Feb. 23, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Meredith Mitchell's 20 points led a quartet of double-digit scoring Lady Bulldogs as No. 18 Georgia (21-7, 10-5) steamed past the Ole Miss Rebels (12-16, 2-13), 87-52, Thursday night.
Mitchell also notched six rebounds, five assists and a season-high six steals. Jasmine Hassell recorded 15 points and five rebounds. Anne Marie Armstrong and Khaalidah Miller each put up 14 points and pulled down six and eight rebounds, respectively. Jasmine James added seven points and a game-high seven assists.
Georgia led just 36-34 at halftime but outscored the Rebels 51-18 following the intermission.
"The second half was as good as the first half was disappointing," said head coach Andy Landers. "Perhaps it was the zone and I'm sure it had something to do with Ole Miss' preparation for tonight's game, but we weren't very effective defensively in the first half. We didn't rebound the ball well and we turned the ball over in the first half. In the second half, we dominated the boards, took care of the ball and really did a nice job defensively."
Georgia shot a blistering 52.6 percent for the night, which is its highest shooting percentage of the season. Armstrong and Hassell bolstered that percentage with their 6-of-6 and 6-of-7 shooting efforts, respectively.
"I have to give our kids credit for turning something that didn't look very good into something that was impressive," continued Landers. "I give them a lot of credit for mentally being able to flip that switch in the second half. Without question, the defense and our ability to rebound the basketball in the second half got it all going for us."
The opening period of the game stayed close, with neither team leading by much; Georgia's largest lead was five and Ole Miss' was four.
Ole Miss scored first, with a trey by Valencia McFarland just 10 seconds into the game. McFarland led the Rebels with 22 points. Georgia quickly took its first lead, 5-3, just over a minute later. In the first half, there were four ties and five lead changes.
The Lady Bulldog's largest lead, 10-5, came just 3:30 into the game. Until Ole Miss captured it's biggest advantage, 21-17, with 8:40 left on the clock, the score stayed within three.
Georgia led by four three times in the remaining six minutes, most recently with 19 seconds left. An Ole Miss layup reduced the Lady Bulldogs' lead to 36-34, just as the buzzer sounded for half time.
In the opening period, Georgia connected on 50 percent from the field, included a 3-of-4 effort from Hassell.
With 18:53 on the clock, the score was tied at 39-39, and then the Lady Bulldogs took control of the game and never looked back. Sparked by a Mitchell trey, Georgia then executed a 30-3 surge that put them up by 27, 69-42.
The Lady Bulldogs' largest lead of the game was 36, which they reached twice, including with just 44 ticks on the clock.
Georgia hosts the LSU Lady Tigers on Sunday at 5 p.m. for Senior Day. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The first 500 UGA students will receive Hairy Dawg hats and can register to win Spring Break-themed prizes. The first 1,000 fans will receive Lady Bulldog replica jersey t-shirts.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 21-7 overall and 10-5 in conference play.
Georgia is now 29-11 in the series against the Rebels, including a 15-1 record in Athens.
Tonight's 35-point margin of victory is the largest in SEC play and third overall this season.
The Lady Bulldogs recorded a season-high 52.6 shooting percentage.
Meredith Mitchell scored 20 points for the second time this season (21 vs. Southern Cal) and in her career. Mitchell also tied her career-high steals with six on the night.
With the win, the Lady Bulldogs now have four players, Khaalidah Miller, Jasmine James, Meredith Mitchell and Anne Marie Armstrong, with over 50 steals, marking the third time overall and the first time since the 1982-83 season.
Georgia has now scored more than 80 points on eight occasions and improved to 433-7 when scoring 80 or more points during Coach Andy Landers' 33 seasons. Tonight's 80+ point performance marks the second time in SEC play this season.
Seven Lady Bulldogs have combined for 92 double-digit scoring performances on the season. Khaalidah Miller, Anne Marie Armstrong, Meredith Mitchell and Jasmine Hassell all reached double figures against the Rebels.
With tonight's victory, Andy Landers is six wins shy of his 800th win at UGA and 24 away from his 900th overall victory as a collegiate head coach.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Meredith Mitchell tallied 20 points, marking her 15th double-digit game of the season and the 41st of her career.
Jasmine Hassell recorded 15 points to mark her 21st double-digit game of the season and the 41st of her career.
Khaalidah Miller scored 14 points, recording her 21st double-digit game of the season and the 35th of her career.
Anne Marie Armstrong 14 point total marks her 16th double-digit game of the season and the 32nd of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On tonight's game:
"The second half was as good as the first half was disappointing. Perhaps it was the zone and I'm sure it had something to do with Ole Miss' preparation for tonight's game, but we weren't very effective defensively in the first half. We didn't rebound the ball well and we turned the ball over in the first half. In the second half, we dominated the boards, took care of the ball and really did a nice job defensively."
"She was crazy good. She had knockdowns and run-ins for layups. She was impressive on both ends. She was effective defensively as well as passed the ball well."
On keys to success:
"I have to give our kids credit for turning something that didn't look very good into something that was impressive. I give them a lot of credit for mentally being able to flip that switch in the second half. Without question, the defense and our ability to rebound the basketball in the second half got it all going for us."
Ole Miss Head Coach Renee Ladner
On tonight's game:
"Tonight was a tale of two halves. I thought it was a polar opposite of Oxford, Miss. They came in to Ole Miss and played extremely well in the first half, almost as flawless as they did tonight in the second half. We got buried early. We fought back, we scrapped. Tonight I thought we played a very good first half. Then the second half, Georgia did exactly what they had to do. I'm sure they were challenged at halftime and they came out and had balanced scoring across the board. They scored inside, they scored outside, they dominated. They really got after us rebounding the basketball, which I know was a huge point of emphasis for Coach Landers."
"I didn't think Georgia gave us their best shot in the first half. I think they took us lightly. Valencia McFarland stepped to the plate. We had five threes to start the game, that doesn't always happen. I think we made them pay a couple of times. They also played zone and we punished them in the zone. They came out in the second half and got after us in man-to-man defense. We never recovered. They got in transition. We turned the ball over a couple of times and that cost us. The 16-2 run, that kind of buried us and we were stunned."