Bulldogs put end to Gators' streak
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 2:14 p.m.
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia already had an 11-point halftime lead when it scored the first 11 points of the second half.
Florida would never recover.
The 17th-ranked Bulldogs defeated the Gators 89-70 at Stegeman Coliseum Sunday in front of 6,178. The loss snapped the Gator's 11-game win streak, one shy of tying the program record.
Florida (13-2, 1-1 SEC) lost its second game of the year and its first since a Nov. 23 decision at Florida State. UF's 13-1 start was tied for the best in program history. The 2001 squad also began the season 13-1, but lost to Georgia in its 15th game of the year as well.
"Today was going to be a matter of team intensity and I think that Georgia raised its level of intensity to a high level from the very beginning of the game," UF coach Carolyn Peck said. "We came in passive and committed two quick turnovers to start the game and it just rolled from there.
"I don't think we played the aggressive basketball that I know we can until the last three minutes of the game and by then it was too late."
Dalila Eshe led Florida with 23 points and 10 rebounds to post her third double-double this season and the fourth of her career.
Freshman Marshae Doston also recorded the first double-double of her career, contributing 11 points with a career-best 10 boards. Dotson hit 5 of 8 from the field, as UF shot 39.4 percent from the floor.
Freshman Sha Brooks added 14 points to score in double figures for the seventh straight game. Georgia's Tasha Humphrey scored 19 of her game-high 26 points in the second half, when the Bulldogs (11-3, 2-0 SEC) outrebounded the Gators by 14. Georgia connected on 11 of 23 3-pointers and finished the day shooting 48.6 percent from the floor.
Sherill Baker also netted 20 points for Georgia, while Cori Chambers and Janese Hardrick each had 13.
Sarah Lowe's 3-pointer with 15 minutes remaining was the Gator's first field goal of the second half, as UF attempted to rally in the second half for the third consecutive game but fell short. Lowe's 3 was part of a 6-0 run that cut the deficit to 16 points, but Georgia staged another run to take a 20-point lead, which it held until Sha Brooks hit two free throws with 3:03 remaining to make the score 82-63.
Eshe added an eight-foot jumper, but Janese Hardrick countered with a four-point play. Eshe continued to hit from the outside with a 3-pointer and another long jumper to bring the Gators within 16 points with 1:51 remaining.
The opening minutes of the first half were played fast and furious, with both teams trading baskets and forcing five lead changes and one tie in the first four minutes.
Eshe's 3-pointer gave the Gators a 9-7 lead, but Georgia ripped off a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to take a 17-9 advantage with 13:57 on the clock.
UF chipped away and got within six points twice, but Georgia responded with a 3-pointer both times, leading by as many as 13 points on two different occasions, the last coming with 1:19 remaining in the period.
Dotson had two put-backs to get UF within nine, 43-34, with 15 seconds remaining. But Alexis Kendrick's jumper with two seconds left gave Georgia a 43-34 halftime lead.
It was the third consecutive game the Gators had trailed after the first 20 minutes of play.
Florida returns to action on Thursday when the Gators play host to Kentucky at 7 p.m. in the O'Connell Center. Florida has won nine consecutive home games, the fourth longest home streak in program history.
No. 17 GEORGIA 89, FLORIDA 70
FLORIDA (13-2) Brooks 5-14 2-3 14, Lowe 2-5 1-2 6, Santos 4-13 0-0 8, Davis 2-6 2-2 6, Eshe 9-19 2-3 23, Bowden 1-3 0-2 2, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Dotson 5-8 1-3 11, Dye 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-71 8-15 70.
GEORGIA (11-3) Baker 8-15 4-7 20, Chambers 4-11 2-2 13, Darrah 2-12 1-2 6, Kendrick 3-6 0-1 7, Humphrey 11-17 2-2 26, Taylor 1-3 0-0 2, Greene 0-0 0-0 0, Hardrick 4-5 1-1 13, Bostice 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 34-70 10-15 89.
Halftime-Georgia 45-34. 3-Point Goals-Florida 6-19 (Eshe 3-6, Brooks 2-6, Lowe 1-2, Dye 0-1, Bowden 0-1, Santos 0-3), Georgia 11-23 (Hardrick 4-4, Chambers 3-7, Humphrey 2-4, Kendrick 1-2, Darrah 1-6). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Florida 35 (Dotson, Eshe 10), Georgia 49 (Humphrey 15). Assists-Florida 10 (Lowe 4), Georgia 20 (Baker, Kendrick 6). Total Fouls-Florida 16, Georgia 15. A-6,178.
A surprise pre-game visit from five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards helped inspire Sherill Baker, who didn't take long to show off in front of the former Georgia star.
Baker, who broke Edwards' school career steals record last week, was surprised when Edwards presented a commemorative ball to the senior before the Lady Bulldogs' game against Florida on Sunday.
Edwards didn't just present the ball; she made Baker steal it. Baker added two more steals in the first 30 seconds, setting the pace for No. 17 Georgia's 89-70 victory over the Gators.
''I think Teresa got her excited,'' said Georgia coach Andy Landers. ''I know that Sherill has a lot of admiration and respect for Teresa.''
Added Landers: ''When she starts the game with such energy, it's similar to putting a 48-volt battery in a car. All you need to do is turn on the switch and it goes.''
Baker had 20 points and four steals for Georgia (11-3 overall, 2-0 Southeastern Conference). But Baker was most excited about the surprise from Edwards.
''I had no idea,'' Baker said. ''I was excited to see her. She's a legend.''
Baker, a senior, continued her aggressive pace even after a first-half collision left her with a large bump on her forehead.
Baker had two more steals in the second half to extend her record to 352. She passed Edwards' mark of 342 from 1982-86 with six steals in the Lady Bulldogs' win at Mississippi on Thursday.
Tasha Humphrey led Georgia with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Cori Chambers and Janese Hardrick each added 13 points.
Humphrey had only seven first-half points in 11 minutes while limited by two early fouls.
Georgia led by 11 points when Humphrey, the SEC's scoring leader (19.8 points per game), left with two fouls midway through the first half. The Lady Bulldogs still led by 11 at 45-34 at halftime.
''A lot of people think we're a one-person team, but I came out of the game and the score didn't fluctuate at all,'' Humphrey said.
Said Landers: ''I was really pleased that we were still up by 11, but on offense and rebounding we suffered. Then she came back out for the second half and you saw the difference.''
Humphrey had five points in Georgia's 11-0 run to open the second half. Baker capped the run with a steal and a basket.
''I'm very proud of Sherill,'' Humphrey said. ''You think about whose record she broke. Teresa Edwards is a five-time Olympian. That makes it very special.''
Florida (13-2, 1-1) had its 11-game winning streak end, despite 23 points from Dalila Eshe and 14 points from Sha Brooks.
Florida coach Carolyn Peck said her team couldn't match the intensity of Baker and the Lady Bulldogs.
''I think that Georgia played their level of intensity to the top to start with and I think we came in passive,'' Peck said. ''We made two quick turnovers from the start and then it just rose from there.''
Georgia made 7-of-13 3-point shots in the first half, including three by Chambers and Hardrick.
Florida, losing for the first time since Nov. 23 at Florida State, never recovered. Georgia led 56-34 at the end of the run and kept a comfortable lead the rest of the game.
The Gators were unable to match their school-record 12-game winning streak in the 1993-94 season.
Florida fell to 3-19 all-time at Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum.
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