Georgia Welcomes Mizzou to SEC
Jan. 2, 2013
Georgia Welcomes Mizzou to SEC
The No. 10-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs officially welcome Missouri to the Southeastern Conference on Thursday evening when UGA hosts the Tigers in their first-ever SEC outing. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a Stegeman Coliseum 50th Anniversary commemorative pennant.
Missouri and Texas A&M joined the league last fall, the first additions since Arkansas and South Carolina became members in 1991. Interestingly, the Lady Bulldogs also faced Arkansas in its initial SEC date, a 79-62 upset of the No. 20 Lady Razorbacks on Dec. 19, 1991, in Fayetteville.
Georgia is 12-1 on the season after suffering its initial setback last Friday at Illinois. The Lady Bulldogs fell behind by 18 points in the first half before rallying to tie the score twice in the second stanza. The Illini pulled away in the closing minutes to win 70-59.
The biggest story line to date, however, has been the Lady Bulldogs' depth. A year ago, four Georgia players averaged more than 30 mpg and five different Lady Bulldogs combined to notch 25 40-minute outings.
This season, nine Lady Bulldogs are averaging between 14.6 and 25.6 mpg and only 11 times has someone logged more than 30 MP.
Missouri is 11-3 to date, the Tigers' best start since opening the 2006-07 season at 12-1. Missouri leads the nation in three-pointers per game, connecting on 9.8 attempts from behind the arc per contest.
Bri Kulas paces a trio of double-digit scoring averages for Mizzou at 14.6 ppg, while Morgan Eye chips in 12.9 ppg off the bench and Sydney Crafton adds 11.9 ppg. Eye ranks fifth nationally in threes made per game (3.57) and 19th in three-point percentage (.446).
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the Missouri game:
Andy Landers is...
Series history with Mizzou
Georgia is 2-1 all-time against Missouri, including a 1-1 mark in Athens.
The Tigers' most recent visit to Stegeman Coliseum provided a painful memory as 10th-seeded Missouri upset second-seeded Georgia in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Amanda Lassiter poured in 22 points and Marlena Williams added 19 in the Tigers' 78-65 victory. Deanna "Tweety" Nolan paced Georgia with 22 points.
That contest completed the careers of three of the Lady Bulldogs' greatest guards ever - Nolan twins Coco and Kelly Miller. Later that spring, the Millers and Nolan became top-10 picks in the first round of the WNBA Draft. Kelly was the first collegiate player chosen with the No. 2 overall pick by Charlotte, Nolan was taken with the sixth pick by Detroit and Coco was the ninth overall selection by Washington.
Last time out...
Georgia rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit and tied Illinois twice in the second period before falling to the Illini 70-59 at Assembly Hall last Friday.
Georgia, which entered the game averaging 13.2 turnovers per game, gave the ball away 26 times, 16 of those in the first half.
"They forced us the play fast," Andy Landers said. "They extended us and picked us up beyond the three-point line, and we allowed them to affect us. Now we're running the offense further out on the floor than we have all year long. We sailed balls out of bounds when people were open. We were looking at looks we wanted, but we couldn't make the passes because they'd pushed us so far out."
Back-to-back threes from Amber Moore ignited a 12-1 Illinois run that put the Illini up 24-12 with 9:54 left in the first half. The lead grew to 31-13 before Georgia rallied. Miller scored seven points in a 13-2 surge that helped close the gap to seven at the intermission.
Georgia eventually tied the contest twice, lastly at 53-53 with 6:27 left.
A pair of Penn three-point plays - the second of which fouled out Jasmine Hassell with 4:36 left - helped Illinois reestablish a 61-57 lead. The Illini scored five more unanswered to put the contest out of reach.
Georgia strong in SEC openers
Georgia has compiled a 25-5 record in SEC openers since the league began administering women's basketball during the 1982-83 season.
The Lady Bulldogs are an even more impressive 14-2 when beginning conference play here at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia has won 11 of its last 12 initial SEC outings, dropping only a 62-54 decision at Ole Miss on Jan. 8, 2009.
The Lady Bulldogs' have won their last eight league openers in Athens dating to an 80-74 upset by No. 23 LSU over No. 2 Georgia on Dec. 2, 2000.
