Lady Bulldawgs Defeat No. 20 Florida

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Lady Bulldawgs Defeat No. 20 Florida

Georgia forward Halle Washington (23) talks to teammates during the Lady Bulldog’s game in Stegeman Coliseum against University of Kentucky in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, January 10, 2015. (Photo by Emily Selby)
[su_spacer size=”40″] Junior forward Halle Washington scored a career-high 17 points as the Georgia Lady Bulldogs basketball team earned its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season defeating No. 20 Florida on the road, 71-61, Thursday night at the O’Connell Center. The win marks Georgia’s first victory over a ranked opponent on the road since Feb. 3, 2013, when the Bulldogs defeated No. 8 Kentucky, 75-71.
[su_spacer size=”40″] With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improve to 13-4 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. Florida falls to 14-3 and 2-2 in conference play. Georgia is now 52-15 all-time against the Gators and 23-10 in games played in Gainesville.
[su_spacer size=”40″] UGA held the Gators to a mere 33.8-percent shooting on the night while forcing Florida to commit 22 turnovers during the Gators’ season-low scoring output. The Bulldogs have now held 16 of 17 opponents below 40-percent shooting.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia was led offensively by Tiaria Griffin with 23 points, including several clutch free throws down the stretch. Griffin was joined in double digit scoring by Washington and Pachis Roberts with 17 and 11 points, respectively.
[su_spacer size=”40″] “We took advantage of opportunities,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Florida tried to get up and press us and take the ball out of Marjorie’s hands. Our other players were really good tonight and were really good at bringing the ball up the floor and attacking them and getting by their front line. We were able to use that and get easy buckets at the rim.”
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Lady Bulldogs opened up with a strong first quarter taking a 19-10 lead just before the start of the second quarter. Georgia kept its foot on the gas in the second period despite several attempts from the Gators at a comeback taking a 33-22 lead into the break. Washington played a large role in the Lady Bulldogs’ success scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds in the first half. The Lady Bulldogs grabbed nine total offensive rebounds as a team in the first twenty minutes and forced the Gators to commit 11 turnovers.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia picked right up where it left off in the third quarter extending its lead to 17 points midway through the period. The Lady Bulldogs forced the Gators out of their comfort zone allowing only one made field goal in the first seven minutes of the quarter. Georgia ended the quarter holding a 14-point lead with a 50-36 advantage heading into the final quarter.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The final ten minutes were a back and forth affair. The Gators were able to trim Georgia’s lead to single digits several times, but the Lady Bulldogs had an answer for each of Florida’s run. The Lady Bulldogs are now 10-0 this season while leading at the half.
[su_spacer size=”40″] The Lady Bulldogs are back on the road on Saturday traveling to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to take on the University of Alabama at five p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.