Liberty 53

(25-7, 14-0 Big South)

Georgia 78

(23-9, 8-6 SEC)

    11:00 AM ET, March 20, 2004

    Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    1 2 T
    LIB 21 3253
    UGA 30 4878

    Top Performers

    Liberty: K. Tharp 15 Pts, 3 Reb

    Georgia: C. Chambers 19 Pts, 3 Reb

    Georgio knocks out Liberty -- again

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Cori Chambers scored a career-high 19 points and Jessica Pierce added 17 to lead Georgia to a 78-53 win over Liberty in the first round of the West Regional on Saturday.

    The third-seeded Bulldogs (23-9) will play sixth-seeded TCU on Monday.

    Kristal Tharp scored 15 points and Katie Feenstra had 10 rebounds for 14th-seed Liberty (25-7). The Flames, of the Big South Conference, lost a first-round game for the eighth straight year. It's the third time since 1999 the Flames lost in the first round to Georgia.

    The Bulldogs pulled away from the Flames in the second half, capitalizing on a 22-10 run to cruise to an easy win in their 21st tournament appearance.

    Liberty had 10 turnovers in the first 10 minutes, but stayed close in the first half because of weak shooting by the Bulldogs.

    Georgia scored the first nine points, then went into a shooting funk. The Bulldogs missed 16 of their first 20 attempts, allowing the Flames to dent the lead.

    Liberty got two 3-pointers from Tharp to pull to 19-17 with 5:05 left in the first half. Liberty, a fundamentalist Christian college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, had several hundred boisterous fans who cheered every basket to the very end.

    They reached a crescendo after Tharp's second 3, but the Bulldogs closed with an 11-4 run and led 30-21 at halftime. It was never close after that, with Georgia recovering from its poor start to finish a respectable 45 percent from the field.

    Sherill Baker added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Georgia.

    Liberty had 21 turnovers and shot 33 percent. Tharp was the only player in double digits.

    All the missed shots led to plenty of rebounds, with Liberty outrebounding the Bulldogs 44-42.

    The game reunited Georgia coach Andy Landers with Liberty coach Carey Green. The two longtime friends graduated four years apart from Friendsville High School in Tennessee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 53 78
    FG Made-Attempted 21-65 (.323) 31-68 (.456)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-15 (.267) 6-17 (.353)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-15 (.467) 10-14 (.714)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsK. Tharp 15C. Chambers 19
    ReboundsK. Feenstra 9S. Baker 7


    » Mar 20, 2004 @UGA 78, LIB 53Recap | Box Score