Georgia Lady Bulldogs (12-5, 0-4) Hosts Arkansas (12-4, 1-3) Thursday at 7pm
Jan. 15, 2014
UGA is 28-4 all-time vs. UA, including a 13-2 record at Stegeman Coliseum
Lady Bulldogs Host Razorbacks
Georgia's Lady Bulldogs will look to snap just the second four-game losing streak in Andy Landers'35 seasons in Athens on Thursday when they host Arkansas at Stegeman Coliseum. The 7:00 p.m. contest will be televised regionally by CSS and available on espn3.com, with Matt Stewart calling the play-by-play and Steffi Sorensen serving as color analyst.
Georgia is 12-5 overall and 0-4 in SEC play. The Lady Bulldogs raced to an 11-0 start - equaling the seventh-best beginning in school history - and climbed as high as No. 15 nationally before losing five of their last six outings.
Tiaria Griffin leads a trio of guards who sport double-digit scoring averages at 12.2 ppg, followed by Shacobia Barbee (11.9 ppg) and Khaalidah Miller (11.0 ppg). Barbee is Georgia's top rebounder at 7.9 rpg.
In SEC action, Krista Donald has paced the Lady Bulldogs on the offensive end and on the glass, averaging 12.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Barbee is chipping in 10.5 ppg.
Arkansas is 14-3 overall but just 1-3 in the SEC to date. The Razorbacks were the only league team to finish non-conference play undefeated and climbed into the USA Today poll before dropping three of four conference dates.
Freshman Jessica Jackson headlines a balanced Razorback offensive attack at 15.1 ppg, as well as a team-best 5.9 rpg. In addition, McKenzie Adams (11.2 ppg), Keira Peak (10.8 ppg) and Jhasmin Bowen (10.2 ppg) also provide points at a double-figure rate.
Jackson has even upped her contributions in league action, contributing team-highs of 15.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg.
Keeping an eye on...entering today's game:
Khaalidah Miller is...
12 points from No. 27 Alexis Kendrick among UGA's career leaders
Quoting Coach Landers...
On the challenges of playing Texas A&M...
On rebounding from an 0-4 start in SEC play...
Series History against Arkansas
The Lady Bulldogs own a 28-4 lead in their series with the Razorbacks, including an 13-2 mark in Athens.
Georgia swept both ends of a home-and-home series last season, defeating the Razorbacks 57-53 in Fayetteville on Jan. 17 before securing a much more decisive 66-34 win on Feb. 21 in Athens. The win at Stegeman Coliseum represented Andy Landers' 899th career victory.
The Lady Bulldogs scored the game's first nine points over the opening 2:46 and never looked back.
"We started very well and played that way for all 40 minutes," Andy Landers said afterward. "The thing that was cool was that we played so hard early, and when we needed to go to the bench, it didn't fall off. Everyone looked terrific."
Arkansas' 34 points represented the fewest by an SEC opponent in regular-season play in Lady Bulldog history. The previous mark was established in a 78-35 victory over South Carolina on Feb. 1, 1997.
Last Time out...
A combination of missed shots and fouls doomed the No. 25 Georgia in a 58-44 loss at the hands of Texas A&M on Sunday.
Shacobia Barbee led the Lady Bulldogs in the scoring column with 16 points.
While continuing to play impressive defensive basketball, Georgia committed several costly turnovers that resulted in eight fast break points for the Aggies. The turnovers, combined with a 28 percent shooting percentage in the first half, allowed A&M to build a sizable 31-17 lead at the half.
Georgia's scoring also was hindered by its struggles at the free-throw line, converting just 3-of-11 in the opening period.
The Lady Bulldogs struggles from the floor continued in the second half, going 0-for-7 before Halle Washington scored Georgia's first points of the half at the 14:24 mark.
Georgia wasn't able to trim the deficit to less than 13 points in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs cut the margin to at 49-36 with 7:20 left but failed on attempts to get closer on their next four possessions.
In unchartered SEC waters
Georgia finds itself at 0-4 in SEC action for the first time in the program's history. In fact, only once before, in 1992-93, had the Lady Bulldogs lost their first two league outings.
Georgia finished that season with a 4-7 SEC record that season and entered the 1993 SEC Tournament with a 17-11 overall mark before an improbable runner-up finish that included playing to No. 1-ranked teams in three days. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Arkansas, 84-73; top-ranked Tennessee, 73-72, in the quarterfinals; and Alabama,76-72, in the semis before falling to Vanderbilt, the nation's new No. 1 team in polls released that afternoon, 78-64.
Lady Bulldogs Fall from Polls
After being ranked as high as No. 16 by the Associated Press and No. 15 in the USA Today coaches poll less than a month ago, Georgia dropped out of both rankings this week.
This marks the first time the Lady Bulldogs have not been ranked by the AP since the end of the 2010-11 campaign and snaps a streak of 50 consecutive weeks in AP ledgers.
