UGA spoils Gunter's 1000th game

ATHENS, Ga. – The Lady Tigers bid for a school record winning streak was stopped short Sunday evening in Athens, Ga. <br><br> LSU (16-3, 4-1 in SEC) was looking to set the school record for consecutive wins when the No. 13 Lady Tigers traveled to No. 16 Georgia. <br><br> However, LSU would have to settle for a tie of 15 straight wins when the Lady Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3) took advantage of a hot-handed second half effort defeating the Lady Tigers 80-74.

LSU shouldered its first loss since an 83-46 road defeat at Penn State on Nov. 21. The 15-game winning streak matched last season's 15-game run, which was ended when the Lady Backs of Arkansas beat LSU in Fayetteville.

 

For LSU head coach Sue Gunter, the six-point defeat spoiled her 1000th career game as a head coach and strands the veteran Lady Tiger mentor at career win No. 697. Gunter could grasp her 700th victory as soon as February 8 when LSU travels to Auburn. In the meantime, the Lady Tigers face a contest with South Carolina Sunday at home before a road trip to Alabama on February 5.

 

For Georgia coach Andy Landers, another SEC coaching legend, he finally reached milestone win No. 500, after three previous snubs. Entering Sunday's contest, Georgia had lost three prior contests. The Lady Bulldogs had never dropped four consecutive games under Landers' watch.

 

While LSU ended a lengthy winning streak, Georgia managed to put the kids on a miserable losing stretch, including its most recent loss, a double-overtime heartbreaker to lowly Ole Miss last week.

 

From the onset, it looked as if the Lady Tigers were in control racing out to a nine-point advantage midway through the first half. Seimone Augustus completed a three-point play giving LSU an 18-11 lead with 11:14 to play in the half. Less than a minute later, she bucketed two free throws putting the Lady Tigers on top 20-11 with 10:34 before the break.

 

LSU seemed to be in control.

 

However, Lady Tiger shooters went cold and Georgia heated up tying the game on a Janese Hardrick layup at the 1:49 mark. Hardrick would lead all Georgia scorers with a career-high 25 points.

 

Just before the half, in what would be the turning points of the game, LSU turned the ball over on an inbound pass trailing 32-30. Georgia mustered a pair of Hardrick free throws to carry a 34-30 lead into halftime.

 

If Gunter though her team was cold in the closing minutes of the first half, the initial minutes of the second were worse. At one point, LSU was averaging a dreadful 22-percent from the floor.

 

The colder LSU got, the hotter the Lady Bulldogs seemed to get building a 13-point lead, 50-37, with 12:10 left to play.

 

LSU, however, would not go quietly.

 

The Lady Tigers mounted the offense on a 14-2 run and tied the game at 70-70 on a Doneeka Hodges trey with 2:49 on the clock. Georgia re-took the lead on a Hardrick three-pointer, but

 

Augustus, who led LSU with 24 points, answered with a long-range bomb netting the score at 73-73.

Georgia made its way to the line where Hardrick was clutch down the stretch. Augustus had a chance to tie the score at 75 with less than a minute left, but her 18-foot baseline jumper rattled off the rim as did LSU's chances of winning its 16th straight.

 

Augustus led LSU with 24 points, the sophomore's fourth straight 20-plus point game, while Doneeka Hodges added 22 on a career night from behind the three-point arc with six treys. Wendlyn Jones collected her first career double-double with a career-best 10 boards to go with 12 points in her second start of the season.

 

Hardrick led all scorers with 25 points for Georgia, while Christi Thomas added 20.

LSU, which outrebounded the much taller Georgia team 47-36, shot just 32.0 percent from the floor, while the Lady Bulldogs hit 45.6 percent of their field goals.


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