Nov. 16, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Anne Marie Armstrong scored a game-high 14 points to lead No. 10 Georgia past S.C. State, 62-46, Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
"You have to give South Carolina State credit for fighting the fight because they did," said head coach Andy Landers, who posted his 798th victory at Georgia. "They really competed hard for 40 minutes, and even when they were down, you didn't know that they were down. They just kept coming and doing things that they do. We left a lot of points on the table. We missed some easy shots inside that started early in the game and certainly a ridiculous number of free throws."
Erika Ford also put up double-digit points with 10 and recorded a game-high four steals, and Merritt Hempe notched a team-high nine rebounds while scoring seven points. Armstrong and Hempe each had a good night at the charity stripe, going 6-for-7 and 3-for-3, respectively. The leading scorer for S.C. State was Tiara Knotts, with 13.
Georgia (3-0) took the lead 20 seconds into the game with a Shacobia Barbee layup. S.C. State (1-1) answered soon after with a jumper, to mark the only tie of the game.
The following 13 minutes never saw Georgia up by more than seven, but with 6:22 remaining in the period, a free throw by Jasmine Hassell sparked a 10-0 Georgia run to close out the half. Georgia entered the locker room with a 29-15 lead.
S.C. State started the second half strong, scoring the first four points of the period and forcing Georgia to match them basket-for-basket for over 14 minutes. The strong play by S.C. State meant that Georgia averaged a 10-point lead for most of the second half.
With 5:27 on the clock, S.C. State committed two simultaneous technical fouls, sending Armstrong to the free throw line for four shots. She connected on all four and put Georgia up 54-41. Ten of the final 14 points of the game came from free throws; Georgia made seven and S.C. State made three.
Georgia won the turnover battle, committing 16 to S.C. State's 29, as well as scored 28 points off of turnovers.
Georgia returns to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. when it hosts Belmont. Landers is now two victories shy of becoming the eighth basketball coach - men's or women's - to record 800 wins at a single NCAA Division I school. The other coaches who have done so are: Geno Auriemma, Jim Boehim, Pat Summitt, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Phelan, Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith.
After tonight's 62-46 victory Georgia is now 9-1 all-time against S.C. State, including a 6-0 mark in Athens.
Freshman Merritt Hempe earned the first start of her career against S.C. State. Hempe became the 71st freshman to start for the Lady Bulldogs during Andy Landers' 34 seasons at UGA. Eight current Lady Bulldogs started as freshmen - seniors Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine Hassell and Jasmine James; junior Khaalidah Miller; sophomores Krista Donald and Erika Ford; and freshmen Shacobia Barbee and Hempe.
Jasmine Hassell scored nine points tonight, putting her just 27 points shy of becoming Lady Bulldog Basketball's 33rd 1,000-point scorer.
Andy Landers is now just two wins shy of his 800th victory at Georgia and becoming the eighth college basketball coach with 800 wins at one Division I school.
Tonight freshmen accounted for 46.5 percent of UGA's minutes played.
Jasmine James' three points put her 23 points from No. 29 Kara Braxton among UGA's career scoring leaders.
Anne Marie Armstrong had a block tonight, and now she is 14 blocks from No. 10 Wanda Holloway among UGA's career leaders.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Erika Ford's 10-point performance was the first time she has hit double digits this season and the sixth of her career.
Anne Marie Armstrong scored 14 tonight, her second double-digit game of the season and 34th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On tonight's game:
"You have to give South Carolina State credit for fighting the fight because they did. They really competed hard for 40 minutes, and even when they were down, you didn't know that they were down. They just kept coming and doing things that they do. We left a lot of points on the table. We missed some easy shots inside that started early in the game and certainly a ridiculous number of free throws."
On substitutions and various player rotations tonight:
"It was more of the way that it shook out, but as you get into it, you get curious as to how something will look. Quite honestly, we haven't shot the ball well all year. We've been a 30s-percentage field goal team, and shooters that I thought were good shooters and that I believe have the potential to be good shooters for us haven't shot it well. So late in the game, I toyed with that a little bit and put (Anne Marie) Armstrong out on the wing to see how that would work because we weren't passing well to the inside and we weren't shooting the ball well from the outside. That didn't look too bad."
On the play of freshman Kaelyn Causwell:
"She's going to get better as we go forward. There isn't any question. She is a project, and she has a lot of work to do, but she's got a great attitude about it. Every day she comes and tries her best. As long as she keeps doing that, as we go down the road she's going to develop into a good player."
S.C. state Head Coach Doug Robertson
On tonight's game:
"Coach Landers' 10th-ranked team in the country did a great job. They're great athletes. I thought we tried to play as well as we could with them despite the talent discrepancy. They played well and they executed. I thought the defense left us with some problems trying to execute. I think in the second half we did a good job of making adjustments, and we spread them out a lot better. We were able to get some easier opportunities. We had an opportunity to maybe cut the lead to single digits, but we lost a little bit of our composure and that's all it took. It was one huge mistake and they just took off. Once again, with Coach Landers, they'll be top 10 all year and going to the NCAA Tournament to do what they usually do."
On what the team can take away from this game:
"The biggest thing is that we don't see that kind of length defensively in our league for the most part, so for us it's a great building tool in terms of preparation for practice. We know that we need to go a little bit harder so that when we do get in pressure situations like that, we'll be able to handle them and keep our composure a little bit better. But, it was a well-fought game today."