GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Jaterra Bonds scored a game-high 19 points and took over down the stretch as Florida overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to defeat the LSU women's basketball team, 77-72, on Sunday in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
The Lady Tigers (10-5 overall, 1-1 SEC) held their largest lead, 58-49, with 11:46 to play in the game until the Gators went on an 11-0 run in a span of three minutes to take their first lead since the first half. The margin held up despite losing their top player, Jennifer George, who hit the floor hard with 5:03 to play in the contest. Florida converted 15 points off turnovers.
"We did a great job of getting ourselves a lead going into the half," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "We started going away what got us there. We have to stick to the gameplan, and we didn't execute down the stretch. We started turning the ball over and they got their transition game going. When you are on the road, you have to take care of the basketball. Turnovers got their momentum going."
Four Lady Tigers finished with double-figures led by a team-high 17 points and five rebounds from junior forward Theresa Plaisance. Bianca Lutley, a Florida native, added 16 points and three steals. Freshman Danielle Ballard had 13 points in her first SEC road start. Adrienne Webb played all 40 minutes and finished with 11 points.
George, one of the top five leading scorers and rebounders in the Southeastern Conference, had 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds before leaving the floor with five minutes to play.
The Lady Tigers held a 44-36 lead at the half and later a nine-point advantage before letting it slip away. Kayla Lewis' lay-up with 9:08 remaining culminated the comeback and put the Gators ahead 60-58. Ballard tied the game at 64 apiece with 4:48 to go on a cutter through the lane. LSU then went scoreless over the next three minutes that featured a series of turnovers and missed jumpers.
Bonds converted a lay-up and Lewis converted two free throws to make it 70-64. Still, the Lady Tigers weren't done yet. McKinney threw one off the glass to cut it to 73-70 with 0:21 to go, and Adrienne Webb drew an offensive foul in front of the LSU bench as the Lady Tigers got one final chance.
Webb's three-point attempt from the right wing was blocked by Carlie Needles with 0:04 to play. Bonds knocked down two more free throws to seal the victory in the final seconds.
Florida out-rebounded LSU 39-32, after getting out-rebounded by one in the first stanza. The Gators shot 46.4 percent to the Lady Tigers' 42.9 percent.
The Lady Tigers continue SEC play on the road at Arkansas on Thursday. Tipoff is 7 p.m. CT in Bud Walton Arena. The game will be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.