Georgia needs late rally to avoid upset against Davidson

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- NCAA tournament veteran Georgia (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) had to rely on a freshman to bail it out against Davidson, which has never appeared in the NCAA tournament but was up by six points midway through the second half.

That was when newcomer Christy Marshall rallied the Lady Dogs to a 74-68 win Sunday, bringing the upset-minded Wildcats back down to earth.

Marshall came off the bench to score 16 points, including three baskets during a three-minute stretch of the second half when Georgia (3-0) finally overtook the Wildcats.

"She is a player who has a lot to learn, but who brings a lot to the game," coach Andy Landers said. "She is talented, and she is going to be a great asset. She is strong with the ball on the floor. She needs to work on her jump shot."

Senior Cori Chambers led Georgia with 25 points, including a 3-pointer with 7:24 to play that pulled Georgia to within one of Davidson. Megan Darrah had her second straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Danielle Hemerka had 12 points for Davidson (2-1), which also got 11 from Katie Hamilton and 10 from Tia Washington.

"We were ragged," said Landers. "We executed our offense poorly. Davidson did a terrific job defending us."

Georgia captured the lead for good at 59-58 on a jumper by Marshall with 7:24 to play, but the game was not salted away until the final minute.

Georgia scored just one field goal in the final four minutes, but hit three free throws to keep the Wildcats at bay. Hemerka's 3-pointer with 2:34 to go pulled Davidson within 69-65, but it was never closer. Chambers answered with a jumper at the 2:07 mark, and Georgia held on.

"I think that athlete-for-athlete, we just ran out of steam at the end and made a couple of costly turnovers," Davdison coach Annette Watts said. "We had a good game plan and stuck with that game plan.

"If we can play with Georgia, we should be able to go into our league and take care of business," Watts concluded.

Landers agreed. "Davidson has a very good scheme, and they are well coached. They played with a lot of poise, and they didn't get rattled at all.

"We had too many unforced turnovers," added Landers. "The thing that caught my attention in the first half was that we executed very poorly. We were ready for what they were doing, but we executed very poorly. Even when we executed we threw that last pass away. I'm not sure we ever completed that high-low pass."

The final statistics were as close as the game. Georgia had four more rebounds than Davidson and two fewer turnovers.