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Jan. 20, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 13 Georgia Lady Bulldogs lost their first home game of the season, 64-46, to the No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia (16-3, 4-2 SEC) was led by Jasmine Hassell with nine points, while Shacobia Barbee and Erika Ford tied for team-high rebounding honors with eight. The Aggies (14-5, 4-1 SEC) were paced by Courtney Walker's 12 points and Kristi Bellock's nine rebounds.
The Aggies scored first, but the Lady Bulldogs executed a 6-0 spurt that gave them a 6-2 advantage just four minutes into the game. Texas A&M quickly retaliated and took the lead back, 8-6 just two minutes later.
A jumper by Barbee tied the game at 8-8, before the Aggies went on a seven minute, 16-2 run that gave them a definitive 24-10 lead with five minutes left in the half. Texas A&M capped the run off with three consecutive treys in just over a minute. The Lady Bulldogs continued to pound away, but were unable to make a dent in Texas A&M's lead.
"The story of the game was those back-to-back three-pointers that they hit in the first half," said head coach Andy Landers. "That was it. They hit them almost back-to-back in such a short span, and that really hurt us."
The Aggies closed the half with a 7-0 surge that gave them a 39-16 advantage entering halftime. Texas A&M was more effective from the field, shooting 51.7 percent, while Georgia shot at 22.6 percent. In the first period, both teams shot 50 percent from the charity stripe.
Georgia started the second half with an energetic 5-2 spurt that brought the score to 41-21. Texas A&M then executed a brisk 10-3 run that increased its lead to 51-24. Krista Donald then hit four consecutive free throws to ignite a Lady Bulldog 14-2 surge that made the score 53-38.
The Aggies interrupted Georgia's momentum with a 6-0 spurt of their own that increased their lead to 59-38. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to regain their momentum and cut into Texas A&M's lead enough to rally for the win.
Georgia performed better in the second half than the first, shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 68.8 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Bulldogs also out rebounded the Aggies in the second period 20-11. Unfortunately, the damage was done in the first half, and Georgia was unable to recover from a 23-point halftime deficit.
Following an open date this Thursday, Georgia returns to action next Sunday, Jan. 27 when it hosts Florida at 1 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on CSS.
Texas A&M improved to 2-0 all-time against Georgia. The Aggies won the previous meeting in the "Sweet 16" round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament en route to capturing the national championship that season.
Georgia shot a season-low 29.1 percent from the field while allowing Texas A&M to shoot 51.0 percent, the highest opponent field goal percentage the Lady Bulldogs have allowed this season.
The Lady Bulldogs' 16 first half points marked a season low.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
No Lady Bulldog reached double figures in scoring for the first time this season. The last time a Georgia player failed to reach double digits was a "Sweet 16" loss to Stanford on March 27, 2010. Anne Marie Armstrong led the way in that contest with eight points.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On today's game...
"The story of the game was those back-to-back three-pointers that they hit in the first half. That was it. They hit them almost back-to-back in such a short span, and that really hurt us."
On the offensive struggles of the team...
"Well, you certainly don't want it to happen, but there's no doubt that we struggled. I thought we got some reasonably good shots there at certain points, but then they just responded and knocked down three-pointers."
On the play of Erika Ford, Krista Donald and Shacobia Barbee...
"I thought they came in and gave really good minutes. They were rebounding the ball, and they did a great job defensively. Marjorie Butler also came in and ran the team well, and Shacobia just really played well for us all day. Krista Donald was good, too. She got rebounds and was able to get to the line throughout the game."
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
On the impact of building a first-half lead...
"Once we got the lead we just tried to slow the game down and melt the clock because they never got in the game. What we were trying to do was score some easy baskets in the second half against their press."
On Texas A&M's defense...
"I think (Assistant) Coach (Bob) Starkey had a great game plan when you look at it. They shot 29 percent when we were asking for 35 percent. We identified the three-point shooters and when you don't hit them early sometimes you get a little gun shy and they had a couple of wide-open looks that they missed."
On the guard play...
"I thought it was a very good Memphis battle between the two point guards (Jasmine James & Adrienne Pratcher) and I think mine won this one. My other freshman Jordan Jones came in... They had 10 assists and zero turnovers on the road against the zone so I'm going to put a lot of cheeseburgers on their plates today. We won it with two very good, unheralded point guards. No one talks about my point guard play, but you win championships with point guards."