UF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Florida defense faces hard test
Published: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 1:04 a.m.
Florida's backcourt has been priding itself on defense in recent days. But their truest test comes tonight.
UF women's gameday
- Brandon Zimmerman
When Florida (11-4, 1-1 SEC) faces No. 14 LSU (13-2, 1-0) at 8 tonight in Baton Rouge, the Gator women will be facing one of the top backcourts in the conference. Led by seniors Temeka Johnson (13.3 points per game) and Doneeka Hodges (15.0 ppg) and sophomore wing Seimone Augustus (16.2 ppg), the Tigers' backcourt is a frightening one for opponents to face.
"I think they're very quick and very athletic," Florida sophomore point guard Sarah Lowe said. "We're going to have to make good decisions. We have to attack them and not be intimidated."
But the Tigers' backcourt has an intimidating look. Johnson leads the attack at the point. She is fourth in the nation with a 7.7 assists-per-game average. Johnson needs just seven assists tonight to move into second place on the school's all-time assists chart.
Hodges, meanwhile, became just the 22nd player in LSU history to go over 1,000 points in a career earlier this season.
As for Augustus, she was honored Monday by USA Basketball as the Female Athlete of the Year after she was the MVP of the 2003 FIBA World Championship for Young Women. All together, they are an accomplished group. Florida knows that and plans to slow them down.
"I think we're going to go out and play the defense we can to stop their guards," said guard Danielle Santos, regarded as Florida's top defensive stopper. "We've seen a variety of teams and players, and these are some good guards. We're going to try to stop them."
Florida is coming off its best defensive game of the season Sunday against Vanderbilt. In the 67-61 win in the O'Connell Center, Florida recorded 18 steals and blocked nine shots. Starting point guard Tishona Gregory led the defensive effort with a career-high seven steals.
"She was doing a good job of getting between the guard and the basket," Florida coach Carolyn Peck said. "Both Tishona and Sarah Lowe have got to play great defense for us to win."
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman at 374-5051 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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