Stegeman Coliseum Tough For Lady'Backs

ATHENS, Ga. -- Going into Thursday night's Arkansas-Georgia women's basketball game, the Lady Razorbacks were 1-7 in Stegeman Coliseum, having lost to Georgia seven straight times in Athens.

The lone Lady'Backs' road win over Georgia was by 87-81 in the 1990 NCAA Tournament under coach John Sutherland -- a result still considered by some as one of the top 10 upsets in Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament history.

Two seasons ago, Georgia beat Arkansas 69-60 in Athens, after leading by just 61-60 with about a minute to go. The only current Lady'Backs who played in that game are Kristin Moore (3 points that night), Rochelle Vaughn (3 points) and Sarah Pfeifer (0 points).

Georgia and its 26th-year coach, Andy Landers, entered Thursday's game 17-3 against Arkansas, but Landers was 0-2 against current UA coach Susie Gardner, whom he coached at Georgia.

Landers has coached against two other of his former Georgia players: former Kentucky coach Bernadette Mattox and Saudia Roundtree of Morris Brown. His record is a combined 10-1 against those two coaches.

Before Thursday's game, Landers received a game ball for having notched his 700th career victory -- on Dec. 19 at Iona, 96-52.

Landers added his 701st win on Dec. 21 at Marist, 79-62, but that was a Pyrrhic victory. Tasha Humphrey, Georgia's 6-foot-3 freshman center, suffered a blow to the chin that required six stitches and a visit to a Poughkeepsie, N.Y., hospital.

The Lady Bulldogs had already battled back from four off-season injuries and a December bout of head colds.

Georgia guards Sherrill Baker, Alexis Kendrick and Janese Hardrick are back to nearly 100 percent health, while senior forward Jessica Pierce is recovering from the removal of a bone spur on her left foot.

Hardrick, like Pierce a former starter, is coming off knee surgery and two ankle injuries. She went into the Arkansas game averaging 9.0 points off the bench, while Pierce averaged 4.2.

On Wednesday, Landers said, "This is the healthiest we've been all season."

The Lady'Backs, ranked 27th in the WBCA/Summerville RPI survey this week, finally got some votes in the current Associated Press rankings. Arkansas, with 15 points, is in the 33rd position overall.

A few days before Arkansas defeated Oregon 65-62, coach Susie Gardner said, "I'd just as soon stay under the radar for awhile. We haven't beaten a ranked team."...

Entering Thursday's game, Arkansas was just 3-11 in Southeastern Conference openers. But one of those wins was by 77-75 over Tennessee on Dec. 29, 1997.

The Lady'Backs had originally been slated to play Georgia on Feb. 13, 2005, but that date has been given over to the Russell Athletics Shootout in Gwinnett, Ga. -- a doubleheader in which Arkansas will meet Georgia Tech and Georgia will play Clemson.

University of Georgia System Chancellor Thomas Meredith and his wife, Susan, are recovering at home, a month or so after being struck head-on in a car accident in South Carolina.

Meredith suffered a shattered left elbow and three broken ribs in the collision, and is using a wheelchair because of injuries to his foot. Susan Meredith suffered internal injuries.

The couple spent nearly a week in a Charleston, S.C., hospital. They had been driving to Athens to attend a University of Georgia basketball game when another vehicle went out of control, crossed the center line and struck their car.

Meredith, who heads Georgia's 34 public colleges and universities with nearly 250,000 students and 35,000 faculty and staff members, hopes to return to work by Jan. 11 for a Board of Regents meeting.

In an Athens restaurant on Broad Street, a clock on the wall counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until each Georgia football game. Around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the clock read 1 day, 21 hours, etc., until the Bulldogs' Outback Bowl game against Wisconsin.

Apparently, the 11-degree temperature in Philadelphia, Pa., on Tuesday was too frigid for the Penn diving team.

The Quakers headed south to work out in Athens for a few days.

But isn't college diving an indoor sport?

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