Newton's 3-pointers too much for No. 20 Georgia
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Courtney Newton shot 5 of 5 on 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and South Carolina ended No. 20 Georgia's seven-game winning streak with a 57-48 victory Thursday night.
Newton, a junior, has had three knee surgeries since joining the Gamecocks (12-9, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) and had scored only 13 points all season entering the game.
But Newton was unstoppable from behind the arc against the Lady Bulldogs (16-4, 6-1).
Newton's first 3 tied it at 21 while her third one put South Carolina ahead for good, 34-31.
Newton stretched the lead to 41-35 with her fourth 3.
After her final one with 5:32 to go, Newton ran up the left sideline with her arm extended in celebration.
Jasmine James had 15 points to lead Georgia, which was held to its lowest point total of the season.
The Gamecocks were 0-5 against ranked opponents this season before defeating the Lady Bulldogs.
Georgia struggled with its shooting. It shot 34.5 percent for the game and missed all seven of its 3-point attempts. Khaalidah Miller was 1 of 6 and Meredith Mitchell was 3 of 9.
Porsha Phillips was Georgia's only other player in double figures with 10 points.
La'Keisha Sutton added 12 points and Ashley Bruner 10 for South Carolina.
Georgia has had its way in the series at 30-5 entering the game. The Lady Bulldogs have been even better against the Gamecocks on the road, losing just two of 15 meetings and winning all five matchups since Colonial Life Arena opened in November 2002.
Nothing Georgia had done so far this season figured to change that much this time. It had won its three SEC road games so far and came in off a dominating performance Sunday to beat Mississippi State, 78-58.
But the Gamecocks used their speed and aggressive defense — they had seven steals — in the first half to rush the Lady Bulldogs into turnovers and quick shots.
Phillips, a 45 percent shooter, made only 3 of 9 attempts. Starting guards James and Mitchell were a combined 3 of 11 from the field.
Georgia finished with 23 points, a season low for the opening half.
South Carolina got 3-pointers by Newton and Ieasia Walker in the last 3 minutes to take a 25-23 lead into the break.
Things didn't get much better for Georgia in the second half. James scored the first six points for the Lady Bulldogs to tie the game at 29-all. Phillips' basket tied the game again at 31 before Newton and the Gamecocks took control.