Lady Bulldogs to face Tide in Tuscaloosa
Jan. 9, 2013
Georgia to face Tide in Tuscaloosa
No. 13 Georgia travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Thursday to face Alabama at 9 p.m. ET in a CSS regionally televised matchup. Matt Stewart will call the play-by-play action and former Lady Bulldog Maria Taylor will serve as color analyst.
The Lady Bulldogs are 13-2 overall and 1-1 in SEC play this season and looking to bounce back from Sunday's loss at No. 12 Tennessee.
After Jasmine Hassell led Georgia offensively for most of the non-conference slate, Jasmine James passed her classmate to become the Lady Bulldogs' top scorer after the SEC opener. James poured in a game-high 16 points against Missouri and then matched her season high with 18 points in Knoxville. James is currently averaging 12.5 pgg, while Hassell is chipping in 11.3 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 14.1 and 26.1 mpg and only 12 times has someone logged more than 30 MP.
Alabama is currently 10-5 overall and 0-2 in SEC action.
The Crimson Tide features one of the SEC's most balanced offensive attacks. Daisha Simmons averages a team-best 11.7 ppg, while Shafontaye Myers comes off the bench to score 11.3 ppg, Jasmine Robinson contributes 10.7 ppg and Meghan Perkins scores 9.6 ppg.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the Missouri game:
Andy Landers is...
Series history with Bama
The Lady Bulldogs own a 34-9 lead in their all-time series with Alabama, including a 13-4 mark in Tuscaloosa. Georgia has won 21 consecutive meetings with the Tide, last losing in Tuscaloosa in 1998 during the freshman season of Coco and Kelly Miller.
James came off the bench with 17:39 left in the first half when Midfield, Ala., native, Meredith Mitchell left the game with a knot on her head after a collision diving for a rebound. James had missed the previous five games with a right knee sprain.
Donald's 18 points and nine rebounds marked the first time in her career that she led Georgia in scoring and the third time she paced the Lady Bulldogs on the boards.
After Alabama took its only lead at 25-24 with 5:41 left in the first period the Lady Bulldogs responded with a 6-0 run and led 36-31 at halftime.
Georgia scored four points in the first minute of the second half to quickly increase its lead to 40-31. The margin reached double figures at 46-36, increased to 15 with 7:53 left on the clock and topped out at 20.
Last time out...
No. 12 Tennessee utilized three separate 9-0 runs in the second half to erase a halftime deficit and defeat No. 10 Georgia, 79-66, on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Jasmine James equaled her season high with 18 points for Georgia and climbed to No. 20 among UGA's career scoring leaders in the process.
Georgia led for the majority of the first half and owned a 42-40 advantage at the intermission. Tennessee scored the first nine points of the second stanza as the Lady Bulldogs missed their first eight shots from the floor.
James scored eight straight Georgia points to close the gap to 52-50 at the 12:37 mark, but Kamiko Williams' short jumper opened a 12-3 surge that put Tennessee up 66-53 just 3:44 later.
After leading the rebounding count by two in the first half, Georgia was outboarded 28-9 following intermission.
Crenshaw returns to her alma mater
Georgia associate head coach Joni Crenshaw played for Alabama from 1997-2001 and was Crimson Tide's captain for the 2000-01 season.
Crenshaw was a significant contributor to four Alabama teams that reached post-season play, advancing to the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Tournaments and the 2000 and 2001 WNITs.
All told, she scored 716 points, grabbed 555 rebounds and blocked 103 shots, a tally that currently ranks No. 4 all-time for Alabama.
Crenshaw also was a standout off the court while in Tuscaloosa. She was recognized as one of the most influential African Americans on the Alabama campus in 2001, was named to the SEC's Community Service team for women's basketball in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and was awarded an post-graduate scholarship by the SEC for her community service record.
Bama outing earns Donald honors
Krista Donald was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 6, 2012, after posting game-high tallies of 18 points and nine rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs' victory at Alabama the previous day.
Donald averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in victories over Mississippi State and the Crimson Tide the previous week. She also logged her most SEC playing time - 24 minutes - against the Crimson Tide.
Donald became the ninth Lady Bulldog to earn SEC Freshman of the Week since its inception in 2006.
J.J. back with a bang at Bama
Last season at Alabama, Jasmine James scored a season-high 18 points in her return to action after missing five games due to an injury.
James had been out of action with a sprained right medial collateral ligament (MCL) originally suffered against Montana State on Dec. 20 and "tweaked" at Mississippi State on Jan. 15.
After the Lady Bulldogs' Feb. 2 win over Mississippi State in Athens, Andy Landers said he was expecting to play James in Tuscaloosa. Her insertion came a little earlier than expected, however, when Meredith Mitchell received a nasty knot above her right eye while diving for a rebound at the 17:39 mark of the first half.
James subbed in for Mitchell and eventually played 32 minutes. In addition to her season-high scoring effort, James also recorded eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.
UGA's top-20 statistics
Georgia is ranked among the nation's top-20 teams in seven statistics, including six in the top 10.
The Lady Bulldogs lead the nation in turnover margin (+10.53) and also are No. 4 in steals (14.0); No. 7 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.27); No. 10 in scoring defense (50.1), scoring margin (+22.9) and fewest TOs per game (13.4); and No. 20 in assists (17.0).
James joins UGA's top-20 scorers
Jasmine James has ascended from No. 31 to No. 20 among UGA's career scoring leaders during 2012-13. Twice this season, James has passed multiple players on the Lady Bulldogs' career scoring leaders ledger in a single game.
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.
At Tennessee, James moved ahead of both No. 21 Tawana McDonald and No. 20 Stacey Ford.
James' ascent may stall for a while. She enters the Alabama game with 1,237 points, 159 away from the current No. 19 tally of Camille Lowe.
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.
Hassell averaged 6.2 ppg as a freshman, improved to 9.6 ppg as a sophomore and bumped that up to a team-high 13.0 ppg as a junior.
Hassell has now climbed to No. 30 among UGA's career scoring leaders and will moving even higher in the not too distant future.
She enters the Alabama game just two points shy of No. 29 Pam Irwin-Osbolt (1,111), six from No. 28 Carla Green (1,115) and nine from No. 27 Cynthia Collins (1,118).
A milestone in the making
Anne Marie Armstrong needs 116 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 14.1 and 26.1 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 couple of "specialty stats" - directly and indirectly.
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 410 points (37.4 percent of the team's total offensive output). UGA's bench has outscored the opposition by a whopping 206 points.
The Lady Bulldogs have scored 398 points off of opponents' turnovers, while giving up just 116 points on their giveaways. That equates to a massive +282 margin in points off TOs.
UGA also sports a +100 edge on second-chance points, with its 202 nearly double the opposition's 102.
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