Nov. 14, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Sophomore Shacobia Barbee recorded her fourth career double-double and first of the season with 15 points and 15 reboundsto lead No. 24 Georgia to a72-41 victory overMercer on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum. With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improve to 2-0 on the season while Mercer falls to 1-2 overall.
The 15 rebounds for Barbee marked a career high, as she surpassed her previous top markof 12 recordedlast season in the NCAA Tournament against Stanford. Three additional Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Erika Ford with 15 points and Merritt Hempe and Khaalidah Miller with 13 points apiece.
Hempe's 13 points markeda career high over herprevioustop totalof 11 points, recorded exactly one year ago against Presbyterian. Barbee and Miller each tied their career highs with six assists on the night, while Ford chipped in with four steals and a pair of assists.
"The best thing about tonight is that it looked like they had fun," said Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "They looked like they enjoyed the way they were playing, the style they were playing, and they looked like they enjoyed the give-and-take between each other. The sharing of the ball...the passing...the catching. They just looked like they were a basketball team having fun, and that was the best part about tonight."
The two teams traded baskets back and forth in the opening eight minutes of the game before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 24-2 over the next eight minutes, including 17 straight points from the 8:58 to the 4:13 mark. Miller scored six points during the spurt while Krista Donald chipped in five points, including her first three-point basket of the season.
Back-to-back lay-ups by Barbeein the final thirty seconds of the half would help the Lady Bulldogs take a 37-15 lead into the break. Barbee led all scorers at the half with nine points, in addition to snagging seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. Georgia held Mercer to just 15 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs continued their strong offensive output in the second half, opening the period on a 14-5 run which was highlighted byeight pointsfrom Ford during the spurt. Georgia never looked back the rest of the way, going on to outscore Mercer 20-4 in the paint in the second half and 8-0 on fast break points.
Georgia held Mercer to just 23 percent shooting from the field for the game, including a 30-percent mark from three-point range.The Lady Bulldogs scored 18 pointson the evening off of 22 Mercer turnovers, in addition to collecting 13 steals. Georgia held a 46-8 advantage in points in the paint while shooting 38 percent from the floor.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action on Sunday afternoon when they hostOhio State at 2 p.m. This will mark the third game in a six-game homestand for Georgia.
Georgia improves to 19-12 all-time against Mercer, including an 11-5 record in Athens.
Mercer won 11 of the first 12 meetings in the series before Andy Landers was named Georgia's first full-time head coach in April 1979. Since then, UGA is 18-1 versus the Bears and have won 17 in a row in the series.
With 13 points, Khaalidah Miller now has 978 in her career for the Lady Bulldogs, 22 shy of becoming the program's 35th 1,000-point scorer.
Shacobia Barbee posted a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds in her first action of the 2013-14 season. Dating back to last season, Barbee now has double-doubles in back-to-back games (14 points and 10 boards against Cal in the "Elite Eight"). She also has three double-doubles in her last seven games (also 11 points and 10 rebounds against LSU in the opening round of the SEC Tournament).
Shacobia Barbee collected a career-high 15 rebounds. Barbee's previous career-best board tally was 12 against Stanford in the "Sweet 16" of last year's NCAA Tournament.
Georgia scored its 45th and 46th points with 15:52 left in the game, matching its offensive output in the season opener against Presbyterian (45 points) in just over 24 minutes.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Erika Ford scored 15 points, her first double-digit scoring output of the season and the 10th of her career.
Shacobia Barbee scored 15 points, her first double-figure scoring output of the season and 10th of her career.
Shacobia Barbee grabbed 15 boards, her first double-digit rebounding effort of the season and sixth of her career.
Shacobia Barbee recorded her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career.
Merritt Hempe scored 13 points, her second consecutive double-digit scoring output of the season and the fourth of her career.
Khaalidah Miller scored 13 points, her first double-digit scoring output of the season and the 50th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On today's game...
"The best thing about tonight is that it looked like they had fun. They looked like they enjoyed the way they were playing, the style they were playing and they looked like they enjoyed the give and take between each other. The sharing of the ball...the passing...the catching. They just looked like they were a basketball team having fun and that was the best part about tonight."
On the balance of his team...
"We're a basketball team that takes any player out, and it's gonna look the same. Everybody is important and everyone has to bring the right attitude...the right work ethic...the right spirit and if we'll do that every day and every game, we could have some fun come February."
On his team's performance...
"The guards rebounded the heck out of it. They shot the ball 50 percent from the floor, they defended very very well, they ran the floor in transition and made good decisions. We ran a lot of balls tonight. There were a lot of good things going on tonight. The forwards got better as the game went on. We learned a little bit how to play tonight, we didn't get all the lessons but we learned in the first 10 minutes some things about playing against someone taller than we are. We adjusted our game, which is exactly what you want to happen."
Mercer Head Coach Susie Gardner
On today's game...
"Well we learned some things tonight, the biggest concern I had was our lack of transition defense and how many lay-ups Georgia had on us. But Ana Anderson, our freshman post player, had a career night and did a good job inside. Teanna Robinson had a good night as well. She blocked nine shots and was a presence inside. So we did have some positive things happen, but Georgia was just bigger and faster than us and we didn't shoot the ball very well. I just told my team to keep their heads up and we can continue to grow from this."