Hawks' Williams has reconstructive knee surgery
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams has had reconstructive surgery on his right knee and will now begin a long rehabilitation period that could leave his status in question for the start of next season.
Williams tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee in the Hawks' game at Brooklyn on Jan. 18, ending his season. The ligament was repaired Thursday by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Hawks orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ashok Reddy assisted in the surgery.
The recovery period for reconstructive knee surgeries can last from nine months to a year.
Williams, in his first season in Atlanta, was third on the team with his average of 14.1 points. He signed with the Hawks as a free agent after averaging a career-best 14.9 points with Philadelphia last season.
No. 9 Georgia women hold off Auburn 61-58
ATLANTA (AP) — Jasmine Hassell scored 15 points and No. 9 Georgia overcame its second-half struggles to edge Auburn 61-58 on Thursday night, giving the Tigers their seventh-straight loss.
The Lady Bulldogs, coming off a win at No. 8 Kentucky on Sunday, led 34-22 at halftime. Georgia made only 2 of 16 shots from the field in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Auburn made only 3 of 15 free throws, including each of its five attempts in the final 3 minutes.
Georgia (20-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) reached 20 wins for the 28th time in 34 seasons with coach Andy Landers.
Auburn (13-10, 2-8) pulled even at 53-53 but couldn't take the lead.
Georgia defensive coordinator talking with Saints
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has notified the school that he's interviewing with the New Orleans Saints.
Athletic director Greg McGarity made the announcement Thursday.
As part of his contract, Grantham must let Georgia know when he plans to interview for an NFL job. He made the request Wednesday night, just hours after taking part in a ceremony for national signing day.
Grantham told reporters he's happy at Georgia and expects to be coaching in Athens next season. But he would not specifically address reports that he would be interviewing with the Saints, along with former Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Mercer beats Jacksonville in overtime 67-64
MACON, Ga. (AP) — Langston Hall had a game-high 23 points and Travis Smith added 14, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds as Mercer downed Jacksonville 67-64 in overtime Thursday night.
Mercer (15-9, 8-3 Atlantic Sun Conference) has won 12 straight at home in Hawkins Arena.
After Kordario Fleming's layup gave Jacksonville the lead 58-57 with 8 seconds left, Hall went one of two from the foul line to send the game into overtime.
Tied 62-62 in overtime, Hall's layup put the Bears ahead 64-62 with 1:54 left, but Javon Dawson answered with two free throws to tie it again 64-all.
After a turnover by Jacksonville's Russell Powell, Smith made a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to put the Bears on top 67-64. Dawson missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds.
Jarvis Haywood led Jacksonville (12-13, 7-5) with 13 points and Fleming added a double-double, 10 points and 11 boards.
Hampton edges Savannah State 71-68 in overtime
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Deron Powers led five players in double figures with 15 points and Hampton defeated Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference-foe Savannah State 71-68 Thursday in overtime, snapping the Tigers' seven-game winning streak.
Du'Vaughn Maxwell added 13 points while Aaron Austin, Ke'Ron Brown, and Ramon Mercardo tallied 10 apiece for the Pirates (5-17, 2-6), who have won four straight games —their longest streak of the season.
Louis Arnold had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Savannah State (12-10, 6-2), and Rashad Hassan added 17 points and 10 boards but the Tigers shot just 36 percent (24 of 66)
Hampton trailed 56-50 with just under 4 minutes left in regulation but outscored Savannah State 8-2 over the final 2:48 to send the game into overtime.
The Pirates opened overtime on a 7-3 run. Savannah State rallied to a 70-68 deficit with 13 seconds left in OT but missed a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired.
NORTH FLORIDA-KENNESAW ST
North Florida beats Kennesaw State 60-52.
KENNESAW, Ga. (AP) — Parker Smith scored 14 points and Travis Wallace added 13 points and seven rebounds to lift North Florida over Kennesaw State 60-52 in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Thursday night.
David Jeune added a team-high eight rebounds for the Ospreys (10-15, 5-7), who have now defeated Kennesaw State eight straight times.
North Florida dominated inside, outscoring Kennesaw State 32-18 in the paint.
The Owls (2-21, 1-10) took a 9-0 lead to open the game but North Florida responded with a 20-3 run to take a 20-12 advantage with 7:39 remaining in the half. The Ospreys maintained the lead the rest of the game.
Markeith Cummings, who is tied with Smith for first in scoring in the A-Sun Conference, matched his season average with 17 points for Kennesaw State. Cummings was the only player in double figures for the Owls, who have now lost eight straight games.
APPALACHIAN ST-GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Appalachian State tops Georgia Southern 91-86, OT
STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — Nathan Healey had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead Appalachian State past Georgia Southern 91-86 in overtime on Thursday night.
Appalachian was 3 for 3 from the field and 12 of 12 from the foul line in overtime. The Eagles were 4 of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 at the line.
Tab Hamilton scored 16 points, Jay Canty had 15 and eight rebounds, Mike Neal 13 and nine rebounds and Tevin Baskin scored 12 for Appalachian State (10-12, 6-5 Southern Conference).
Eric Ferguson had 23 points and eight rebounds, C.J. Reed scored 19, Cleon Roberts 17 and Marvin Baynham 11 for Georgia Southern (10-14, 4-7).
Georgia Southern trailed 73-68 with 48 seconds left in regulation, but Ferguson made two free throws and Reed a layup to close to 73-72. Baynham made one free throw to tie but missed the second with 3 seconds left.
Angel McCoughtry re-signs with Atlanta Dream
ATLANTA (AP) — Defending WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry has re-signed with the Atlanta Dream.
McCoughtry averaged 21.4 points per game and also led the league with 2.5 steals per game last season. She has played with Atlanta in each of her four seasons and also was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal team.
Terms for the multiyear deal were not announced Thursday.
McCoughtry was suspended for undisclosed violations of team rules last season as the Dream found turmoil after appearing in back-to-back WNBA finals in 2010-11. Coach and general manager Marynell Meadors was replaced with Fred Williams.
McCoughtry was rookie of the year in 2009. Her career average of 19.0 points per game is fifth-best in league history.