Georgia travels to Kentucky
Feb. 2, 2013
Georgia travels to Kentucky
No. 13 Georgia travels to Lexington on Sunday to face No. 8 Kentucky in a showdown of the teams predicted to finish first and second in the SEC this season. The media and league coaches tabbed Kentucky to capture the league title during the 2012-13 campaign, while both ballotings listed Georgia to finish as runner-up.
The contest is set to tip at 2 p.m. ET at Memorial Coliseum and will be televised by the SEC Network. Cara Capuano will call the play-by-play, while Nell Fortner will serve as color analyst.
Georgia improved 18-3 overall and 6-2 in SEC play with Thursday's 65-59 victory over Alabama in Athens, the 850th win in the history of Lady Bulldog Basketball. Georgia's duo of senior Jasmines - the only players on the roster to start every game this season - continues to lead the Lady Bulldogs offensively. Jasmine Hassell paces the team at 12.0 ppg, while Jasmine James is chipping in 11.2 ppg.
Freshman Shacobia Barbee, who has started all but one contest, also has been an extremely solid contributor and leads the Lady Bulldogs in rebounds (121) and steals (54 is tied with James) and is second in assists (65 is five behind James).
Kentucky defeated LSU last Sunday, 73-60, in Baton Rouge before enjoying an open date on Thursday. The Wildcats are 19-2 overall and 7-1 in the SEC.
A'dia Mathies leads an extremely balanced attack for UK, with features five starters averaging between 9.0-15.2 ppg. Trailing Mathies' 15.2 ppg average are DeNisha Stallworth at 13.5 ppg, Jennifer O'Neill at 9.9 ppg, Samarie Walker at 9.1 ppg and Bria Goss at 9.0 ppg.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the Kentucky game:
Andy Landers is...
Series history with the Cats
The Lady Bulldogs lead the all-time series with Kentucky 34-13 overall and 21-8 in games played in Lexington; however, the teams have split their last 10 matchups.
In the most recent meeting last Jan. 19 in Athens, double-digit scoring efforts by all five starters were not enough for No. 15 Georgia as No. 6 Kentucky rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to secure a 69-64 victory.
For all intents and purposes Georgia contested the game "5-on-9". Five Lady Bulldogs played 35 minutes or more. Only one Wildcat, A'dia Mathies, logged 35 MP, while eight other UK players saw double-digit minutes.
"It was a gutsy performance," Andy Landers said. "We were really short-handed against the team that plays the most players in our conference. I was pleased with the way our kids made plays offensively. I thought they were very good at times and executed well. Kentucky was able to make adjustments as the game went on that made them even more effective. Defensively, we didn't disrupt enough. We weren't as effective as we could have been and that resulted in some drives to the basket. It was a good effort."
The Lady Bulldogs led for the final 7:20 of the first half and grabbed their largest lead, 46-36, early in the second period. Kentucky cut the margin to 52-50 with 11 minutes left and took the lead for the for the first time in the second half at 54-52 on a Bria Goss three.
The Wildcats built an eight-point advantage at 62-54 before a 5-0 Georgia run put the Lady Bulldogs back in the game. With one minute remaining, Armstrong hit a three and pulled Georgia within two, 64-66. Goss answered with a layup with 26 seconds left. Following a Lady Bulldog turnover, Kastine Evans supplied the game's final points on a free throw with 11 seconds left.
Last time out...
Six different Georgia players scored eight or more points to lead the 13th-ranked Lady Bulldogs to a 65-59 victory over Alabama on Thursday.
"We did what we needed to do to win, and that's the way it goes in the record book, even though the process wasn't pretty," Andy Landers said. "There were some good decisions and some bad decisions made. A lot of makeable shots were not made tonight."
The Lady Bulldogs trailed for only 58 seconds of the first half and used a 10-0 run to open up a 14-point lead with just over 12 minutes remaining. Georgia led by as many as 17 points before the Crimson Tide mounted a comeback.
