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Lady Dogs suffer first loss of season, upset by Illinois 70-59 - The Red and Black : Sports

Lady Dogs suffer first loss of season, upset by Illinois 70-59

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Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:05 am | Updated: 12:26 pm, Fri Mar 22, 2013.

The No. 6 Georgia women's basketball team was upset 70-59 by Illinois Friday night at Assembly Hall in Champagne, Ill.

The loss came as the Lady Bulldogs (12-1) were looking for their fifth ever 13-0 start in the 34 years under head coach Andy Landers.

Forward Karisma Penn led Illinois (7-5) in scoring with 27 points, eight more than her season average of 19.2. She also hauled in a monster 19 rebounds. Penn is averaging a double-double this season with over 10 rebounds per game.

After beginning the game evenly, Illinois went on a 12-1 run. The stretch was started by a pair of Amber Moore threes, midway through the first half to extend its lead to 24-12.

Georgia closed the gap towards the end of the first half after a 13-2 run helped it finish the half down 36-29.

The Illini's first-half dominance was sparked by their on-ball pressure and commanding the tempo.

"They forced us the play fast," Andy Landers said. "They extended us and picked us up beyond the three-point line, and we allowed them to affect us. Now we're running the offense further out on the floor than we have all year long. We sailed balls out of bounds when people were open. We were looking at looks we wanted, but we couldn't make the passes because they'd pushed us so far out."

Georgia turned the ball over 16 times in the first half, almost three more than the 13.2 they have been averaging per game this season. The Bulldogs finished with 26 turnovers.

Georgia was able to fight back early in the second half and tie the game 53-53 with 6:27 remaining.

However, with four and a half minutes left, Illinois had three-point plays on back-to-back possessions. The second caused Georgia's best post player — Jasmine Hassell — to foul out.

Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller led Georgia in scoring with 17 points each.

Georgia's 12-0 start before Friday's upset was tied for the fifth best in school history.

The Lady Bulldogs will open Southeastern Conference play Jan. 2, against Missouri in Athens.

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