Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lady Dawgs Beat Gators


The Georgia women’s basketball team overcame a 16-point second-half deficit, propelled by a 13-0 run down the stretch, to come away with a 70-64 win over Florida Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum. The win was Georgia’s fifth straight, following Thursday night’s win at Arkansas – the program’s 800th all-time victory.

After going 0-for-2 from three in the first half, the Lady Dawgs went 6-of-12 from long range in the second, including three in the final four minutes.

Georgia improves to 14-3 (4-0) to remain perfect in the league play, while the Gators fall to 12-7 (2-3). The Lady Dawgs are now 45-12 all-time vs. the SEC foe, including a 24-3 clip in Athens and a 45-9 mark under head coach Andy Landers.

“This was a good one today,” Landers said. “I’m not proud or pleased with the way we started the game. I thought we were slow and we seemed unmotivated. But as the second half started, I think we determined that we were going to fight to earn a win, and fight they did. I’m really proud of that, and I may be even a little more proud of our fans and the lift that they gave us in the second half.”

“The tough thing about being behind is being behind. When you are there for a long time it starts to wear on you. The neat thing about today was once we started coming back, it was real methodical. The toughest thing I think for a team to handle is when you come back and you don’t score and go down again. That is difficult. But for us, whatever fatigue they were feeling went away when we went up one. We were energized at that point to kick it on home.”

Georgia shot just 29 percent from the floor in the first half as Florida established a 13-point advantage, 37-24, at the break.

After a Florida three-pointer pushed the visitors’ lead to 12, at 56-44, Georgia kick-started its late run. It began with a jumper from Meredith Mitchell with 8:04 left. A three from Jasmine James with just under six minutes left cut the UF lead to just five, 56-51, and Mitchell followed that with a steal down the other end that she capped with a lay-up in transition to make it just a three-point deficit.

Mitchell would hit a lay-up to pull it to within one, 56-55, and another Florida turnover preceded a Tamika Willis lay-up that gave Georgia its first lead since they went up 2-0 on the first score of the game.

Florida was held without a field goal until there was 2:55 on the clock, snapping what was over a six minute drought for the Gators. Georgia took a six-point lead, 66-60, on back-to-back threes from Mitchell and James with 1:15 left. Florida cut it back to three on a lay-up for Jaterra Bonds, but late free throws pushed it safely back to six as Georgia came away with the comeback in front of 4,995 patrons.

All told, James led the Georgia charge with 18 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from three. She also chipped in four assists in a full 40 minutes of play. Mitchell (season-high 15 points) and Phillips (10) also found double figures. Florida’s Deana Allen was the Gators’ leading scorer with 14 points, which she added to 13 rebounds to finish with the double-double.

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