Georgia Travels to Arkansas
Jan. 16, 2013
Georgia Travels to Arkansas
No. 13 Georgia returns to the road on Thursday when the Lady Bulldogs face Arkansas in Fayetteville at 8 p.m. ET.
The Lady Bulldogs are 15-2 overall and 3-1 in SEC play this season following consecutive victories at Alabama and over No. 18 South Carolina last week.
A single point separates Georgia's top two scorers, a pair of senior Jasmines. Jasmine James' 210 points puts her average at 12.4 ppg, the slimmest of margins ahead of Jasmine Hassell's 209 points and 12.3 ppg.
Four Lady Bulldogs are contributing double digits in SEC play. James' also is UGA's top scorer in league games at 14.3 ppg, followed by Hassell at 11.8 ppg, Khaalidah Miller at 11.5 ppg and Tiaria Griffin at 10.3 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 average between 12.9 and 27.3 mpg and only 17 times in 17 games has someone logged more than 30 MP.
Arkansas is currently 13-4 overall with a 1-3 SEC record. The Razorbacks were ranked No. 23 after compiling a 12-1 non-conference mark with the lone loss coming to No. 13 Oklahoma.
Sarah Watkins comes off the bench to average a team-high 13.0 ppg, while Keira Peak adds 12.1 ppg and Quistelle Williams contributes 10.6 ppg.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the game:
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Series history with Arkansas
The Lady Bulldogs own a 26-4 lead in their series with Arkansas, including an 11-2 mark in Fayetteville.
In the most recent meeting on New Year's Day 2012, Jasmine Hassell's team-high 19 points led No. 17 Georgia to a 67-57 win over Arkansas in Athens.
After trailing Arkansas for a better portion of the first 10 minutes, back-to-back three-pointers from Erika Ford and Armstrong tied the game at 18-18 with 10:07 left in the period.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Razorbacks 20-10, entering the locker room with a 38-28 lead. Georgia started the second half much like it ended the first, with a 12-4 run that lasted five minutes.
Arkansas made a surge late, scoring 11 points in the last three minutes, but it was too little too late.
In the last trip to Fayetteville on Jan. 13, 2011, the Lady Bulldogs opened up a 10-point halftime lead and withstood several rallies by the No. 20-ranked Razorbacks en route to a 59-56 victory.
Last time out...
No. 13 Georgia outlasted No. 18 South Carolina, 42-40, on Sunday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
The Gamecocks took an early 8-2 lead, which ended up being the largest advantage either team held in the game. However, Georgia tied it at 10-10 two minutes later.
The beginning of the second period closely mirrored the start of the first as South Carolina executed a quick 4-0 spurt but the Lady Bulldogs answered with a brisk 4-0 surge and the teams matched each other basket-for-basket most of the rest of the way.
The Lady Bulldogs scored a quick four points with consecutive jumpers by Jasmine James and Hassell to push a one-point lead to 41-36 with 1:30 on the clock. South Carolina trimmed that to 41-40 before Jasmine Hassell connected on a free throw to give the Lady Bulldogs a narrow 42-40 advantage with 18 seconds remaining.
As time ran out, South Carolina was unable to connect on a jumper that could have sent the game into overtime.
Hassell earns SEC accolade
Jasmine Hassell was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 20.0 points in the Lady Bulldogs' previous two victories over No. 18 South Carolina and Alabama.
Hassell scored 21 points against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a career high against SEC competition. That bettered her previous mark of 20 points established versus both Tennessee in the 2011 SEC Tournament and Ole Miss her freshman year.
The senior from Lebanon, Tenn., then scored 19 points versus South Carolina, accounting for 45 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' total offense in the 42-40 win. She did so while playing with a protective mask after suffering a slight nasal fracture during the Alabama game.
For the week, Hassell connected on 15-of-22 (.682) of her shots from the floor and 12-of-12 (.833) of her trips to the free throw line.
