By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
Published January 14, 2005
GAINESVILLE - For nearly three quarters, the Florida women's basketball team was right where it wanted to be Thursday night: competing hard with No. 3 LSU with a chance to earn its biggest upset ever.
The last 8:47 did the Gators in.
Relying on solid defense and the dominating inside presence of 6-foot-6 freshman center Sylvia Fowles, LSU went on a late run, taking a 64-47 win over the Gators in front of 1,863 at the O'Connell Center.
"It was by no means a pretty win, but we'll take it," first-year LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "Both teams played extremely hard defensively. I've said several times this year with this team we've hung our hat on defense. I'm looking at the stat sheet, and our leading scorer was "points off turnovers,' and thank God for that."
Chatman wasn't kidding. The Tigers scored 19 off a season-high 24 turnovers for the Gators, including 16 in the first half. The team's leading scorer, junior guard Seimone Augustus, had 18 points.
While the turnovers hurt, the Gators (11-5, 2-1) also struggled with their shots. Florida shot 28.6 percent from the field and was 7-of-19 from 3-point range.
"I think LSU must be one of the toughest defensive teams we've come across," Florida coach Carolyn Peck said. "They have a lot of players with a lot of athleticism. ... It was a defensive battle, but I'm proud of my team."
It could have been a lot worse for Florida, but its defense kept it in the game. Florida held LSU to 10-of-27 shooting, 3-of-10 from 3-point range, in the first half. Augustus had just six points in the first half.
"Florida did a great job executing in the first half," Augustus said. "We slacked, and Florida took advantage. We didn't have a lot of energy and intensity."
That changed in the second half.
The Tigers (15-1, 2-0) took an 11-point lead early in the second half, but Florida battled back. Twice, midway through the second half, Florida was within five, and with just less than 10 minutes to play the Gators could have pulled within two or three twice, but they missed key shots.
Trailing 39-30, Florida pulled within six on a 3-point basket by Tamia Williams (team-high 15 points, eight turnovers) with 9:06 left, but from there it was all LSU. The Tigers outscored Florida 18-8 to take a 57-41 lead with 4:10 remaining.
"I really thought we would come out and turn that (offense) on in the second half," Peck said. "We made a run at it. We cut it to five, and at that point I'm thinking we're getting ready to cut loose and play our game. But LSU stepped up their offense as well."
The Gators had no answer for Fowles. The Miami native scored 10 of her 14 in the second half. Junior Bernice Mosby had 15 rebounds for the Gators but was 2-of-11 from the field, and guard Tishona Gregory added 12 points. LSU's Quianna Chaney also had 12 points.
FSU beats Clemson
CLEMSON, S.C. - Roneeka Hodges scored 24 and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Florida State to a 68-57 win over Clemson.
Hodges made 11 of 18 shots and two 3-pointers for the Seminoles (15-2, 2-1 ACC).
The Tigers (7-7, 1-1) kept it close most of the game, and a layup by Tasha Phillips with eight minutes to go gave them a 49-48 lead.
After both teams came up empty on their next possession, Alicia Gladden hit a jumper to give Florida State the lead for good. It sparked a 16-4 run over the next six minutes.
WAKE FOREST 78, MIAMI 63: Cotelia Bond-Young scored 20 of her 27 in the first half to lead the Demon Deacons to their first Atlantic Coast Conference win this season.
The win snapped Miami's seven-game home win streak and gave Wake Forest back-to-back wins after a three-game skid.
Erin Ferrell chipped in with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Demon Deacons, who led by as many as 18 in the first half but had to hold off a Miami comeback in the second.
UCF 65, CAMPBELL 57: Ali Roberts led the Golden Knights with 17 points. Francine Houston added 13 for UCF.Top 25
NO. 4 RUTGERS 69, GEORGETOWN 33: Michelle Campbell scored 20 and led an early 16-0 run that carried the host Scarlet Knights to victory. Rutgers forced 25 turnovers and held the Hoyas without a basket for a 12-minute first-half stretch in posting their seventh straight win.
NO. 5 OHIO ST. 80, NO. 21 IOWA 57: Marscilla Packer and Michelle Munoz scored all of the points in an 11-0 first-half run to help the Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes have lost three straight after opening 13-0.
NO. 6 STANFORD 88, CALIFORNIA 53: Brooke Smith scored 14 of her 21 in the first half as the Cardinal beat California for the ninth straight time. Candice Wiggins added 18 points and four assists for Stanford won its 31st straight Pac-10 home game.
NO. 8 TENNESSEE 72, ARKANSAS 54: Shanna Zolman scored 16 and the Vols held the visiting Razorbacks to 17 points in the first half. The Vols, seeking an eighth straight regular-season SEC title, won their 55th straight SEC home game.
NO. 9 MICHIGAN ST. 74, WISCONSIN 66: Liz Shimek had 22 points and the Spartans held off the Badgers for their best start in school history. The Spartans (14-2, 3-1 Big Ten) led 33-30 at halftime and built a 26-point cushion before letting the Badgers try to rally in the final 8:01.
NO. 11 MINNESOTA 58, NO. 20 PURDUE 38: Shannon Schonrock scored a career-high 25 as the visiting Gophers defense earned its first win in Mackey Arena in 20 years.
NO. 15 MARYLAND 72, GA. TECH 65: Shay Doron scored 28 and Crystal Langhorne added 14 and 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Terrapins.
NO. 17 VANDERBILT 73, AUBURN 67: Carla Thomas had 32 points and nine rebounds to lead the visiting Commodores in both team's SEC opener. Natasha Brackett led Auburn (9-5) with 18 points.
KENTUCKY 71, NO. 18 GEORGIA 63: Freshman center Sarah Elliott scored 15 to lead the host Wildcats to their first win over a ranked opponent in five seasons. Kentucky, which snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, last defeated a ranked opponent in the 1999-2000 season, beating Auburn 71-69.
Information from other news organizations was used in this report.