Jan. 16, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia women's basketball team overcame a 16-point second-half deficit, propelled by a 13-0 run down the stretch, to come away with a 70-64 win over Florida Sunday afternoon in Stegeman Coliseum. The win was Georgia's fifth straight, following Thursday night's win at Arkansas - the program's 800th all-time victory.
After going 0-for-2 from three in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs went 6-of-12 from long range in the second, including three in the final four minutes.
Georgia improves to 14-3 (4-0) to remain perfect in the league play, while the Gators fall to 12-7 (2-3). The Lady Bulldogs are now 45-12 all-time vs. the SEC foe, including a 24-3 clip in Athens and a 45-9 mark under head coach Andy Landers.
"This was a good one today," Landers said. "I'm not proud or pleased with the way we started the game. I thought we were slow and we seemed unmotivated. But as the second half started, I think we determined that we were going to fight to earn a win, and fight they did. I'm really proud of that, and I may be even a little more proud of our fans and the lift that they gave us in the second half."
"The tough thing about being behind is being behind. When you are there for a long time it starts to wear on you. The neat thing about today was once we started coming back, it was real methodical. The toughest thing I think for a team to handle is when you come back and you don't score and go down again. That is difficult. But for us, whatever fatigue they were feeling went away when we went up one. We were energized at that point to kick it on home."
Georgia shot just 29 percent from the floor in the first half as Florida established a 13-point advantage, 37-24, at the break.
After a Florida three-pointer pushed the visitors' lead to 12, at 56-44, Georgia kick-started its late run. It began with a jumper from Meredith Mitchell with 8:04 left. A three from Jasmine James with just under six minutes left cut the UF lead to just five, 56-51, and Mitchell followed that with a steal down the other end that she capped with a lay-up in transition to make it just a three-point deficit.
Mitchell would hit a lay-up to pull it to within one, 56-55, and another Florida turnover preceded a Tamika Willis lay-up that gave Georgia its first lead since they went up 2-0 on the first score of the game.
Florida was held without a field goal until there was 2:55 on the clock, snapping what was over a six minute drought for the Gators. Georgia took a six-point lead, 66-60, on back-to-back threes from Mitchell and James with 1:15 left. Florida cut it back to three on a lay-up for Jaterra Bonds, but late free throws pushed it safely back to six as Georgia came away with the comeback in front of 4,995 patrons.
All told, James led the Georgia charge with 18 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from three. She also chipped in four assists in a full 40 minutes of play. Mitchell (season-high 15 points) and Phillips (10) also found double figures. Florida's Deana Allen was the Gators' leading scorer with 14 points, which she added to 13 rebounds to finish with the double-double.
Next up for the Lady Bulldogs is a road game at Alabama on Jan. 20. That contest is set for 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on CSS.
With today's win, Georgia now sports a 45-12 lead in its all-time series with Florida, including a 24-3 mark in Athens.
Georgia is now 4-0 in SEC play.
Andy Landers is now four wins shy of his 850th career victory as a collegiate head coach.
Porsha Phillips is now 31 points from 1000 career points as a college basketball player.
Porsha Phillips is now two blocks from No. 8 Tasha Humphrey among UGA's career leaders.
Meredith Mitchell scored a season-high 15 points, bettering her 13 points against Kentucky and Mercer.
With today's win, Georgia is now 1-2 when trailing at halftime.
Double-Digit Lady Bulldogs
Meredith Mitchell had double points in today's game with 15 points, the 6th of the season and 19th of her career.
Jasmine James had double points in today's game with 18 points, the 11th of the season and 29th of her career.
Porsha Phillips had double points in today's game with 10 points, the 11th of the season and 48th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
"This was a good one today. I'm not proud and pleased with the way we started the game. I thought we were slow, and we seemed unmotivated. But as the second half started, I think we determined that we were going to fight to earn a win, and fight they did. I'm really proud of that, and I may be even a little more proud of our fans and the lift that they gave us in the second half."
"The tough thing about being behind is being behind. When you are there for a long time it starts to wear on you. The neat thing about today was once we started coming back it was real methodical. The toughest thing I think for a team to handle is when you come back and you don't score and go down again. That is difficult. But for us, whatever fatigue they were feeling went away when we went up one. We were energized at that point to kick it on home."
"Ironically, as poor as the overall rebounding effort was that we had today, the offensive rebounds late in the game helped us to get where we needed to be. The rebounding piece is important every time you hit the floor. This is an excellent rebounding basketball team, but they (Florida) just brought it to us and we weren't with it today."
Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
"We did a great job getting rebounds in the first half. Georgia didn't have an answer to that. We had a tough time down the stretch taking care of the ball and getting things to go our way, but we're proud of our efforts here today especially in an environment like this."
"They made some big threes late in the game and they have some great players and leaders on the team that know how to get things going in order to win."
"We won the ball game for the first 35 minutes but we couldn't keep it up the last five minutes and that's where we lost it. We didn't do the things we need to do to win, and we allowed the things we don't have control of to become a factor and you just cant put yourself in a position where if the ball falls this way or that way then it determines the outcome of the game."