Nov. 26, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Erika Ford scored career-high 23 points and Tiaria Griffin finished just one assist shy of a triple-double as No. 22 Georgia cruised to a 74-58 victory over South Carolina State on Tuesday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia continues its perfect start to the season with a 6-0 mark, while S.C. State drops to 1-3 on the year.
Griffin scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists. Her 10 boards surpassed her previous career-best mark of eight, recorded last season against Alabama. The Monticello, Miss., native also set career highs with assists, free throws attempted (eight) and free throws made (six) in 37 minutes of action.
Ford surpassed her previous top mark of 18 points recorded almost exactly two years ago on Nov. 27, 2011, against Northeastern. Ford shot a remarkable 90 percent from the floor, knocking down a career-best 9-of-10 field goals, while also chipping in with four steals.
Senior Khaalidah Miller was the third Lady Bulldog in double figures, turning in 11 points and tying a career high with six assists. Freshman Sydnei McCaskill came off the bench to score a career-best eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, to go along with two assists and a pair of steals in 23 minutes of play.
"We didn't shoot it well tonight and didn't shoot it well from three", said Georgia head coach Andy Landers. "Erika shot it very well, but we got excellent three-point shot attempts and didn't knock them down."
The two teams traded baskets back and forth over the first four minutes of play before Georgia reeled off 15 unanswered points to take a 21-6 advantage midway through the first half. Ford contributed eight points during the run, including a pair from long range.
Georgia increased its lead to as many as 20 during the opening period of play before heading into the break in front 42-25, thanks in large part to 54 percent shooting from the field.
Georgia continued right where it left off after the break, taking its largest lead of 22 points at 55-33 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the second half. S.C. State would close to within 13 points twice over the next seven minutes, but a pair of three-pointers by McCaskill and a trey from Griffin would help seal the 74-58 win for the Lady Bulldogs.
Georgia shot season-best marks of 49 percent from the floor (27-for-55) and 75 percent from the free throw line (12-for-16). The Lady Bulldogs scored 31 points off 20 S.C. State turnovers while also winning the rebounding battle by a 35-23 margin.
The Lady Bulldogs will begin play at the Georgia State Invitational in Atlanta on Friday afternoon when they take on George Washington at 4:30 p.m. Their second game of the tournament will be on Sunday, with the time and opponent still to be determined.
With tonight's win, Georgia improves to 10-1 all-time against SCSU, including a perfect 7-0 mark in Athens. Halle Washington became the 74th freshman to start a game under head coach Andy Landers, joining Sydnei McCaskill as the second freshman to start this year. After SCSU tied the score at 6-6 in the first period, Georgia went on a 15-0 run and took command of the game. The Lady Bulldogs never allowed their lead to fall below 13 points. Khaalidah Miller is now five points away from Saudia Roundtree at No. 33 among UGA's career scoring leaders. Tiaria Griffin recorded the first double-double of her career with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tiaria Griffin recorded a career-high nine assists, topping her mark of four set against St. Bonaventure 368 days ago...on Nov. 23, 2012. Sydnei McCaskill scored a career-high eight points. Her previous best was six against Presbyterian in the opener.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Erika Ford notched 23 points, breaking her season and career highs for the first 20-point game of her career. This was her third double-digit performance of the season and the 12th of her career. Her previous record was 18 against Northeastern on Nov. 27, 2011. Ford's 23 points were the highest scoring output by a Georgia player this season. Tiaria Griffin scored 16 points, her second double-figure scoring performance of the year and 12th of her career. Tiaria Griffin grabbed a career-high 10 boards, besting her previous tally of eight vs. Alabama on Jan. 10, 2013. Khaalidah Miller tallied 11 points for her fifth double-figure scoring output of the year and 54th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On tonight's game...
"Turnovers were really a sore spot, especially the manner in which we got them. We're passing the ball to people where the ball is hitting them in the hands and they're not catching them. There weren't that many poorly thrown passes but to have 21 turnovers against a zone, against anybody, is inexcusable. This wasn't an aggressive zone it was a passive zone. We called for the ball and passed it to the person that called for it and they didn't catch it."
On Erika Ford's career high...
"I'm glad Erika played well because honestly there's not that many people you can say that about."
On Halle Washington's first career start...
"Halle got her first start. It's another game for Halle where she does a lot of good things and there's some things that she leaves on the table. That kind of sums it up. We have to move forward and kick the can on down the road and quit playing the same."
Preparing for the upcoming tournament...
"We didn't shoot it well tonight, didn't shoot it well from the three. Erika shot it very well, but we got excellent three-point shot attempts and didn't knock them down. We made too many turnovers, didn't get any offensive putbacks to speak of and defensively made the same mistakes on ball screens over and over again. We have people making the same fouls in this game that they've made in past games. I know they're freshman, but it's time for them to improve."
S.C. State Head Coach Doug Robertson, Jr.
On tonight's game...
"I thought we played played well at times. We had too many live ball turnovers...gave them easy opportunites in terms of getting out in transition and scoring. That was something that we didn't want them to do. There is no way we can guard them up and down the floor so we needed to try to control the tempo as much as possible. Live ball turnovers today really killed us."
On the play of Kourtney Williams...
"Kourtney Williams can play a little bit. It's just her basketball IQ is a little low at times. Other than that, she's actually a fantastic player. We just need her to understand that she has to stay on the floor for us to be successful. She can't get two quick fouls. We struggle to score if she is in foul trouble."