Gators seek end to latest trend
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Brittany Davis was down, distraught and beaten. By her own assessment, as well as her coaches', no Gator took Sunday's 89-70 loss at No. 17 Georgia harder than Davis.
UF Women's Basketball
NOTES: Kentucky coach Mickie DeMoss was Florida's head coach from 979 to 1983. The Gators are the only school in the country to face two former head coaches during the regular season. The other is Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross, who faces Florida Jan. 19 in Oxford, Miss. ... This is Kentucky's best start since the 1990-91 season. ... Florida leads the all-time series with Kentucky 19-15 including two straight wins.
The senior forward, who is enjoying her finest season as a Gator, had only six points and two rebounds in the loss to the Bulldogs, far below her season average of 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds.
"She took our last loss very hard," coach Carolyn Peck said. "But her numbers did not project the heart she played with. She knows that she's going to do better."
Davis and the Gators (13-2, 1-1 SEC) will finally have the chance to put Sunday's loss behind them when Kentucky (11-3, 1-1) visits the O'Connell Center at 7 tonight.
The Gators are looking to rebound after having their 11-game winning streak snapped Sunday. No one seems more anxious to return to the court than Davis.
"I did take it pretty hard," Davis said. "I felt like I let my team and my coaches down in not coming out with the intensity I could have and not producing when I should have. I've got to learn from that and come out hard."
If Davis and the Gators learned one lesson at Georgia it was just that: The Gators have to play with intensity for the full 40 minutes. It's something that has been missing lately.
Florida has trailed at halftime in each of its last four games. The Gators were able to come from behind and win home games against Liberty, Florida State and Alabama. But an 11-point halftime deficit at Georgia was far too difficult to recover from.
"We need to come out strong in the first half," Davis said. "We tend to come out more so in the second half. We need to come out in the Kentucky game and play 40 minutes of basketball. We need to play from the get-go with a lot of fire and intensity."
Florida had been living somewhat dangerously most of the season. The Gators have come back from second-half deficits to win seven games this season.
They know spotting teams early leads in the SEC could result in more disappointing losses like Sunday's at Georgia.
"Every night is a challenge," Davis said. "You can't come out and just play a second half. You're going to get beat."
The loss to Georgia now puts Florida in the unfamiliar position of having to rebound from a loss. The Gators last loss prior to Sunday was a Nov. 23 setback at Florida State.
"We all know how it feels to lose and we don't like losing," freshman guard Sha Brooks said. "I'm pretty sure we'll work hard and have more composure and enthusiasm in the next game."
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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