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Post LSU gets by Lady Dogs again

Monday January 8, 2007

When you lose in the final minute on the road to a Top 10 team that has a 30+ game home winning streak, it’s easy to pat yourself on the back for just competing and having a shot. The dreaded "moral victory" might even rear its head. Andy Landers is making sure that no such thing comes from yesterday’s ugly 57-55 loss at LSU. He was quick to point out after the game that there wasn’t much at all positive to take from this loss, and he’s exactly right. "It was really kind of a poor effort on our part in a lot of ways," he said. "The bottom line is we didn’t play well enough to win."

After taking an 18-4 lead, Georgia managed just 37 points over the final 31 minutes of the game. They committed 19 turnovers, allowed 14 LSU offensive rebounds, and only hit 20 shots as a team. You might credit LSU’s NCAA-leading defense for Georgia’s problems, but so many were self-inflicted. After taking a 53-48 lead inside of four minutes to go, Georgia only managed one basket the rest of the way. They were held scoreless during the game’s crucial final two and a half minutes. Good defense maybe, but there were also several missed chances.

It wasn’t so much a factor of inexperience. The freshmen actually had a decent day: Houts had four assists to one turnover. Marshall came off the bench to lead the team in scoring with a perfect 5-for-5 day, though she wasn’t nearly as effective on defense. But in games like this you look to the upperclassmen to lead the way, and they didn’t. Darrah had six turnovers and struggled shooting again. Chambers had only two points in the second half. Humphrey got herself in early foul trouble again and didn’t score in the first half. In the past couple of years, we’ve become so used to just handing the ball to Humphrey when Georgia needed a play, but that hasn’t been the case yet this season.

Chalk this loss up as just another "almost" in a frustrating six-game losing streak to LSU. Since handling them in Athens during the 2004 season, Georgia has watched LSU pass them by in the SEC heirarchy and squandered several chances to reclaim that turf, Sunday’s game included. They’ll get another chance to beat LSU in Athens later this year. Will we be talking about another "almost"?

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