Lady Bulldogs host Tigers
Feb. 6, 2013
Lady Bulldogs host Tigers
Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday evening to host Auburn at 7 p.m. The matchup is the first or back-to-back dates with Tigers, as the Lady Bulldogs travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Sunday.
Georgia improved 19-3 overall and 7-2 in SEC play with Sunday's thrilling 75-71 win over No. 8 Kentucky in Lexington. The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Wildcats 16-4 over the final 5:33 to erase an eight-point deficit and snap UK's 34-game home winning streak at Memorial Coliseum.
Georgia's lineup sports a trio of double-digit scoring averages.
The "senior Jasmines" - the only players on the roster to start every game this season - continue to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Jasmine Hassell paces the team at 11.7 ppg, while Jasmine James chips in 11.4 ppg.
Khaalidah Miller's career-high 25 points against Kentucky pushed her season scoring average from 9.2 ppg to 10.0 ppg.
In addition, freshman Shacobia Barbee, who has started all but one contest (at Georgia Tech), leads the Lady Bulldogs in rebounds (126) and steals (56 is tied with James) and is second in assists (66 is 10 behind James).
Auburn arrives in Athens at 13-9 overall and 2-7 in the SEC. After opening league play with an upset of No. 23 Arkansas to improve to 12-2, the Tigers have dropped seven of their last eight.
Hasina Muhammad leads Auburn at 15.8 ppg, while Tyrese Tanner and Blanche Alverson contribute 12.6 ppg and 11.1 ppg, respectively.
#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 Tigers
Georgia owns a 24-16 lead in the all-time series with Auburn, including a 15-4 mark in Athens.
Last season in Auburn, No. 16 Georgia scored the game's first 13 points and never looked back en route to a 70-45 victory over the Tigers. Jasmine Hassell and Jasmine James scored 14 points apiece to lead four Lady Bulldogs in double figures.
The Lady Bulldogs' 13-0 run covered the opening 6:59. James did much of the damage, accounting for seven of the initial nine points.
Auburn's first point was a Morgan Jennings free throw with 12:33 left in the opening period. The Tigers scored eight unanswered to close the gap to single digits, but a three from Khaalidah Miller and a jumper by Meredith Mitchell expanded the advantage back to 30-16.
The margin hovered around that mark for several minutes of the second half before a 17-2 run bulged the score to 62-32 with 3:52 left.
In the most recent matchup in Athens two seasons ago, Auburn topped No. 22 Georgia, 63-58, to spoil "Senior Night" festivities. The victory was just Auburn's fourth in 19 trips to Athens and snapped UGA's nine-game home winning streak over AU.
Georgia led 43-36 with 13:49 remaining before a turnover ignited a 10-0 Tiger surge. From that point, there were two ties and five lead changes during the rest of the contest.
Porsha Phillips tied the game at 58-58 on a three-point play before Alli Smalley responded with a three-point play of her own. The Lady Bulldogs missed three threes that would've knotted the score before a pair of Smalley free throws with 6.6 seconds left iced the win.
Last time out...
Khaalidah Miller scored a career-high 25 points and No. 13 Georgia outscored No. 8 Kentucky 16-4 over the final 5:33 en route to a 75-71 win at Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.
The win snapped the Wildcats' 34-game home winning streak.
"It was gutsy," Andy Landers said. "We were down by 10 and J.J. picked up her fourth foul and things didn't look too good. I think I'm proudest of the fact that we stayed the course. We fought. Everyone fought. There were a lot of things - big and little - a lot of different people did that added up to a huge comeback and a huge win for this basketball team."
Georgia trailed by double digits in both halves before rallying to take the lead midway through the second stanza. Following four ties, Kentucky surged back to a 67-59 lead with 6:04 remaining. A pair of Jasmine James free throws began UGA's decisive surge. James, Miller and Armstrong accounted for all 16 points down the stretch.
One win from 20...again
The Lady Bulldogs are one victory shy of their 28th 20-win campaign under Andy Landers.
Georgia has averaged 24.1 wins per season during Landers' 33 season in Athens and also have 17 25-win efforts and three 30-win finishes.
Miller, Hassell earn SEC accolades
Miller averaged 18.0 points in victories over Alabama and No. 8 Kentucky while hitting 52.6 percent of her FGs, 42.9 percent of her three-point attempts and 90.0 percent of her free throws.
Miller scored a team-high 11 points and collected a game-high four steals against Alabama on Jan. 31. On Feb. 3, she scored a career-high points 25 as the Lady Bulldogs snapped Kentucky's 34-game home winning streak.
Hassell was honored after averaging 20.0 points in wins over No. 18 South Carolina and Alabama. For the week, she made 15-of-22 (.682) of her FGs and 10-of-12 (.833) of her FTs.
Hassell scored 21 points against the Tide in Tuscaloosa, a career high against SEC competition. She then scored 19 points versus the Gamecocks, accounting for 45 percent of UGA's total offense in the 42-40 win.
Miller and Hassell are the 23rd and 24th different Lady Bulldogs to win SEC Player of the Week honors since its inception in 1985. Those players - a list which includes Anne Marie Armstrong and Jasmine James - have combined to win the accolade 45 times.
Familiar faces on the other bench
Three members of the Auburn staff have strong ties to Georgia Basketball.
First-year head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was an assistant coach on Andy Landers' staff for six seasons from 1996-2002.
During that span, UGA made six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including reaching the 1999 Final Four. Georgia also won the 1997 and 2000 SEC Championships and the 2001 SEC Tournament.
Former Lady Bulldog Sherill Baker - also known as the "Queen of Thieves" - is Auburn's Director of Basketball Services. Baker started 122 of 131 games played from 2002-06 and tallied 1,665 points, which is No. 10 all-time at UGA.
Baker scored many of those points in the same fashion...with steals and layups. She holds UGA and SEC single-season and career records for takeaways with 149 and 426, respectively.
In addition, former Lady Bulldog graduate assistant manager Danielle Bell is the Tigers' Director of Basketball Operations. She spent the previous two seasons in Athens after playing for former UGA assistant Michael Shafer at Richmond.
Lady Dogs do starting lineup shuffle
Georgia has used seven different starting fives this season, including four differents quintet in successive late-January games against Arkansas, Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama.
Nine different Lady Bulldogs have drawn starting assignments. Jasmine Hassell and Jasmine James are the only two to get the nod for every game, while 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.
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 four in the top 25.
Georgia is No. 5 in TO margin (+7.45), No. 17 in steals (12.2), No. 15 in scoring margin (+16.9), No. 25 in scoring defense (53.3), No. 29 in assist-to-TOs (1.05), No. 43 in scoring offense (70.2), No. 44 in fewest TOs (14.8), No. 45 in rebound margin (+5.3) and No. 46 in assists (15.5).
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 25 times in 22 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 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.
Depth showing up elsewhere
Georgia's depth has provided a big boost in a couple of "specialty stats".
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 533 points, 231 more than the opposing teams' reserves.
Georgia has scored 521 points off of opponents' turnovers, while giving up just 235 - a massive +286 margin.
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