On a day in which the Florida women’s basketball team honored its alumni – the players, coaches and support staff members – who each have played important roles in the storied 35-year history of the program, the No. 19 Gators notched another impressive accomplishment as part of what is becoming a memorable season of firsts.
Senior forward Marshae Dotson scored a game-high 20 points and Florida recorded its first win against Georgia since Feb. 26, 2004 with a 61-45 victory on Sunday in front of 2,413 fans in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The Gators (17-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Bulldogs in the all-time series, forced Georgia into 23 turnovers in the game, resulting in 30 Florida points off of those miscues.
Dotson eclipsed the 20-point plateau for the third time this season and the 18th time in her career. She added six rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes of action, and increased her scoring average in conference games only to 17.3 ppg this season.
Senior guard Sha Brooks, who now is averaging 20.5 ppg in league action this year, finished with 15 points and a game-high six assists. Junior guard Steffi Sorensen followed with 12 points, comprised of four 3-pointers. Sorensen also tied her career high with a team-high seven rebounds, marking the second time this season she has led her squad on the boards.
Florida shot 40.0 percent (24-of-60) from the floor in the game, while limiting Georgia to just 32.0 percent (16-of-50) shooting. The teams were even on the glass with 39 rebounds apiece, but Florida’s post presence continued to be effective, outscoring the Bulldogs, 26-18, in points in the paint.
The Gators, who led 27-25 at intermission, trailed Georgia 30-29 with 18:13 remaining in the game. From there, Florida engineered an impressive 14-2 run over the next 6:32 to pull ahead by 11, 43-32 on a resounding 3-pointer by Sorensen.
By the time Florida took what was then its largest lead of the game at 17 points, 53-36, with 8:12 left, the run had been extended to a 24-6 scoring streak. The Bulldogs got no closer than 13 points in the game’s final 10 minutes.
Florida has a midweek bye and returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 25, when it plays host to Ole Miss. Tip-off in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center between the Gators and Lady Rebels is slated for 2 p.m.