Hassell is the 23rd different Lady Bulldog to win SEC Player of the Week honors since the award's inception in 1985. Those players - a list which also includes Anne Marie Armstrong and Jasmine James - have combined to secure 44 SEC Player of the Week accolades.
Winning in different ways
It would be hard to fathom a team securing victories in more polar opposite fashions than Georgia did last week.
On Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs outscored Alabama, 95-83, in what represented UGA's more points scored and points allowed this season.
That 95 points also was the Lady Bulldogs' highest tally in SEC action for just two days shy of a decade...since a 105-62 victory at Florida on Jan. 12, 2003.
On Sunday, Georgia outlasted South Carolina, 42-40, in what amounted to the fewest points scored in a win in the history of Lady Bulldog Basketball.
The previous low stood for four days shy of 39 years. In its inaugural season of intercollegiate women's basketball, UGA earned a 43-42 win over DeKalb College on Jan. 17, 1974. That was the program's first-ever win and lasted as the lowest output in a victory for 1,199 games.
"You go out and score 95 and you go out and score 42 and you win both games," Andy Landers said. "I think it shows your players have the ability to play both ways - to not cave and hang in there and do what it takes to win. That could mean you have to run the floor a few more times and score points or you have to hunker down and 'D' it up a little harder. That's what we did last week."
Shorter bench in Tuscaloosa
Armstrong rolled her ankle in practice two days before the game. She warmed up in Tuscaloosa but then secured the first "DNP" of her collegiate career.
Hempe was out due to soreness in her foot, a condition athletic trainer Shannon Becker has been managing since early December.
Freshmen have career games
Griffin's contributions have increased in SEC play, up from 7.3 ppg in non-conference play to 10.3 ppg.
Barbee, a starter for all but one game, is averaging 5.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg and leads Georgia in both assists (55) and steals (47).
Lady Bulldogs hit "magic number"
Georgia has furthered one of the greatest statistical indicators in any sport six times this season.
The Lady Bulldogs put up 80 or more points in wins over Savannah State, St. Bonaventure, Furman, Mercer, Lipscomb and Alabama to improve to 425-6 when reaching the 80-point plateau under Andy Landers.
That converts to an almost unfathomable winning percentage of .98607889.
It also highlights the Lady Bulldogs have hit that mark in more than half of Andy Landers' victories at UGA.
UGA has nine top-40 hits
Georgia is ranked among the nation's top-40 teams in nine statistics, including three in the top 10.
The Lady Bulldogs are No. 2 in turnover margin (+9.24), No. 6 in steals (13.6), No. 10 in scoring margin (+21.1), No. 14 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.14), No. 17 in scoring defense (51.4), No. 23 in fewest TOs per game (14.3), No. 32 in scoring offense (72.5), No. 33 in assists (16.2) and No. 35 in FG pct. (.436).
Playing time being distributed
A year ago, six Lady Bulldogs averaged between 20.0 and 34.5 minutes per game. All told, five players logged all 40 minutes a combined 25 times.
This season, "PT" is being more equally distributed. Nine Georgia players are averaging between 12.9 and 27.3 minutes played per game.
Most dramatically affected has been Jasmine James. James averaged 35.4 mpg during her first three seasons and played 30 minutes or more in 82 of 91 games played over that span.
Less means more for James
Decreased playing time has likely played a role in much greater efficiency by senior Jasmine James.
"All her negatives are down," Andy Landers said. "All her positives are up."
James connected on 35.2 percent of her shots from the floor in her first three seasons in Athens, topping out at 38.9 percent a year ago.
This year, James is shooting 48.9 percent from the field, which is No. 6 in the SEC and No. 65 nationally. Among perimeter players, that percentage is tops in the league and also the seventh-best in the nation.
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).
Depth showing up elsewhere
Georgia's depth has provided a big boost in a couple of "specialty stats."
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 441 points, more than double the opponent's 219.
The Lady Bulldogs have scored 431 points off of opponents' turnovers, while giving up just 147 - a massive +284 margin in points off TOs.
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