Rutgers hands Georgia women first loss of season



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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Kahleah Copper and Betnijah Laney each scored 18 points to help Rutgers upset No. 16 Georgia 61-58 on Saturday.

Rutgers (9-2) led by four at the half and the Scarlet Knights couldn't build on that in the second half. Georgia took its first lead of the game, 46-45, on a three-point play by Tiaria Griffin with 7:25 left.

The Scarlet Knights answered with six straight points to make it 51-46 with 5 minutes left.

Rutgers led 59-52 with 21 seconds left before Shacobia Barbee hit a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game. After a missed free throw by Syessence Davis, Barbee swished another 3 from the top of the key to make it 59-58 with 7 seconds left.

Tyler Scaife hit two free throws with 5.9 left and Khaalidah Miller's 3-pointer from 35-feet at the buzzer bounced off the front rim.

Barbee finished with 18 points _ 17 of them in the second half _ to lead Georgia (11-1).

This was only the second trip out of the state of Georgia for the Lady Bulldogs, who played at Belmont earlier this month.

The Lady Bulldogs got off to a tough start turning the ball over on their first six possessions. They didn't score their first points until Erika Ford's jumper from the wing nearly 6 minutes into the game.

Georgia battled back to tie the game at 27 on Miller's 3-pointer. Rutgers led 31-27 at the break.

This was the Lady Bulldogs first trip to Rutgers since the 2008 season when the two teams met in the Jimmy V Classic. Rutgers came away with a 45-34 victory.

The win closed out Rutgers' non-conference schedule. While in the past coach C. Vivian Stringer had put her team through a challenging non-conference slate, Georgia was only the second Top 25 team that the Scarlet Knights had faced this season.

The Scarlet Knights will open up American Athletic Conference play next Saturday at South Florida. Rutgers is in the new conference for one season before heading to the Big Ten next year.

Georgia closes its non-conference schedule against Lipscomb before starting SEC play at Vanderbilt on Jan. 2.

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(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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DOUG FEINBERG

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