Seniors with Coach Landers
March 3, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 11 Georgia Lady Bulldogs held off a late rally by Vanderbilt and closed the regular season with a 55-50 victory over the Commodores on Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia (24-5, 12-4 SEC) was led by senior Jasmine Hassell, who scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds in her final game at Stegeman. Classmate Jasmine James put up 10 points and dished out a game-high five assists. Krista Donald tied Hassell for team-high rebounding honors with six boards. Shacobia Barbee contributed nine points and a game-high four steals.
Vanderbilt (19-10, 9-7 SEC) was led by Jasmine Lister and Tiffany Clarke, who scored 17 and 13 points, respectively.
"We played well today," said head coach Andy Landers. "We just did what we needed to do today. I thought we showed an awful lot of terrific discipline, both defensively and offensively. We stayed on the floor, we stayed between them and the bucket, we avoided screens, we didn't give up three-pointers and we did what we needed to do. Everything that we had talked about doing, we came out and did, and it was a beautiful thing."
Vanderbilt took an early lead off a pair of free throws and eventually stretched their advantage to 8-4 three minutes into the game. Tiaria Griffin connected from behind the arc to spark a 7-2 Georgia spurt that gave the Lady Bulldogs their first lead of the game, 11-10.
With just under 13 minutes on the clock, the Commodores tied the game at 13-13. Georgia then embarked on a 12-2 run and never looked back. The surge resulted in a 25-15 Georgia lead with less than five minutes remaining in the period.
The final minutes of the first half were fairly well-matched, and Georgia entered the break with a 27-18 lead. The Lady Bulldogs were bolstered in the first half by Hassell's 12 points.
Vanderbilt matched Georgia basket-for-basket during the first 11 minutes of the second period. The most consecutive points scored by either team in the first 11 minutes came in the two-minute stretch leading up to the 15 minute mark. The Commodores connected on back-to-back jumpers before the Lady Bulldogs answered with a layup and a trey to bring the score to 38-26 and give Georgia its largest lead of the game to that point.
With 10:25 left on the clock, the Commodores started to rally, scoring five unanswered and pulling within 42-37, the closest they had been since midway through the first half.
Erika Ford scored on back-to-back possessions to halt the Vanderbilt run and put Georgia back up 46-37. A Vanderbilt free throw interrupted the Lady Bulldogs, but it didn't stop their momentum. Georgia eventually stretched its lead to 50-38 with under four minutes left in the contest.
Vanderbilt's Jasmine Lister scored a quick four points around the one minute mark, allowing the Commodores to pull within 52-46. With 30 seconds on the clock, Anne Marie Armstrong was unable to connect from the free throw line, giving Vanderbilt the ball again.
A jumper by Morgan Batey led to the Commodores to further dig into the Lady Bulldogs' lead, 52-48. A full-court, inbounds pass from Armstrong to James put Georgia back up by six.
The Commodores refused to give up and hit another jumper with 12 seconds remaining and pulled within four once again. A Vanderbilt foul put Barbee at the line with six ticks on the clock, where she connected on the first of two free throws, pushing the score to 55-50 and clinching the win for the Lady Bulldogs.
Georgia will return to action at the SEC Tournament March 6-10 at Gwinnett Arena in Duluth, Ga. The Lady Bulldogs will be either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed.
UGA moves to 32-25 all-time against Vanderbilt, improving to 17-7 in Athens.
Prior to a 76-63 triumph in Athens on Feb. 2, 2012, Georgia had dropped five straight to Vanderbilt, with four of the losses coming by double digits. UGA has won back-to-back games in the series for the first time since the 2005-2006 seasons.
The Lady Dogs forced 21 turnovers, marking the 18th time this season an opponent has turned the ball over 20-plus times.
Georgia senior Jasmine James played 40 minutes for the fourth time in the last seven games and just the fifth time this season.
Georgia honored 12 members of the Lady Bulldog Basketball family during pre-game "Senior Day" ceremonies - seven players (Anne Marie Armstrong, Danielle Bennett, Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James, Ebony Jones, Marisela Rodriguez and Tamika Willis), four managers (Eryn Delaney, Will Dyer, Mac MacIntosh and Connor Starrs) and an athletic trainer (Sarah Parker).
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Jasmine Hassell tallied 16 points, her 20th double-digit scoring performance this season and 63rd of her career.
Jasmine James tallied 10 points, her 18th double-digit scoring performance this season and 70th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On today's game...
"We played well today. We just did what we needed to do today. I thought we showed an awful lot of terrific discipline, both defensively and offensively. We stayed on the floor, we stayed between them and the bucket, we avoided screens, we didn't give up three-pointers and we did what we needed to do. Everything that we had talked about doing, we came out and did, and it was a beautiful thing."
On the team's offensive execution...
"When we went down on the offensive end, we felt like we needed to get the ball inside to (Jasmine) Hassell, and the girls went out there and executed beautifully. A lot of our other players chipped in and contributed offensively, and we just didn't turn the ball over a lot. If there's any one piece that would concern me, it's our refusal to back out on a fast break. We keep driving the ball five or six feet from the basket and getting our breaks snubbed out without giving the ball a chance to go in."
Vanderbilt Coach Melanie Balcomb
On tonight's first half...
"I think they pressured us and got us on our heels. We weren't strong with the basketball, and they just punched it out of our hands and took us out of all of our timing on offense. Even when we got our good looks, we didn't knock them down, which led to a really frustrating first half of basketball."
On Vanderbilt's second half comeback...
"We started pushing them more and getting them on their heels more. We were more aggressive and I started playing a lot of freshmen and right now they are just going for it. We also played tougher and started buckling down on defense, which led to getting better stops and not letting Hassell dominate us inside. We really sagged off everybody else and tried to take her looks away in the second half. I think that made other people shoot the ball, and then we got rebounds. So then we were pushing it on them and they got a little bit more tired."