Gators look to bounce back from Arkansas loss

Published: Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.


Today's match

  • WHO: No. 15 Georgia (13-6, 4-2 SEC) at No. 24 Florida (15-4, 3-3)
  • WHEN: Today, 3 p.m.
  • WHERE: O'Connell Center
  • ON AIR: AM-850

  • Carolyn Peck is not worried about how her team will respond today following Thursday's loss at Arkansas. Her Gators, which include four senior starters, have come back strong from losses all season.
    "I think our team did a good job of bouncing back after the Georgia and Kentucky games," Peck said, referring to losses to the Bulldogs and Wildcats earlier this month. "So I expect the same thing from them (today)."
    The Gators aren't exactly facing the most ideal opponent to get them back on the winning track. The No. 24 Gators (15-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) will host No. 15 Georgia (13-6, 4-2) today at 3 p.m. in the O'Connell Center, a series dominated by Georgia in recent years.
    The Bulldogs have won four straight games against the Gators by an average margin of 17 points. That includes the Bulldogs' 89-70 win Jan. 8 in Athens, Ga.
    It was a convincing victory. Georgia hit 11-of-23 3-point attempts in that game while dominating Florida 49-35 on the boards.
    "We've got to do a better job of transition defense and rebounding," Peck said. "We can't leave Sherill Baker open or Janese Hardrick. We've got to try to contain them."
    Georgia's guards are regarded among the best in the SEC. Florida knows that well.
    Hardrick hit all four of her 3-point attempts against Florida while Baker scored 20 points and had four steals in the contest.
    "We had a lot of turnovers last time and got outrebounded," Florida guard Danielle Santos said. "Containing their shooters this time is going to be a big thing."
    Florida will certainly need to shore up its perimeter defense today. The Gators allowed Arkansas to hit 11 3-pointers to come back from a 10-point second-half deficit and defeat Florida on Thursday in Fayetteville, Ark.
    The Gators, however, have shown plenty of resiliency this season. Florida is 2-1 following losses and have only lost back-to-back games on one occasion.
    Florida bounced back from its' first loss at Florida State to defeat Stetson, 85-56 at home. The Gators then lost two straight to Georgia and Kentucky but rebounded with a 66-58 win at Ole Miss.
    "After a loss we always want to come back and work hard and get that next game," Santos said. "We want to make sure we don't have that feeling again."
    NOTES: Georgia holds a 37-10 lead in the series against UF and has won four straight over the Gators. ... Georgia's only conference losses were a nine-point defeat at No. 1 Tennessee and a one-point loss to No. 4 LSU in Athens, Ga. ... Florida freshman Marshae Dotson is averaging a team-best 12.7 points with 7.3 rebounds while shooting 82.4 percent over the past three games. ... Florida's Dalila Eshe is averaging 16.3 points in the Gators' three games against top-25 teams this season. Florida is shooting just 31.9 percent from the 3-point line while its opponents are shooting 32.2 percent.
    -Brandon Zimmerman

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