Lady Dawgs fall apart

ATHENS – Tennessee's Candace Parker hit the last-minute, game-winning basket against Georgia on Thursday night, and the Lady Bulldogs should be credited with the assist.

Georgia led the game from when it took a 3-2 advantage until Parker put back an offensive rebound with 17 seconds remaining to lift Tennessee to a 58-55 victory. The No. 13 Lady Bulldogs blew a 14-point lead in the game's final 12 minutes by, among other things, going scoreless for the final 4:53.

"The (lack of) game awareness just blows me away," Georgia coach Andy Landers said. "One way or another, it has to be my responsibility, and I have to address it."

The game mirrored a Jan. 22 loss to No. 2 LSU, in which the Lady Bulldogs led late only to stumble down the stretch and see Seimone Augustus hit the game-winner with 13 seconds left.

This time it was Parker, who gave the No. 5 Lady Vols a 56-55 advantage. Georgia star Tasha Humphrey failed to handle an Alexis Kendrick pass on the next possession, resulting in a turnover.

The Lady Bulldogs still had 7.3 seconds left after Shanna Zolman hit two free throws to put Tennessee ahead 58-55, but they failed to get up a shot.

The lack of execution on that play and several others left Landers literally hanging his head in the locker room.

"I'm just kind of exhausted," he said. "It's mind-boggling why we can't learn. I don't think it has anything to do with Tennessee or LSU. Some of the things we do, you can't explain as pressure."

Georgia (17-7, 7-4 SEC) would have moved into a tie with Tennessee (23-3, 9-2) for second place in the conference with a victory. The Lady Volunteers now lead this series 34-14.

"The thought never crossed our mind that we're going to lose," Zolman said, "that we're going to give up."

Many of the Lady Bulldogs were in tears following the loss.

"It hurts a lot, especially to do it in front of all the fans who came out to support us," said Humphrey, who scored just 10 points in front of 7,373 fans, Georgia's largest home crowd of the season.

Humphrey, playing against a zone defense most of the night, missed 10 of her 12 shots while playing all 40 minutes. It was her second-lowest scoring output of the season and matched her career low for field goals made (two).

"I thought she missed some good shots quite frankly," Landers said.

Tennessee, which has six regulars who are 6-foot-3 or taller, frustrated Humphrey with its size inside.

"We didn't think that would affect us as much as it did," Humphrey said.

Parker finished with a game-high 19 points. Tennessee, playing its first full game without injured point guard Alexis Hornbuckle, committed 21 turnovers but overcame that by outrebounding Georgia 42-27.

Guard Sherrill Baker led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points and five steals.

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