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February 8, 2010

Women: USC turns over Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina turned the ball over a bit more than No. 14 Georgia, but the Gamecocks were far more opportunistic.

ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina turned the ball over a bit more than No. 14 Georgia, but the Gamecocks were far more opportunistic.

Valerie Nainima scored 21 points, and USC (13-10, 6-5 SEC) got 12 points off Georgia's nine turnovers in a 52-42 win Sunday.

Georgia (19-5, 6-5) failed to score off USC's 10 turnovers.

"Valerie played extremely well," USC coach Dawn Staley said. "She was there when we needed her to hit the big shot."

USC led 30-18 at halftime and held a double-digit lead most of the second half.

Georgia closed to 42-37 with 6:25 to play behind a 6-0 run on layups by Jasmine James and Anne Marie Armstrong and a short jumper by Jasmine Hassell. But the Gamecocks answered with a 3-pointer by Nainima and a three-point play by Jewel May.

"You have to be able to get stops and score, which is not something we do a lot of," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "We cut it to five, but we let the driver drive and kick it back out to their shooter for a three. Then we don't score, and they come down and pound it inside.

"You have to be consistent and persistent on the defensive end, but any way you cut it, you have to score."

Georgia shot 29 percent from the field, hitting 16 of 56 shots. The Bulldogs made two of 11 3-point attempts.

Since starting the season 16-0, Georgia has been held to 53 or fewer points in five of eight games.

James, a freshman, scored 11 for Georgia, which played most of the game without two senior veterans. Center Angel Robinson hit her head on the knee of a USC reserve while diving for a ball in the first half and left the game because of dizziness. She did not return.

Point guard Ashley Houts drew her fourth foul five minutes into the second half and did not return. Landers chose to rest her sore ankle rather than have her return.

"We wanted to keep it close on the road," Staley said. "We know how hard it is to get road wins in this league. I didn't anticipate us getting out to a big lead and being able to hold on to get the win, but that's what we did."

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