LSU routs Gators

Florida's Bernice Mosby, left, struggles to hang on to a rebound as Louisiana State's Temeka Johnson defends, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003, at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. LSU won 94-54.

AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Michael C. Weimar
Published: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 1:37 a.m.

It seems the remedy for other SEC teams to get out of a slump this season is to play the Florida women's basketball team.

Sixth-ranked LSU certainly made that the case Thursday night.

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Tigers prevented a losing streak with a 94-54 thrashing of the Gators.

The loss in front of 796 at the O'Connell Center extended Florida's season-long losing streak to five games. The past four losses were by an average of 40.8 points.

"It's always tough when you look at the score, but I don't think this team ... that we're a bunch of losers," first-year UF coach Carolyn Peck said. "I think that we're learners and we are moving in a positive direction.

"The teams that have come in here have coaches that can sit back and go, 'Let my veterans go. Let them run.' I look forward to that day, and that's going to happen here because every team, every player has to go through some inexperienced times. When you learn from that inexperience, it's a positive thing and I definitely think that's what we're doing."

The Gators dropped below .500 for the first time this season at 8-9. They continued their worst SEC start since the 1986-87 season with a 0-5 conference record.

"I think you have to be realistic," UF point guard Sarah Lowe said. "Frustrated is not the word. I think that it's more that this team needs to come together. I'm not going to count this team out, I'm not going to count myself out of anything. This is a learning process for all of us."

The Tigers, with three players scoring in double figures, improved to 16-1 overall, 4-1 in the SEC. All but one LSU player in the game scored. Ke-Ke Tardy, starting in place of injured DeTrina White, scored a game- and season-high 16 points.

"I thought we executed very well in our half-court offense, probably the best we executed in quite some time," LSU coach Sue Gunter said.

The Gators played one of their poorest defensive games of the season.

LSU shot 58 percent from the floor, the highest shooting mark by a UF opponent this season. The Tigers' 94 points also were a season-high.

"I think we lost our focus, our concentration after LSU hit a few shots," Peck said. "Then we started not communicating, not talking and had some breakdowns there. That allowed them to get some open looks."

LSU shot better than 60 percent for most of the first half and finished with a 61.6-clip accuracy at the half.

Tardy had 12 points by halftime, one more than her previous season-high of 11 she scored against Penn State.

In reverse, the Gators had their usual struggles on offense in the first half.

They shot 35.7 percent in the first and again went through long stretches without scoring.

After Brittany Davis converted a layup almost seven minutes into the game to cut the LSU lead 13-11, Florida failed to get another field goal in the next five minutes to allow LSU to go on a 16-0 run.

Like the other SEC games, the Gators failed to have much of a counter in the paint.

LSU dominated the inside game, outscoring Florida 48-28 in the paint.

"We had a little bit of a post presence tonight," Gunter said. "Our post players had not really been giving us what we thought we should get, not getting as many points in the paint, and we turned that around."

Doris Yon can be reached at (352) 374-5052 or

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