SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Once Georgia fell behind for the
first time this season, junior center Kara Braxton knew her team
had to turn to defense. The offense wasn't bad either.
Braxton had 21 points and 12 rebounds to help No. 10 Georgia
turn back an upset bid in a 77-65 victory Friday night over Santa Clara."All we had to do was settle down and get back into the flow of
things," said Braxton, who recorded her third double-double of the
season and 15th of her career. "Our defense was the main factor."The Lady Bulldogs outscored Santa Clara 16-3 in the final 4:15
of the contest to erase the deficit and pull away from the stubborn
Broncos."Although we play a couple of freshmen this is a veteran team
whose been there," said Georgia coach Andy Landers. "I thought we
rebounded well and defended better down the stretch. That's what
basically wins basketball games."Christi Thomas added 18 points as the Lady Bulldogs (3-0) won
their second straight road game. Jessica Pierce added 12 points.Michelle Cozad scored 15 of her 22 points in the first half as
the Broncos (1-2) lost their second straight at home. Whitney Sutak
had 13 points and Jennie Rondel added 10."We had a few turnovers but we played an awesome game," said
Cozad. "We just kept fighting back."Sutak sparked a 13-2 run that gave Santa Clara a 58-56 lead with
6:54 remaining to play. The senior guard scored seven points during
the run, including a key 3-pointer."We were right there until the final minute," said Broncos'
coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. "Their big kids really hurt us and
made some tough shots. We were just beating ourselves in the last
two minutes."Four lead changes later, Thomas put the Lady Bulldogs ahead for
good with a short jumper with 4:15 remaining to play.The game remained in doubt into the final minute of play.
Sherrill Baker, who finished with 11 points, made a key steal and
basket to help secure the victory."Baker's play was terrific," said Landers. "When your defense
is good, like hers was, it creates the easiest shot in the game."Toni Markey's baseline jumper brought the Broncos to 40-35 two
minutes into the second half.Santa Clara, without two of its regulars and using its third
different starting lineup in as many games, managed to remain
within striking distance as the Lady Bulldogs went cold from the
field. After making 13 of its first 24 shots, Georgia made eight of
its next 24.Braxton's inside jumper gave Georgia its biggest lead of the
first half at 30-13, and highlighted a 14-3 Lady Bulldogs run.Santa Clara responded with its own run, closing to 32-24 with
3:39 left in the half on a short jumper from Markey.Georgia went on a late run to open a 37-28 lead at halftime.