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No. 16 Georgia women rout SEC rival Auburn, 70-45

Georgia's Jasmine James tied for the team-high with 14 points Sunday during a 70-45 win against SEC rival Auburn.

Georgia's Jasmine James tied for the team-high with 14 points Sunday during a 70-45 win against SEC rival Auburn.

AUBURN, Ala. — Jasmine James and Jasmine Hassell both scored 14 points and No. 16 Georgia routed Auburn, 70-45, on Sunday.

Georgia (13-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) made up for a poor shooting game — 37.3 percent (28 of 75) — by hounding the Tigers into 30 turnovers and holding a 47-35 rebounding edge, with 23 coming on the offensive glass.

For a Bulldogs team still reeling from an 80-51 loss at No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday, it was a cathartic experience.

“We just felt like we needed to turn it up. We needed to be aggressive,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “Defensively, we jumped them hard early and I was impressed we were able to stay there for 40 minutes.

“We really caught a different gear, started clicking offensively, kept things where it was defensively, and the kids got caught up in that.”

Khaalidah Miller had 12 points for the Bulldogs, while Meredith Mitchell added 10 points and eight rebounds and James had five steals.

Hasina Muhammad scored 15 points and Blanche Alverson added 13 for the Tigers (9-7, 1-2), who shot 27.1 percent (13 of 48) from the field and endured a nearly 9-minute scoreless stretch in the second half.

Three days after picking up its first conference win over Alabama, Auburn suffered its most lopsided loss of the year.

“Georgia just came out and punched us hard defensively,” Tigers coach Nell Fortner said. “They made it very hard for us to run any kind of efficient offense. They were trapping us all over the court, and we just couldn’t get out of it.”

Georgia led 30-17 at halftime after leading by as many as 17 points in the first half.

The Bulldogs had a 17-1 run to go up 62-32 with 4:03 to go.

Auburn never got closer than 12 points in the second half.

The Bulldogs made it nearly impossible for Auburn to even get a shot up in the first 6 minutes of the game, forcing turnovers on nine of the Tigers’ first 12 possessions.

Georgia turned those miscues into points, sprinting out to a 16-point lead before Alverson hit Auburn’s first field goal, a 3-pointer at the 11:26 mark.

“Defense is something we really want to hang our hats on,” James said. “The past few days at practice, that’s all we focused on. We were focused on not so much guarding the plays that they run, but we were trying to go for steals, trying to disrupt their offense.”

James was especially active on the defensive end early, recording three steals and scoring nine points in the first half.

Auburn turned the ball over 18 times in the first half and shot only 27.8 percent (5 of 18) from the field.