Georgia rally too much for UF women
Published: Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 7:27 p.m.
Visiting Georgia used a 44-32 second-half scoring advantage and a 47-27 rebounding edge for the game to pull out a 68-62 SEC win over Florida Sunday afternoon before a season-high crowd of 3,659 in the O'Connell Center.
The loss was the second SEC defeat in a row for the Gators (13-5, 3-2) while the Bulldogs (14-5, 2-4) picked up their second straight league win.
“Obviously we're very disappointed in the way we played in the second half and the way that we rebounded the entire game,” UF coach Amanda Butler said. “You know, that's just our battle, but you've got to give Georgia a lot of credit for the way they played and the way they shot the ball.”
Florida scored the game's first seven points and led by as many as 10 points twice in the first half, but despite forcing 18 turnovers and recording nine steals in the opening 20 minutes, only led by six, 30-24, at the break.
The Bulldogs eventually tied the score at 43-all with 10:52 remaining to play, and the teams traded leads for the next five minutes. But with the score tied at 53 and 5:48 left to play, the Bulldogs, who came into the game as the worst free throw shooting team in the SEC (57.4 percent), went 11 of 12 from the charity stripe the rest of the way to finish off their big road win with a season-high 16 of 18 performance (88.9 percent).
Georgia, ranked 13th in the SEC in 3-point shooting, also knocked down 8 of 22 3-pointers (36.4 percent), while UF was just 3 of 14 (21.4 percent).
“They did some things that were a little bit outside of the scouting report of what they've done to this point,” Butler said. “They hit a lot of big shots and made plays, taking advantage of where we had weaknesses and they were stronger.”
Senior guard Jaterra Bonds led UF in scoring with 16 points, while sophomore January Miller and redshirt junior Kayla Lewis added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Georgia had four players in double digits led by a career-high 23 points from junior guard Erika Ford, who was 9-of-17 from the field, and the Bulldogs' big rebounding advantage led to a 22-10 edge in second-chance points.
Next up for UF is a road game at No. 12 Tennessee (13-3, 3-2) Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Notes: Sophomore transfer Antoinette Bannister made her first appearance since Nov. 21. She played in the first five games of the season before suffering a thumb injury to her shooting (right) hand in practice that required surgery. Her return gives UF, which was down to seven players with the recent indefinite suspension of sophomore forward Christin Mercer, eight available players.