Women's hoops loses to Georgia
Published: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 11:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 11:41 p.m.
ATHENS, Ga. — All season long, Georgia coach Andy Landers has been preaching to his players to make plays.
Led by 20 points from Porsha Phillips, Georgia did just that and defeated No. 17 Florida 84-75 on Sunday.
“We have had athletes standing around,” Landers said. “Today we had athletes hustling. That is what we have been preaching all year.”
Landers couldn’t single out one sequence from the Lady Bulldogs’ hard-played game, but said he liked what he saw out of Phillips.
“Florida stepped up in the second half with an intensity to stop (Phillips),” Landers said. “And they denied her a couple of passes, but on the next two or three possessions, there was no denying her.”
Georgia (17-12, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) got 14 points apiece from Ashley Houts and Christy Marshall. Senior Danielle Taylor, who started in place of Phillips during the home finale, scored all 12 of her points in the first half to pace the Lady Bulldogs to a 45-38 halftime lead.
Marshae Dotson scored 22 points to lead Florida (23-6, 9-5) and Steffi Sorensen added 15 points.
Florida used aggressive defense to reclaim the lead early in the second half.
The Gators went up 59-54 on a putback by Amanda Stewart with 11:41 to play.
“We played a great five minutes and gained the lead,” Florida coach Amanda Butler said. “The rest of the game we let them be offensive and let them have the shots they wanted, and they did not miss often. We just did not put the pressure on. The story of this game is the shots we gave up.”
Georgia went on a 14-0 run midway through the second to go ahead 68-59 on an acrobatic shot by Jaleesa Rhoden. Phillips scored eight points during a seven-minute stretch.
The Gators trimmed the deficit to 71-67, but Georgia brought its lead to 81-69 on a steal and layup by Houts with 1 minute to play.
“Florida came out with their backs against the wall and clawed back,” said Houts. “We weathered the storm and were able to come back and stay on top. We attacked the basket.”
Florida finished fourth in the SEC and will have a bye in the first round of the conference tournament, which starts in Little Rock, Ark., on Thursday.
Landers said he still would like to see more fight out of the Lady Bulldogs, who finished ranked seventh in the SEC and plays Kentucky on Thursday.
“We never had a single player grab another by the collar and shake them,” said Landers. “I hope we are learning to fight.”
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