Dec. 17, 2013
ATHENS, Ga.----The Georgia Lady Bulldogs were forced to dig deep early Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum but eventually pulled away to defeat the Lipscomb Lady Bisons 81-46 and move their season record to 11-0.
The 16th-ranked Lady Bulldogs were led in scoring by sophomore Shacobia Barbee who notched a season-high 16 points, while fellow sophomore Tiaria Griffin led the team with nine rebounds. Merritt Hempe added 15 points, while Griffin added 12.
Georgia continued to display the giving spirit of the holiday season with six players recording assists just hours after the Georgia wrapped Christmas gifts for an adopted family.
Georgia was forced to battle early as the Lady Bisons trimmed an early nine-point lead to just three points midway through the first stanza. A lay-up from Krista Donald and jumper from Marjorie Butler, however, stretched the lead back to seven as the Lady Bulldogs tenacious defense began to take effect.
"We did get better in the second half but first of all you have to give Lipscomb credit," Georgia head coach Andy Landers said. "They're hard to guard. What they do offensively is very good and it's very simple but it's very difficult to guard. It's tough. We struggled with that in the first half but we got better in the second half and were more effective."
The ball movement continued as Khaalidah Miller fired a pass to Barbee to stretch the Georgia before Lipscomb again fought back into the contest as turnovers plagued the home team offensively.
Hempe and Barbee were both able to keep the scoreboard ticking and the Lady Bulldogs ahead with the two sophomores adding 15 of Georgia's last 18 points of the half.
That burst, along with a Griffin 3-pointer, helped Georgia stretch the lead to 39-23 with Barbee leading the team at the half with 10 points. The Lady Bulldogs' trademark defense, along with lightening ball movement, triggered the success they experienced late in the half. Miller, Barbee and Erika Ford all recorded three first half dimes.
Georgia started the second half much as it finished the first with Hempe grabbing a quick bucket. From there, however, the Lady Dogs showed a ruthless streak offensively quickly building a 30-point lead. The Lady Bulldogs built their lead on the back of a 14-0 run that started at 18:15 in the second half and lasted to the 12:21 mark.
Georgia's dominance on the boards continued as it outrebounded the Lady Bisons 26-14 in the second half. This effort was spearheaded by Griffin, who grabbed four off the glass in the final stanza.
Miller and Hempe led the Lady Bulldogs dominant second half effort with eight points apiece.
For the third consecutive game Georgia hit the 80-point mark and improved to 429-6 all-time when scoring 80.
Georgia will return to action on Saturday when the Lady Bulldogs travel to New Jersey to face Rutgers at 2:00 p.m. to wrap-up the Lady Bulldogs pre-Christmas slate. Georgia returns home to face Illinois on Saturday, December 28 at 4:00 p.m. The game will be televised by CSS.
Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Bulldog games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.
Single-game tickets are on sale via georgiadogs.com, by calling 877-542-1231 or in person at the UGA Ticket Office in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall from 8:30-4:30 on weekdays. In addition, single-game tickets go on sale at the Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off of every home game.
Georgia improves to 11-0 with tonight's 81-46 win vs. Lipscomb
Georgia also improves to 2-0 all-time vs. the Lady Bisons.
With tonight's win, Georgia equals the 2001-02 team for the seventh best start in program history. In the 2009-10 season, Georgia opened with a school-record 16-0 record.
Georgia improved to 429-6 when scoring 80+ points during Andy Landers' tenure. It is the third consecutive game that the Lady Dogs have scored at least 80 points.
With her eight points tonight, Khaalidah Miller is just 10 points away for passing No. 18 Kara Braxton on UGA's all-time career scoring list.
Barbee and Hempe scored 15 of Georgia's last 18 points of the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs allowed only four points paint, a season-best. Georgia led the Lady Bisons 44-4 on the night, tying its season-best margin, set on Sunday vs. Kennesaw State (50-10)
Georgia had 22 second-chance points, topping its previous high of 19 vs. Georgia Tech.
Georgia shot 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw line, topping its season best of 75 percent vs. Belmont and South Carolina State.
With her two 3-pointers tonight, Khaalidah Miller tied Kelly Miller for fourth on the all-time UGA career three-pointers list. She is now just two 3-point field goals away from the No. 2 spot, occupied by Kim Berry.
Shacobia Barbee notched a season-high 16 points, topping her previous mark of 15 against Mercer on Nov. 14.
Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits
Merritt Hempe scored 15 points, her fifth double-figure performance of the season and seventh of her career.
Shacobia Barbee scored 16 points, her sixth double-digit performance of the season and 15th of her career.
Tiaria Griffin scored 12 points, her seventh double figure showing of the season and 17th of her career.
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers
On tonight's game...
"We did get better in the second half but first of all you have to give Lipscomb credit. They're hard to guard. What they do offensively is very good and it's very simple, but it's very difficult to guard. It's tough. We struggled with that in the first half, but we got better in the second half and were more effective."
On what the team has seen so far...
"We've seen a good bit, we really have. We've seen a lot of zone, that's for sure. Tonight, we saw a spread half court zone that tried to trap a little bit. I wouldn't say we've seen it all, but we've seen a lot. What we haven't seen is somebody just coming out and getting up in your grill, man to man, for forty minutes."
On things to improve on...
"What we were running tonight wasn't an issue, but how we ran it was. There were choices and passes that we shouldn't have made. We threw the ball into a crowd where there was more of them than there was of us. We threw one pass off of our teammates head, we stepped out of bounds while passing and we really made some uncharacteristic decisions with the ball tonight. That resulted in 10 first-half turnovers, which is what I was most dissaponted with in the first half."
Lipscomb Head Coach Greg Brown
On tonight's game...
"I thought early on, game-plan wise, we executed. Obviously, they're strong and talented and long so we have to try to make up for that a little bit. The first 12 to 15 minutes right there we did what we were supposed to do...little fatigue, sub rotations...and that's where their depth and talent kind of took over."
On the play of Danay Fothergill...
"She's a tough kid, and she's young. That's the best thing about her. Putting them in these type of environments...you know the best thing about it is that we don't have to play Georgia to win a conference championship so to get them to compete at the highest level is what we're looking for them to do."
On the game environment...
"You know we've played several and we still have Tennessee to go...it's good for them. They become accustomed to how to play at this level and raise their game. That's what we want to take back when we go into conference."