Lady Dawgs out to 2-0 SEC Start

ATHENS – Sherrill Baker's defense is dazzling but no surprise.

Her offense isn't as easy to see but will be just as important for Georgia's women's basketball team this season. Baker, a senior guard, had four steals and 20 points Sunday afternoon as the No. 17 Lady Bulldogs beat Florida 89-70.

Baker, who leads the nation in steals per game (5.5), didn't averaged more than 11.4 points per game in her first three years in Athens. After Sunday's performance, she's averaging 18.4 this year.

"I'm not surprised," Coach Andy Landers said. "I'm glad."

Sunday was the sixth time this season Baker has scored 20 or more points. She had three 20-plus point games in the last three years combined.

Baker's shot selection has improved this year, Landers said, but a lot of her scoring has nothing to do with her play on the offensive end. Half of her points come on layups after she has taken the ball from an opponent.

"It does surprise me sometimes," forward Tasha Humphrey said, "but, you think about it, she gets six steals a game. That's 12 points right there."

Georgia (11-3, 2-0 SEC) takes on No. 1 Tennessee on Thursday in Knoxville. The Lady Gators fell to 13-2 overall and 1-1 in the SEC with their loss.

Baker set UGA's career record for steals in the Lady Bulldogs' last outing, and she moved into third place all-time on the SEC's list against Florida, by pushing her four-year total to 352.

Basketball superstar Teresa Edwards, who held Georgia's all-time record for 20 years, surprised Baker by presenting her with a commemorative ball before the start of Sunday's game. Edwards made Baker steal the ball from her for good measure.

"I never expected to see her," Baker said. "She's a legend."

"When you think about whose record she broke," Humphrey said, "Teresa Edwards, a five-time Olympian, that makes it very special."

Humphrey led all scorers with 26 points and added a game-high 15 rebounds. The Bulldogs flourished in the first half even though Humphrey missed nine minutes due to foul trouble. The Lady Bulldogs led 45-34 at the break despite a four-minute, 33-second stretch in which they didn't make a field goal.

Cori Chambers scored seven points in the final 3:08 of the first half to make up for that drought. Georgia led by as many as 29 points in the second half.

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