ATHENS, Ga. (AP)Khayla Pointer scored 21 points, including two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch, and No. 19 LSU defeated No. 13 Georgia 68-62 despite blowing a 16-point third-quarter lead in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Thursday night.
Georgia played without leading scorer and rebounder Jenna Staiti, who status for Sunday’s game at Florida is uncertain.
Pointer banked in a long 3 at the halftime buzzer to give LSU at 41-33 lead. After scoring the first eight points of the second half, Georgia rallied and had three, one-point leads after baskets by Georgia’s Sarah Ashlee Barker in the fourth; the last with 3:14 remaining.
Pointer hit from distance with 2:17 to go for a 62-60 lead, Que Morrison tied the game at the 2:01 mark and both teams came up empty. Then Pointer hit a 3 just before the shot clock expired with 59.4 seconds left.
Georgia missed a pair of free throws and an inside look before LSU made three of four free throws in the final 10.9 seconds.
Faustine Aifuwa scored 17 points for LSU (13-1), which won its 12th straight, its longest streak since winning 14 in a row in the 2007-08 season. Jailin Cherry scored 10 points for the Tigers. Her two assists gave her 501 in her career.
Morrison had career highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds and grabbed seven rebounds for Georgia (11-2). Barker scored nine of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.
LSU plays No. 23 Texas A&M on Sunday and No. 1 South Carolina on Jan. 6.
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