Georgia has a long history of AP rankings. The Lady Bulldogs' first poll appearance came in the preseason edition prior to the 1981-82 season, the same campaign that women's intercollegiate athletics came under the auspices of the NCAA. That also was the fifth year the AP published a women's college basketball poll.
Despite that half-decade gap prior from when the poll began to UGA's first ranking, both Georgia and Andy Landers now rank No. 2 in all-time appearances by a school and coach, respectively.
Since 1981-82, the Lady Bulldogs have been included in 509 of 586 weekly Associated Press polls, or 86.9 percent of those released.
Of those weeks, Georgia was featured in the top-10 of 268 polls, 45.7 percent of the rankings released during that span.
Multi-game losing skids rare for UGA
This is just the ninth time Lady Bulldogs have lost three consecutive games during Andy Landers' 35 seasons and 1,115 games coached for Georgia.
On seven of those occasions, Georgia successfully snapped the skid in its next outing. The only previous losing streak longer than three games came in 2008-09, when the Lady Bulldogs lost five straight SEC dates between Feb. 5-22.
A couple more SEC winless stretches
Georgia has endured its fourth four-game losing streak in SEC play.
In addition to the aforementioned stretch in 2009, the Lady Bulldogs also dropped five consecutive league games during the 1982-83 and 1991-92 seasons.
In 1983, the season Georgia made its first of five Final Four appearances, the Lady Bulldogs lost five straight SEC outings between Jan. 16-Feb. 14 but also won three non-conference games in that window.
In 1992, one of only two times the Lady Bulldogs have failed to secure a spot in the bracket of the 32 all-time NCAA Tournaments, UGA suffered five successive league losses from Feb. 1-29 but secured a quintet of non-SEC victories over the same span.
An unforgiving league
When Southeastern Conference play opened two weeks ago, both Georgia and Arkansas were riding high. The Lady Bulldogs sported a 12-1 non-conference mark, while the Razorbacks were the lone conference team to finish pre-league competition with an unblemished record at 13-0. That's a combined 25-1.
Since then, the Lady Bulldogs have endured their first 0-4 SEC start ever. Arkansas is currently 1-3 in the league, with a lone win at Missouri. That's a combined 1-7.
Paying the price on the other end
Through 11 games, the Lady Bulldogs possessed a healthy +141 (+12.8 ppg) edge on their opponents in points off TOs.
Since then, opponents have outpaced Georgia 118-91 (-4.5 ppg) in points from giveaways.
That's a relatively massive swing of 17.3 ppg.
"The cause, I think, has just been a lack of discipline," Andy Landers said. "We've turned it over excessively. They haven't been forced turnovers. It has been, at times, decision making and at other times it has just been poor execution of fundamental passing and catching."
All SEC From here on out
Georgia will wrap up its 2013-14 regular season with 16 straight conference dates.
Georgia begins SEC play with a challenging stretch of six games against teams that were a combined 65-12 when the calendar rolled over to 2014.
During that span, the Lady Bulldogs will face Vanderbilt (11-2), Tennessee (11-1), Missouri (11-2), Texas A&M (9-4), Arkansas (13-0) and Florida (10-3). Of those, the Commodores, Lady Volunteers, Aggies and Razorbacks have been ranked this year.
Miller tops millennium, moves up more
Khaalidah Miller became Lady Bulldog Basketball's 35th 1,000-point scorer during the Nov. 19 victory over Furman.
The Atlanta native has since moved up to No. 28 among Georgia's career scoring leaders and enters the Arkansas game 12 points shy of current No. 27 Alexis Kendrick.
Miller used a 20-point performance against Georgia Tech to pass Anne Marie Armstrong at No. 34, supplanted 1996 National Player of the Year Saudia Roundtree at No. 33 during the George Washington game, inched ahead of Megan Darrah to No. 32 versus Kennesaw State and bested Kara Braxton's No. 31 career mark during the Rutgers game.
Miller's ascension went into overdrive at Vanderbilt when she moved from No. 31 to No. 28. With 16 points against the Commodores, Miller passed No. 30 Pam Irwin-Osbolt, No. 29 Carla Green and No. 28 Cynthia Collins.
FYI, Green is now Dr. Carla Williams and an Executive Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator for the UGA Athletic Association and the envy of every former Lady Bulldog...as Andy Landers' boss.
Lady Bulldogs hit "Magic Number"
Georgia has reached the 80-point plateau five times this season and, in the process, improved perhaps the greatest statistical indicator other than wins and losses.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 430-6 when scoring 80 or more points during Andy Landers' 35 seasons in Athens. That equates to a winning percentage of 98.623853211009.
Georgia scored 80-plus points in three consecutive outings against Belmont, Kennesaw State and Lipscomb, the first time UGA has done so since the first three games of 2007-08 - 81-53 vs. Richmond, 84-56 vs. George Mason and 105-66 vs. Georgia Southern.
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