March 5, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Jasmine Hassell scored a game-high 20 points for Georgia (21-10) in the Lady Bulldogs' 82-58 loss to Tennessee (30-2) in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.
Porsha Phillips added 10 points and 11 rebounds, her 14th double-double of the season and fifth in the last six games.
"There's not a whole lot you can say other than they whipped us," head coach Andy Landers said. "For much of the day, we did some what we needed to do to be successful, but we had breakdowns. When you have breakdowns and you're going against a team as good as Tennessee, you're going to pay."
Tennessee scored the game's first nine points over the opening 3:48. The Lady Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard on a pair of Hassell free throws at the 15:44 mark.
Georgia trimmed the lead to seven points at 16-9 on a Phillips lay-up with 8:48 remaining and appeared to pull within five on an alley-opp to Meredith Mitchell with 7:00 on the clock; however, the bucket was waved off due to an illegal screen.
Tennessee's lead bulged to 17 points three times before the half, lastly at 35-18 before the Lady Bulldogs scored the period's last four points before intermission.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled within 10 on a three-point play by Hassell to open the second-half scoring but got no closer.
Tennessee led 46-34 at the 15:47 mark but then used a 7-0 run to extend that margin to 19.
"I thought our inability to box out Glory (Johnson) and (Shekinna) Stricklen on the offensive boards early created some problems for us," Landers said. "In the second half when we cut it to 12, we let it happen again."
The Lady Bulldogs will now await a likely at large bid to the NCAA Tournament. That bracket will be released a week from Monday, on March 14.
Georgia has competed in 27 of 29 editions of "March Madness" since women's basketball came under the auspices of the NCAA in 1981-82. The Lady Bulldogs have reached 16 straight NCAA Tournaments. All-time, Georgia has finished as NCAA runner-up twice, reached five Final Fours and competed in 18 "Sweet 16s."