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Gators get rare win vs. Georgia

By DEBI JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 2, 2001


GAINESVILLE -- The memory is almost gone for senior Tamara Stocks. There is only one thing she remembers about that night four years ago -- the Gators won that one.

Stocks and senior Tombi Bell were freshmen the last time UF defeated Southeastern Conference rival Georgia, and Thursday night was the last time Stocks will face the Bulldogs during the regular season.

Stocks regained the winning feeling as No. 9 Florida defeated No. 5 Georgia 75-64 in the O'Connell Center.

"You can tell by the seniors' emotion at the end of the game," Stocks said. "It was a pretty important win."

The Gators, who had lost six straight to Georgia, are second in the SEC behind Tennessee. UF enters a three-game stretch that includes games against No. 3 Tennessee and No. 19 Vanderbilt at home.

"I told the kids to enjoy it as much as they can tonight," Florida coach Carol Ross said. "Because in our league, you've got to be ready to get back on the horse and ride again."

The Gators led by 10 at halftime. Three weeks ago, Florida led Georgia by three at the half but the Bulldogs won 72-59. Thursday, the Bulldogs got within five in the final minutes but the Gators held on.

"We got our butts kicked," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "I'm not looking for anything good out of this game. If I had more players, I would have benched my starting five, they just couldn't adjust."

Georgia guards Coco and Kelly Miller, who combined for 33 points, cried as time expired.

Brandi McCain led the Gators with 21 points. Naomi Mobley had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

"They kicked it to us," Landers said. "It doesn't happen often, but it happened tonight."

NO. 15 XAVIER 75, FSU 72: Jennifer Phillips scored a career-high 29 and Taru Tuukkanen had 25 points and 11 rebounds for host Xavier. Phillips sealed the victory with two free throws with 16 seconds to play. Levys Torres had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Florida State. Amy Waugh, last season's Atlantic 10 rookie of the year, made her first appearance after missing Xavier's first 19 games to rehab a ruptured Achilles' tendon. She played 18 minutes, finishing 1-for-3 for three points and had three assists.

NO. 7 LA. TECH 65, FIU 58: The host Techsters took a two-game lead in the Sun Belt with seven conference games remaining. Louisiana Tech's Ayana Walker had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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