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Fouls doom Gators in second straight loss

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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 9:06 pm

For the first time this season, the Gators have lost consecutive games.

Florida dropped Sunday’s contest to storied rival Georgia, 68-62 in the O’Connell Center.

The Gators (13-5, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) had a strong first half, leading by as much as 10 points with less than two minutes left.

Thanks to Georgia’s foul trouble, Florida was in the double bonus with 2:22 remaining in the half.

But in the dying seconds, the Gators missed two consecutive layups, and Georgia’s Krista Donald drove down the floor and made her layup at the buzzer, narrowing Florida’s lead to 30-24 at halftime.

Up to this point, the Gators were 10-0 when leading at halftime this season.

Unfortunately for Florida, Georgia (14-5, 2-4 SEC) would eventually make that record 10-1.

In the first half, the Bulldogs committed 18 turnovers compared to the Gators’ nine, but outrebounded Florida 22-13.

Georgia cleaned itself up at halftime, only committing five turnovers for the rest of the game.

The gap continued to narrow in the second half, until Georgia took the last lead it needed with 5:34 remaining in the game.

Florida again got demolished in the rebounding battle, 47-27. Granted, Georgia had a significant height advantage, but coach Amanda Butler told the media that a lot of the Bulldogs’ rebounds were “preventable plays.”

A significant factor in regards to rebounding was freshman Ronni Williams fouling out for the eleventh time this season. Her presence was sorely missed in the final 4:49 of the game. At the time, the Gators were only down 55-53.

Sophomore Antoinette Bannister also made a brief appearance on Sunday for the first time since the loss to Florida State in November, boosting Florida’s number of active players to eight. In the nine minutes she played, Bannister, who played the game with a cast on her right hand, earned one bucket and two total points, as well as two rebounds.

Follow Gordon Streisand on Twitter @GordonStreisand

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