the clock, and Florida guard Jeriah Warren got a hand on the inbound pass to seal the comeback. Rickards finished with 15 points for Florida, and Zippy Broughton added 14.
Brinae Alexander led with 18 points and Moore had 16 for Vanderbilt, which led 16-12 after one quarter. Florida pulled even once, at 18 with 5:44 left in the second quarter, but the Commodores were ahead 31-22 at halftime and 44-33 entering the final period.
Arkansas 61, Missouri 52 (OT)
Amber Ramirez scored all 17 of her points after halftime, Makayla Daniels had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the first double-double of her Arkansas career, and the eighth-seeded Razorbacks used a 9-0 run in overtime to beat ninth-seeded Missouri.
Arkansas (18-12) advances to face top-ranked, top-seeded South Carolina (27-1) in Friday's first quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Eastern. The Razorbacks lost their only regular-season meeting with the Gamecocks, 61-52 on Jan. 16 at Arkansas.
Ramirez made a go-ahead jumper along the baseline to give Arkansas a 48-46 lead with 25.5 seconds left in regulation. After a timeout, Haley Troup got into the lane and scored a tying basket after a Razorbacks defender fell down. Ramirez dribbled down the clock and got into the lane, but her layup rolled off at the buzzer.
Sasha Goforth gave Arkansas the lead in overtime with a 3-pointer, and Daniels and Ramirez combined to make eight free throws the rest of the way to seal it. Goforth and Samara Spencer each scored 11 points for the Razorbacks.
Troup scored a career-high 21 for Missouri (18-12), and LaDazhia Williams added 14 with 13 rebounds, with Hayley Frank matching Williams' total on the glass.