Marist women eliminate Georgia with 76-70 victory

BRENT KALLESTAD Associated Press Published:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Corielle Yarde scored 21 points, Brandy Gang had 18 and Marist upset fourth-seeded Georgia 76-70 on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Marist, seeded 13th in the Raleigh Regional, shot 52.5 percent and made 21 of 25 free throws for its 11th straight win. Georgia, meanwhile, was six of eight at the line.

Gang made two foul shots to give the Red Foxes the lead for good at 63-62 with 5:56 left, and Yarde's three-point play made it 74-65 with 1:37 remaining.

Casey Dulin added 11 points for 13th-seeded Marist (26-7), the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions.

Marist had lost both of its previous games against Georgia, including a matchup in the 2006 NCAA tournament. But the Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference couldn't catch the Red Foxes on Sunday.

Georgia, which had advanced to the NCAA round of 16 in each of the past two seasons, fought back from a 46-35 deficit early in the second half, forcing Yarde and Gang to step up at crucial times.

They were up to the challenge.

Khaalidah Miller led Georgia (22-9) with 21 points and Meredith Mitchell added 15 before fouling out with 7:01 left, just seconds after Jasmine James' jumper gave the Bulldogs a 60-59 lead. Miller went 5 for 12 from 3-point range, sinking one at the final buzzer. James finished with 12 points.

Jasmine Hassell, Georgia's leading scorer, was limited to six points and six rebounds.

Mitchell was in foul trouble for much of the game, drawing her fourth with four minutes remaining in the first half. She fouled out trying to stop Yarde's drive on the baseline.

Georgia, making its 18th consecutive NCAA appearance, took its first lead of the second half at 58-57 on Mitchell's 3 with 9:35 left.

The only other time Marist was a 13 seed, it lost to eventual national champion Tennessee in the round of 16 in 2007.

Marist fell behind 10-4 at the start before settling down. The Red Foxes shot 54.5 percent and made all eight of their free throws in the first half while Georgia shot just 36.1 percent.

Gang's 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run that gave the Red Foxes a 26-20 lead before Georgia rallied to regain the lead at 32-31 on Anne Marie Armstrong's layup. Marist countered with 3-pointers by Kristina Danella and Yarde in the final minute of the half.

Marist's Kelsey Beynnon had a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points.