Bennett faces home state school
Georgia senior Danielle Bennett is a native of Springfield, Mo., where she was a standout at Springfield Central High and was named all-state for Class 5 in both 2008 and 2009.
Bennett started her collegiate career at SIU-Edwardsville before transferring to Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College for the 2010-11 campaign. There she averaged 16.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg en route to earning All-Mid Florida Conference Player of the Year honors.
Bennett played in 17 of 31 games a year ago and averaged 1.7 ppg. She has only played in two contests during 2013-13, missing the first nine outings while recovering from an eye infection.
Of starts and streaks...
The Lady Bulldogs' 12-0 start equaled their fifth-best ever and represented the 19th double-digit win streak in the program's history.
The 12-0 opening matched the beginning of Georgia's 1995 Final Four campaign among best starts and also tied the 12th-best overall winning streak of a dozen games also set in 1986-87.
UGA top-25 statistically
Georgia is ranked among the nation's top-25 teams in seven statistics, including four in the top 10.
In this week's NCAA stats through games of Dec. 30, the Lady Bulldogs are No. 3 in turnover margin (+10.69), No. 5 in steals (14.4), No. 6 in scoring defense (48.2), No. 9 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.21), No. 11 in scoring margin (+25.1), No. 20 in fewest TOs per game (14.2) and No. 21 in assists (17.1).
Lady Bulldogs hit "magic number"
Georgia has furthered one of the greatest statistical indicators in any sport five times this season.
The Lady Bulldogs put up 80 or more points against Savannah State, St. Bonaventure, Furman and Mercer...and in the process improved to 424-6 when reaching the 80-point plateau under Andy Landers.
That converts to an almost unfathomable winning percentage of .986046512. It also highlights the fact that Georgia has scored more than 80 points in over 50 percent of Landers' victories with the Lady Bulldogs.
James climbs list...more to come
Jasmine James has ascended from No. 31 to No. 23 among UGA's career scoring leaders during 2012-13.
During the victory over New Mexico, James' 17 points leapfrogged her over No. 28 Pam Irwin-Osbolt, No. 27 Carla Green and No. 26 Cynthia Collins.
James enters the Missouri game with 1,203 points, only nine from No. 22 Janese Hardrick and 22 from No. 21 Tawana McDonald.
Hassell hits millennium as well
Jasmine Hassell scored her 1,000th career point against Savannah State, becoming the 33rd Lady Bulldog to reach that plateau.
The former McDonald's and WBCA prep All-American from Wilson Central High in Lebanon, Tenn., has developed consistently throughout her career. She scored 211 (6.2 ppg) as a freshman, improved to 327 (9.6 ppg) points as a sophomore and bumped that up to a team-high 402 (13.0 ppg) as a junior.
Hassell has now climbed No. 30 among UGA's career scoring leaders and enters SEC play nine points shy of No. 29 Pam Irwin-Osbolt, 13 from No. 28 Carla Green and 16 from No. 27 Cynthia Collins.
A milestone in the making
Anne Marie Armstrong needs 125 points to become the third Georgia senior to reach 1,000 career points.
James scored her 1000th point late last season at South Carolina and Hassell became the 33rd Lady Bulldog to reach the millennium milestone against Savannah State on Nov. 20.
The only three classmates to top 1,000 points at UGA to date are the Class of 1997's La'Keshia Frett (1,850 points), Tracy Henderson (1,764) and Kedra Holland-Corn (1,566).
Playing time being distributed
A year ago, six Lady Bulldogs averaged between 20.0 and 34.5 minutes per game. All told, five different players logged all 40 minutes of a game a combined 25 times.
This season, PT is being more equally distributed.
Nine Georgia players are averaging between 14.6 and 25.6 minutes played per game.
Most dramatically affected has been Jasmine James, who leads the Lady Bulldogs in minutes played. By contrast, James averaged 35.4 mpg and played 25 minutes or more in 85 of 91 games played during her first three seasons at in Athens.
Freshmen garnering PT
Georgia's five freshmen has logged significant minutes from the get-go.
Freshmen have played 989 minutes during 2012-13, accounting for 38.0 percent of UGA's playing time, a mark that would be higher if Merritt Hempe had not missed the Mercer and Lipscomb games and only played two minutes at TCU.
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