Dec. 19, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas --- The No. 6 Georgia Lady Bulldogs watched TCU whittle a 22-point lead down to seven before holding on for a 72-59 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Wednesday.
Anne Marie Armstrong and Jasmine Hassell led Georgia with 14 points apiece, while Erika Ford chipped in 13, 10 in the first half. Hassell grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Shacobia Barbee contributed six assists.
With the victory, Georgia improves to 12-0 on the year, equaling the sixth-best start in the program's history. The Lady Bulldogs also opened the 1994-95 and 1986-87 campaigns by stringing together a dozen wins. TCU fell to 5-4.
A Jasmine James jumper with 18:13 left in the game put Georgia up 45-23 and seemingly in control. TCU trimmed the margin to 15 points three times before eventually pulling within 53-46 at the 9:29 mark.
"You hoped they wouldn't get back in it like they did," head coach Andy Landers said. "We had some defensive breakdowns and they cashed in. It seemed like we were riding along up 20 and all of a sudden they scored and scored and scored and it became a 10-point game the rest of the way. We did make plays when we had to, though."
TCU had possession with a chance to cut the gap to five when a Khaahlidah Miller steal resulted in a James layup other end. Armstrong then scored on a Barbee assist to put Georgia back up 60-49 with 6:15 remaining.
The closest the Horned Frogs came thereafter was 63-55, but Armstrong was fouled attempting a three-pointer on UGA's next possession and converted all three opportunities at the line. That pushed Georgia's lead into double digits the rest of the way.
The Lady Bulldogs took control midway through the first half. Ford scored seven points in a 10-0 run that staked Georgia with a 25-12. The sophomore from Alpharetta scored on a short jumper at the 11:50 mark and followed that with a three 41 seconds later. Following a Tiaria Griffin three, Ford converted a steal into a layup at the other end to complete the surge.
"That's what she does," Landers said. "She has done that in about every game this season. She comes in and makes two or three great, outstanding played that always seem to impact the game."
Georgia's first-half lead topped out at 36-18 on a Barbee three at the 2:21 mark. The Lady Bulldogs entered the locker room at the intermission up 38-21, largely due to outscoring the Horned Frogs 18-8 in the paint and 17-5 off the bench.
The second half started much like a continuation of the first, with Georgia opening on a 7-2 run as the lead bulged to 22 before the Horned Frogs began their comeback.
The Lady Bulldogs will now enjoy a nine-day break from competition during the holidays. Georgia will return to action on Dec. 28 when the Lady Bulldogs take on Illinois in Champaign, Ill., in their final non-conference action of the regular season.
Georgia will open Southeastern Conference action on Thursday, Jan. 3, when it hosts Missouri in the Tigers' first-ever league game at 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.