Freshman rallies UF to ninth straight win

By wire services
Published December 30, 2005

GAINESVILLE - Freshman Sha Brooks had career highs with 22 points and eight rebounds in leading Florida to its ninth straight win and its 13th State Farm Classic title as the Gators defeated Liberty 73-50 Thursday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Florida (11-1) matched three other teams in school history for the program's best start after 12 games, going on a 14-0 run midway through the second half for its first lead.

The Gators outscored the Flames 47-20 in the second half. UF made a season-best 26-of-30 free throws.

"We made some adjustments at halftime and our team really picked up the intensity," Florida coach Carolyn Peck said.

In winning its ninth consecutive game, Florida matched the second-longest winning streak in school history. The record of 12 was set during the 1993-94 season. The Gators hadn't won nine in a row since 2000-01.

Florida hosts Florida State on Monday.

NO. 4 BAYLOR 82, SAM HOUSTON ST. 42: Sophia Young scored 20 and Chameka Scott finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the host Bears (10-0) won their 30th straight.

NO. 5 UNC 88, ODU 80 (OT): Ivory Latta scored nine of her 33 in overtime for the visiting Tar Heels (12-0). Camille Little of North Carolina hit a free throw to tie it at 72 with 20 seconds left. The Monarchs face No. 1 Tennessee on Monday. "The way we played (Thursday), we can go down there and compete," ODU forward Tish Lyons said.

NO. 6 MARYLAND 94, CENTRAL CONN. ST. 57: Shay Doron scored 26 and Crystal Langhorne added 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Terrapins (11-1) in the opening round of the Terrapin Classic. Langhorne was 9-for-9 from the field, her second perfect shooting game of the season. She went 6-for-6 against Appalachian State on Dec. 1, and is shooting 68.6 percent this season. Maryland faces Furman in today's title game.

NO. 7 OHIO ST. 74, PENN ST. 53: Jessica Davenport scored 19 and Kim Wilburn had four first-half steals for the host Buckeyes (9-1). Ohio State won by the largest margin in the 40 meetings with the Nittany Lions. Penn State (6-6) had won 11 of 15 previous games in Columbus. Penn State's Adrienne Squire hit all three of her free throws and is 45-for-45 on the season. The sophomore has not missed a free throw in her college career, making all 55. The Division I record is 66 in a row.

NO. 8 UCONN 78, ALBANY 44: Barbara Turner scored 18 and Ann Strother added 17 for the host Huskies (10-1), who have won four straight. UConn had a season-low seven turnovers.

NO. 11 ARIZONA ST. 64, WASH. 51: Kristen Kovesdy had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Emily Westerberg scored six in the final 2:20 for the host Sun Devils (11-1, 2-0 Pac-10).

NO. 15 MINNESOTA 69, NORTHWESTERN 54: Shannon Schonrock scored 15 for the visiting Golden Gophers (8-2) in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

NO. 17 UGA 97, MEMPHIS 44: Sherill Baker scored 25 for the visiting Bulldogs (8-3).

NO. 18 PURDUE 77, WIS. 57: Aya Traore scored 18 for the host Boilermakers (9-2) in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Five others scored in double figures for Purdue, which pulled away by shooting 64 percent from the field in the second half.

NO. 25 VA. TECH 76, TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 64: Dawn Chriss scored 21 of her 26 in the second half for the host Hokies (12-0) in the title game of the Lady Luck Classic.

GULF COAST 84, ECKERD 68: The host Tritons (2-9, 0-1 SSC) lost their fourth straight. Chimene Gordon and Gabby Gattuso each scored 13 for Eckerd.

TAMPA 72, LENOIR-RHYNE 60: Tay Mathis tied a season high with 30 points, going 6-for-12 on 3-pointers, for the visiting Spartans (9-2).

MIAMI 79, MISSISSIPPI 70: Tamara James scored 26 for the host Hurricanes (10-2) in the championship of the Holiday Classic.

WEBBER 69, MARYGROVE 52: Arafat Hutchinson had 20 points, four rebounds and three assists for the host Warriors (7-4).

Late Wednesday

NO. 2 DUKE 102, ST. JOHN'S 57: Jessica Foley scored a season-high 14, hitting four of the Blue Devils' school record-tying 13 3-pointers, in the opening round of the Surf and Slam Hoop Classic in San Diego.