Alabama used an 8-0 run to come within four but failed on four chances to pull closer.
Georgia solid on Super Bowl Sunday
The Lady Bulldogs are 16-6 all-time in games contested on the same day as the Super Bowl, including a 2-1 mark against Kentucky.
No. 7 Kentucky defeated No. 10 Georgia, 66-59, in overtime on Jan. 30, 1983, the same day that Washington defeated Miami in Super Bowl XVII.
The Lady Bulldogs and Wildcats met on back-to-back Super Bowl Sundays in the early 2000s.
Georgia topped Kentucky in Lexington 76-50 in 2002, matching up with when New England won its first Super Bowl by besting St. Louis. The following year, the Lady Bulldogs secured a 71-59 win in Athens before Tampa Bay topped Oakland later that evening in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Lady Dogs do starting lineup shuffle
Georgia utilized its seventh different starting five this season - and fourth in the last four games - against Alabama on Thursday.
Nine different Lady Bulldogs have drawn starting assignments this season. Jasmine Hassell and Jasmine James are the only two to get the nod for every game, while freshman Shacobia Barbee has started all but one contest (at Georgia Tech).
Versus the Crimson Tide, freshmen Barbee, Tiaria Griffin and Merritt Hempe all started. That marked the first time Georgia's starting five featured a trio of freshmen since Ashley Houts, Christy Marshall and Angel Robinson did so against Brown on Dec. 30, 2006.
Lady Bulldogs post 850th "W"
Thursday's victory over Alabama represented the 850th in 40 seasons of Lady Bulldog Basketball. UGA became the 10th Division I women's hoops program to reach 850 victories.
Georgia has been consistently ascending the ledger of the game's winningest programs. The Lady Bulldogs were the 22nd team to post 500 wins on Dec. 1, 1998; the 17th school to 600 victories on Feb. 21 2002; the 15th program to post 700 "Ws" on Nov. 29, 2006; and the 10th to notch 800 wins on Jan. 13, 2011.
UGA in nation's top-50 9 times
The Lady Bulldogs are ranked among the nation's top-50 teams in nine statistical categories, including five in the top 20.
Georgia is No. 3 in TO margin (+8.05), No. 12 in steals (12.5), No. 13 in scoring margin (+17.5), No. 20 in scoring defense (52.5), No. 20 in assist-to-TOs (1.1), No. 36 in fewest TOs (14.3), No. 39 in assists (15.7), No. 41 in scoring offense (70.0) and No. 45 in rebound margin (+5.2).
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. Ten Georgia players are averaging between 12.8 and 28.0 minutes played per game and only 23 times in 21 games has a Lady Bulldog been on the floor more than 30 minutes.
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.
This season, James leads the team in MP but has only played more than 30 minutes in seven of 21 contests. She did log all 40 minutes for the first time this season in Fayetteville since back-up Marjorie Butler was out with a slight knee injury.
Hassell hits millennium mark
Jasmine Hassell scored her 1,000th career point against Savannah State, becoming the 33rd Lady Bulldog to reach that milestone.
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, 9.6 ppg as a sophomore and a team-high 13.0 ppg as a junior.
Hassell joined UGA's top-25 scorers during the Florida win. She now has 1,193 points, 19 from current No. 23 Janese Hardrick.
A milestone in the making
Anne Marie Armstrong is 91 points away from 1,000 for her UGA career.
James scored her 1000th point late last season at South Carolina and Hassell did so 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" - one directly and one indirectly.
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 514 points, 220 more than the opposing teams' reserves.
Georgia has scored 498 points off of opponents' turnovers, while giving up just 201 - a massive +297 margin.
Freshmen garnering PT
Georgia's freshmen have logged major "PT" from the get-go, contributing 49 minutes against Rutgers in the opener.
All told, Freshmen have played 1,495 minutes, accounting for 35.6 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' playing time, a mark that would be higher if Merritt Hempe had not missed considerable time with a foot injury.