Lady Bulldogs Visit Rocky Top for Sunday Clash
Jan. 5, 2013
Georgia travels to Knoxville
No. 10 Georgia makes its first SEC road trip of the 2012-13 campaign on Sunday when the Lady Bulldogs face No. 12 Tennessee in a 1 p.m. matinee at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. SportsSouth will televise the contest regionally, with Dave Neal calling play-by-play and Stephanie Ready serving as color analyst.
Georgia is 13-1 on the season after dispatching Missouri, 77-46, in the Tigers' first-ever Southeastern Conference game on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
Jasmine James scored a game-high 16 points against the Mizzou and in the process supplanted classmate Jasmine Hassell as Georgia's leading scorer. James is currently averaging 12.1 pgg, while Hassell is chipping in 11.8 ppg.
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 14.8 and 25.4 mpg and only 11 times has someone logged more than 30 MP.
Tennessee 10-3 and defeated No. 18 South Carolina, 73-53, in its SEC opener in Columbia on Thursday. After leading by just one point at the half, the Lady Volunteers outscored South Carolina 41-22 in the second stanza.
Meighan Simmons leads a trio of double-digit scorers for Tennessee at 15.8 ppg, while Bashaara Graves and Isabelle Harrison contribute in 13.6 ppg and 10.8 ppg, respectively.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the Missouri game:
Andy Landers is...
Series history with Tennessee
Tennessee sports a 43-15 lead in the overall series with Georgia, including an 18-4 edge in Knoxville.
The Lady Volunteers are the lone SEC team with a winning record over Georgia. On the flip side, the Lady Bulldogs' 15 victories over the Lady Vols represents the second-most by any program...tying Maryville College and trailing only Louisiana Tech's 17.
In the most recent matchup last Jan. 29 in Athens, No. 7 Tennessee outscored No. 17 Georgia 11-0 to open the second half en route to a 67-50 win.
After trailing 27-20 with 3:38 remaining in the first half, the Lady Bulldogs closed the period on an 8-2 spurt to pull within one at the intermission.
Tennessee's surge to start the second stanza put the Lady Vols up 40-28 and covered 4:19. A pair of free throws by Meredith Mitchell and a layup by Jasmine Hassell pulled Georgia within eight, 40-32, just a minute later, but Tennessee responded with a 5-0 run.
In the most recent matchup in Knoxville on Jan. 5 last season, Tennessee led throughout but used a 17-4 second-half surge to break open what was a six-point game and create distance in an 80-51 win.
Last time out...
No. 10 Georgia used a decisive 77-46 victory to welcome the Missouri Tigers to the SEC on Thursday evening at Stegeman Coliseum.
"It's great to come out and get our first conference game behind us and for that to be a W, but even better, it's great to come out and play as well as the basketball team played tonight," Andy Landers said.
The Lady Bulldogs gained their first significant lead with an 11-2 run that doubled a nine-point edge to 33-15. Georgia outscored Missouri 12-6 in the waning moments of the first half to build a 45-23 advantage.
The Tigers cut Georgia's lead to 45-30 with a 7-0 surge to open the second half. The Lady Bulldogs then used a 9-2 run of their own to bring their lead back to 54-32 and end any doubt.
For the game, Georgia shot 44.1 percent from the field, while holding Missouri to 32.7 percent. The Lady Bulldogs also out rebounded the Tigers 46-31.
UGA vs. UT again a ranked affair
Sunday's game will be the 59th between the Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Vols and will mark the 49th time that both teams entered the contest ranked in the Associated Press poll.
That should come as no surprise considering Tennessee and Georgia are first and second in all-time weeks by the AP. The Lady Vols have been included in 641 editions of the poll, while the Lady Bulldogs have been featured during 488 weeks.
With Georgia at No. 10 in this week's poll, either UGA or UT was ranked in the top-10 for 56 of the 59 matchups, including 18 times when both were top-10 teams.
Tennessee natives return home
Hassell, Barbee and Butler combined to secure five Miss Tennessee Basketball trophies during their prep careers, while James is the only three-time Memphis Commercial Appeal Best of Preps Player of the Year in girls' basketball in the award's 40-year history.
Hassell was tabbed Miss Tennessee for Class AAA as a junior in 2008 and a senior in 2009 at Wilson Central High School in Lebanon.
Barbee was the Class AAA honoree as both a junior in 2011 and a senior last season at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro.
Butler, a Knoxville native who starred at The Webb School, was Miss Tennessee for Division II-Class A as a junior in 2011 but missed the vast majority of her senior campaign due to a knee injury.
James played for Bartlett High School and in 2008 led the Lady Panthers to the state tournament for the first time in 80 years.
In addition, Georgia coach Andy Landers is a native of Maryville, just south of Knoxville.
Georgia strong in SEC openers
With Thursday's win over Missouri, Georgia improved to 26-5 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 15-2 in conference openers at home.
Georgia has won 12 of its last 13 initial SEC outings, dropping only a 62-54 decision at Ole Miss on Jan. 8, 2009.
UGA has won its last nine league openers at Stegeman Coliseum.
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 streak shared with the aforementioned 1994-95 team and also in 1986-87.
UGA top-25 statistically
Georgia is ranked among the nation's top-25 teams in seven statistics, including five in the top 10.
In the latest NCAA stats through games of Jan. 3, the Lady Bulldogs are No. 3 in both turnover margin (+10.64) and steals (14.4); No. 6 in scoring defense (48.0); No. 8 in scoring margin (+25.5); No. 9 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.23); No. 17 in fewest TOs per game (13.9); 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...to improve 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. 22 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 Tennessee game with 1,219 points, only six 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 to No. 30 among UGA's career scoring leaders and is currently six points shy of No. 29 Pam Irwin-Osbolt, 10 from No. 28 Carla Green and 13 from No. 27 Cynthia Collins.
A milestone in the making
Anne Marie Armstrong needs 123 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 14.8 and 25.4 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 during her first three seasons at in Athens and played 25 minutes or more in 85 of 91 games played over that span.
Depth showing up elsewhere
Georgia's depth has provided a big boost in a pair of "specialty stats" - one directly and other in an indirect manner.
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 391 points (38.0 percent of the team's total offensive output). UGA's bench has outscored the opposition by a whopping 201 points.
The Lady Bulldogs have scored 382 points off of opponents' turnovers, while giving up just 106 points on their giveaways. That equates to a massive +276 margin in points off TOs.
Freshmen garnering PT
Georgia's five freshmen have logged significant minutes from the opener throughout every game.
Freshmen have played 1064 minutes, accounting for 38.0 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' entire playing time, a mark that would be even higher if Merritt Hempe had not missed the Mercer and Lipscomb games.