Lady Bulldogs Hold On To Down No. 19 LSU
Feb. 20, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.---A second half explosion from Erika Ford and gritty team defense saw the Georgia Lady Bulldogs battle past No. 19 LSU 71-67 Thursday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia was led in the scoring column by Ford who scored 20 points.
On the boards, Barbee finished one rebound shy of a double-double as she collected nine off the glass.
"I thought early on we got the three balls, the shooting, the movement of the ball and getting it to the right person at the right time. We ran out to a big lead early and they were shocked. If (Jeanne) Kenney doesn't drop four threes on us, this thing is ugly at the half," Georgia head coach Andy Landers said. "Now what you saw late in the game what their guards were doing was what they wanted to do all game...And then you go down to the other end and here comes Erika Ford, who made plays tonight off the bounce like it was her job. Kaelyn's recovery of the ball at the half line may have been the game winner. It was a terrific win for us tonight."
Georgia's effort was exemplified in the closing minutes as, without post players Halle Washington and Merritt Hempe who had both fouled out, the Lady Bulldogs held off a physical Lady Tigers team thanks to tenacious defense led by Barbee and Tiaria Griffin with two second half steals apiece.
Kaelyn Causwell, coming off the bench in relief for Hempe and Washington, made one of the biggest plays of the game as with 1:11 on the clock she used her length to disrupt an LSU dribble and fell to the floor to claim the ball and the steal. Georgia's lead at that point was a delicate four points.
Ford provided the spark offensively in the second stanza for Georgia as she scored 16 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Ford's crucial points came in the final 1:29 of the game as she hit a jumper and two free throws to keep Georgia just out of reach of the surging visitors. Barbee was able to seal the deal for Georgia as she hit two from the charity stripe to stretch the lead to four. More suffocating defense ensured that LSU would not get a shot off in the final 14 seconds.
Theresa Plaisance, LSU's 6-5 forward, proved a handful for the smaller home team as she collected 21 points in the second stanza as the Lady Bulldogs lost their post presence with Hempe and Washington watching from the bench.
Shacobia Barbee and the Lady Bulldogs defense continued to keep Georgia just ahead as they disrupted the physical Lady Tigers' offense at regular intervals.
After falling behind 4-2 in the first period, the Lady Bulldogs went on a dominant 20-0 run in the first half beginning at the 16:35 mark with a Miller jumper to level the score and ran all the way to the 9:30 mark when Jeanne Kenney nailed a 3-point shot.
During the period of defensive brilliance by Georgia, the visitors missed six straight field goals while the Lady Bulldogs were able to force four turnovers. In the first stanza the Lady Bulldogs were able to force seven total turnovers.
Kenney's 3-point shooting continued to prove a thorn in Georgia's side as she went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first stanza. The output from the Lady Tigers point guard helped the visitors trim the Georgia lead from 18 points to just nine at half time. As the buzzer sounded it appeared Kenney had added another trey to her total but on review it was proved that the Lady Bulldogs intense defense forced her to hold the ball just a split second too long and the Lady Bulldogs went in at the intermission leading 36-27.
Georgia was led in the first half by Miller with 12 points while Barbee scored nine points and collected eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Georgia heads out on a two game road trip beginning at Auburn on Sunday before travelling to Columbia, S.C., next Thursday to face South Carolina.
The Lady Bulldogs return home on March 2, for the final home game of the 2013/14 season against Mississippi State. The game will be televised live by SportSouth.
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