Originally created 02/27/06

Lady Dogs topple Tigers



ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia basketball coach Andy Landers said it looked like "a side-by-side refrigerator" to watch his wide-body center Tasha Humphrey against Auburn center KeKe Carrier.

At 6-foot-7, Carrier had a 4-inch height advantage.

"Tasha couldn't see over her," Landers said.

But Humphrey took her game out on the floor, hitting four 3-point shots en route to 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 13 Georgia to a 74-61 Southeastern Conference win over Auburn Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

"You don't know the half of it," said Humphrey of the physicality of her matchup against Carrier, who scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but blocked no shots.

"It goes back to when I was growing up," said Humphrey. "I developed my game to play inside and outside."

With frontline starters measuring 6-5 and 6-4 next to Carrier, Auburn came in averaging 8 blocked shots a game. They got three against Georgia.

"We didn't shoot a single post move," Landers said. "We knew we were not going to get any offensive rebounds, and we couldn't afford for them to get 10 blocked shots.

"I told the kids that we might shoot 30 threes," he said.

As it was, Georgia shot 22, and hit 11, two off the school record and the most since getting 12 against Stetson a year ago.

Sherill Baker scored 22 as the Lady Dogs (20-7, 10-4 SEC) posted their 22nd 20-win season under Landers.

Auburn (13-14, 4-10 SEC) lost six of seven games in February to finish 10th in the league.

Auburn played the whole game from behind. Just seven minutes into the game, Georgia had a double-digit lead at 20-10 after a rare 3-point basket by Baker. It was her fourth of the season. Auburn turned the ball over eight times in the first eight minutes.

Triples by Megan Darrah and Humphrey sandwiched around a breakaway layup by Baker pushed the Georgia lead to 33-17 with 8:09 to play, enducing Auburn coach Nell Fortner to call a timeout. Afterward Marita Payne scored a pair of baskets on the block, and Whitney Boddie got loose in the lane for a basket as Auburn narrowed the gap to 11 at 38-27 with 4:26 remaining in the half.

Georgia hit eight 3-point shots in the first half alone in building a 45-30 halftime lead.

Auburn attacked Georgia inside in the second half, dumping the ball to Carrier. During a 14-3 run midway through the second half, Carrier scored 11 points in five minutes as Auburn closed to within four at 52-48 with 11:12 to play.

Georgia responded with a 10-2 surge to stretch the lead back to 62-50 with 8:38 remaining. Auburn trailed by nine with 1:51 to play after a putback by Carrier, but was held scoreless the remainder of the game.

Georgia had already clinched the third seed for this weekend's SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Ark. Georgia will have a first-round bye and will play Friday against the winner of the South Carolina-Alabama game.

As the 10th seed, Auburn will play Thursday afternoon against the seventh seed.