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Feb. 11, 2007

Box Score | Quotes | Notes

Athens, Ga. –

South Carolina’s strong second half led by Lauren Simms couldn’t make up for its turnover-filled first half as No. 9 Georgia defeated the Gamecocks 81-57 Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum in women’s basketball action.

South Carolina, playing its fifth team ranked in the top-10 this season, fell to 14-12 overall and 4-7 in the Southeastern Conference. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 21-5 overall and 8-3 in the SEC. Simms, who set a new season-high last Thursday at Arkansas, hit a new high for the second consecutive game with 25 points to lead the Gamecocks.

Georgia responded from an early Carolina lead, 4-3, by going on a 33-4 run in the middle of the first half to put the game out of reach early. The Gamecocks committed 18 turnovers in the first half – 12 coming from Georgia steals – as the Lady Bulldogs recorded 23 first-half points off the turnovers.

Brionna Dickerson added 11 points off the bench for Carolina, nine points during a span of two minutes and 44 seconds early in the second half. Four Georgia players scored in double digits, led by Tasha Humphrey’s double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds

Georgia’s full court pressure allowed it to grab runs of 19-0 and 14-0 in the first half as the Lady Bulldogs led 36-8 with just under six minutes remaining in the half. Simms then went on a 7-0 run herself in a span of 51 seconds after hitting a three-pointer and consecutive jumpers off steals by Demetress Adams and Ilona Burgrova. Melanie Johnson hit two free throws to close the margin to 36-17 before Georgia fought back for a 46-21 lead to end the half.

Simms led the Gamecocks with 18 points in a physical second half, but Carolina never pulled within 20 points. The Gamecocks only committed five turnovers in the second half and played better offensively but couldn’t collect key stops against a Georgia team that hit 53 percent (30-of-56) of its shots for the game and 61 percent (14-of-23) in the second half.

The Gamecocks have dropped seven straight games to the Lady Bulldogs and are 12-1 in games played in Athens.

The Gamecocks return home Thursday night for an SEC match-up with the Auburn Tigers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Colonial Center.