Georgia second-half scoring run paves way to 66-54 victory over Florida State; Bulldogs now face Iowa
Bulldogs' 14-0 scoring run decides game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
By Susan Harman
IOWA CITY, Iowa – It took Georgia until the fourth quarter to pull away from Florida State but the Bulldogs’ 14-0 run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter did in the Seminoles, 66-54.
“We played some exceptional defense for a lot of the game against a physical Georgia team,” Seminoles coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “But unfortunately the ball just wouldn’t drop our way. Our shooting percentage left a little bit to be desired.”
Florida State shot 27 percent for the game and obviously missed star freshman Ta’Niya Latson, who is out for undisclosed reasons. Latson averaged 21 points and has been so good she was the ACC freshman of the year and is a finalist for the Wooden Award.
“Their defense was really all over the place, so finding easy and open shots was very difficult for us,” FSU senior Taylor O’Brien said. “But I think the looks that we did get were good looks, and we just couldn’t knock them in.”
Georgia plays a matchup zone that has different looks. But it’s main look is that of three large defenders with long arms strangling the little bits of floor space available.
“They are big, they are physical,” Wyckoff said. “Even in their zone it’s not your typical stand-there zone. They are getting up into bodies and clogging the paint.
“They can pressure in their zone, which you don’t see. So you have three kids across the top that are pressuring and make that first pass tough, and like high post is open, but you’ve got to get the ball there. And when you’re getting pressured and can’t get the ball or can’t see it very well, that can be tough.”
That 14-0 run that decided the game was vintage Georgia zone.
“It was our ball pressure and just being really savvy and getting some tips and getting loose balls and getting them going in transition,” Georgia coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said.
The Big Ten doesn’t really have a team like Georgia with the kind of size, strength and quickness across the board and on the bench. Iowa will have trouble matching that size and strength in Sunday’s second-round game. Rebounding will be key but making perimeter shots and limiting turnovers figure to be important against the defense-first Bulldogs.
Iowa has to hope that Sunday’s game is officiated differently than the Georgia-FSU game, which was more like an SEC football game run amok.