UF women's basketball falls to Georgia

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:11 a.m.

The next time Florida is looking to make a statement, the Gators should remember not to invite Georgia.

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Florida's Sha Brooks goes up for a layup through Georgia's defense during the first half Thursday at the O'Connell Center.

Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun

The No. 17 Lady Bulldogs got a career-high 25 points from sophomore Ashley Houts and 23 from senior All-American Tasha Humphrey to defeat Florida, 82-55 in front of 2,613 in the O'Connell Center on Thursday night.

Georgia has now beaten Florida eight straight times, with the last seven coming by an average margin of 26.1 points.

The Lady Bulldogs picked up career win No. 700 for longtime coach Andy Landers, who became the eighth coach at a four-year school to reach the milestone. Landers even offered a little stab at the Gators afterward.

"They all didn't come against Florida, did they?" Landers joked.

No, but it seems like it. Georgia (16-3, 3-3 SEC) improved to 41-10 all-time against Florida, including a 19-6 mark in Gainesville.

It was a sobering night for the Gators (13-6, 2-2 SEC), who entered the game winners of nine of their last 10. Florida believed they could compete with the SEC's best. Instead, the Gators were shown they have a long way to go.

"If we want to compete with the great teams in this league," Gators coach Amanda Butler said, "we've still got a lot of work to do."

Florida, which got 18 points off the bench from Brittaney Thomas, dropped its 12th straight game to a ranked opponent and saw its seven-game home streak come to an end.

"We're very disappointed," Butler said. "There weren't a lot of positives to reflect back on. In SEC play, if you don't come ready you're going to get embarrassed because you're playing against the nation's best. If you don't come out and throw the first punch, you're going to find yourself laying flat on your back."

That is exactly what happened to the Gators. Georgia led from the opening basket and used a 20-4 run to surge to a 28-8 advantage. The Lady Bulldogs led 43-21 at halftime lead and extended their lead to as many as 34 in the second half.

"It's very disappointing," said Florida senior Depree Bowden, who was held to just seven points. "We've got to stay positive and bounce back. We didn't get into a good flow."

Georgia used its trademark smothering defense to hold Florida to its second-lowest point total of the season and its lowest field goal percentage of the year at 30.2 percent. The Gators made just seven field goals in a disastrous first half, with four of those baskets coming from Thomas.

"We didn't get into an offensive flow," Butler said. "I thought that had more to do with us. We didn't come ready. And if it's on us, we know we can correct it."

Georgia used its size to hold Gator center Aneika Henry scoreless while forward Marshae Dotson was held to seven points, less than half her season average.

"They are very aggressive," Butler said. "They played Georgia defense."

Tough defense has been a trademark that has helped Landers record a 700-218 record in 29 seasons at Georgia. Landers joins Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Texas' Jody Conradt as the only coaches to record 700 wins at one school.

"He's a legendary coach," said Houts, who added six assists, six rebounds and five steals for Georgia. "He's one of the reasons our players come to Georgia. Just speaking about him and his 700th win is an honor."

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