Lady Bulldogs To Face FSU In NCAA Second Round

March 21, 2011

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Lady Bulldog Basketball
Georgia vs. Florida State
NCAA Tournament Second Round
Tuesday, March 22 at 8:35 p.m. CT
Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.
ESPN2
Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (AM 960 the Ref)


The basics
The Georgia Lady Bulldogs will face No. 15 Florida State on Tuesday at the Auburn Arena with a trip to this weekend's Dallas Regional and the "Sweet 16" in the balance.

The sixth-seeded Lady Bulldogs topped Middle Tennessee State, 56-41, in Sunday's first-round behind 18 points from Jasmine James and a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds from Porsa Phillips.

The contest marked the team-best 13th time that James has led the Lady Bulldogs' offensive output this season and represented Phillips' 15th double-double on the season and fifth straight.

After leading by six at the half, Georgia held the Lady Raiders scoreless for the first 7:26 of the second stanza while expanding its lead to 14. MTSU never pulled within single digits the rest of the way.

Third-seeded Florida State used a 23-point, 13-board outing from Cierra Bravard as the impetus to a 76-46 victory over 13th-seeded Samford.

Georgia, which ranks second nationally in NCAA Tournament bids with 28, is looking to reach the "Sweet 16" for the 19th time. The Lady Bulldogs are tied for tied for third nationally with Connecticut in Regional appearances, trailing only Tennessee (28) and Louisiana Tech (20).

Georgia has reached the "Sweet 16" seven times in the 2000s, doing so in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010. In 2003, 2005 and 2010, UGA upset higher seeds to reach Regionals.


Series history vs. the Noles
The Lady Bulldogs are 7-0 all-time against Florida State, including a 2-0 mark in neutral site match-ups.

Most recently, Georgia topped the Seminoles, 71-62, in overtime in the championship game of the FIU Fun & Sun Classic on Dec. 29, 2007. No current member of the Lady Bulldogs played in that game.

Tasha Humphrey refused to let the Seminoles ruin her 22nd birthday, scoring 18 of what was then her season-high 22 points in the second half and overtime.

All five UGA starters reached double digits. In addition to Humphrey, Ashley Houts added 13, Angel Robinson and Megan Darrah both chipped in a dozen and Angela Puleo scored 11.

Robinson grabbed 18 rebounds, which equaled what was then the 10th-best single-game effort in Lady Bulldog annals and the most since Tiffany Walker also hauled in 18 against S.C. State on Feb. 23, 1994.

Mara Freshour led FSU with 20 points.

"I thought everyone did certain things that helped us win this game," Andy Landers said. "Tasha hit some really tough shots down the stretch. Angel rebounded the ball all night long. After we got the lead in overtime that allowed us basically to run about a minute and a half off the clock."

Georgia rallied from a five-point deficit with 1:13 left in regulation and outscored the Seminoles 14-5 in the extra session.

Houts canned a three-pointer with 1:12 left in the second half to pull the Lady Bulldogs within 57-55 and Humphrey knocked down a jumper on Georgia's ensuing possession to tie the score with 29.2 seconds left. Florida State ran the clock down to attempt a final shot that failed.

The Lady Bulldogs quickly gained control in overtime as Robinson hit back-to-back shots in the first minute of the extra session. Georgia led by five points or more for the final 2:29 and was 7-of-8 from the foul line in OT to help keep Florida State at bay.

The nine-point lead at game's end was the Lady Bulldogs' largest of the contest, which featured 14 lead changes and eight ties.


Last time out...
Jasmine James scored a game-high 18 points and Porsha Phillips recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds to lead Georgia to a 56-41 victory over Middle Tennessee State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at the Auburn Arena.

"We are very pleased with the way that we played," Andy Landers said. "As a coach and coaching staff, we are extremely proud of the effort and how hard our basketball team played and also how well they executed on the defensive end. They were absolutely outstanding there. We beat a very good Middle Tennessee State team."

James also chipped in five rebounds and four steals for Georgia, which shot 47.7 percent for the game. Jasmine Hassell contributed 11 points and five rebounds, and Meredith Mitchell added nine points, seven rebounds and two steals.

The Lady Bulldogs never trailed from the 5:32 mark of the first half after withstanding four ties.

After leading 26-20 at halftime, the Lady Bulldogs started the second half with a 8-0 run and never looked back. A three-pointer by Anne Marie Lanning ended the spurt with 12:23 left on the clock.

The closest Middle Tennessee got thereafter was 11 with 2:35 remaining. James then connected on both ends of three one-and-one situations to help the Lady Bulldogs maintain a comfortable cushion.

Georgia held Ebony Rowe, who averages 17.4 points per game, to just 10 points - all of which she scored in the second period.


"Po" closing in on 1000 at UGA
Porsha Phillips, the lone senior on the Georgia roster, enters Tuesday's game with

Florida State 15 points shy of becoming the Lady Bulldogs' 32nd 1,000-point scorer.
Phillips has scored 985 points during her three seasons at Georgia. She has 53 double-figure outputs in 98 games played with the Lady Bulldogs.

The Stone Mountain, Ga., native already has 1,000 points for her career, reaching the milestone during the second half at South Carolina on Jan. 27. Phillips scored 143 points as a freshman at LSU in 2006-07 before transferring to Georgia.


Hassell paces balanced attack
Jasmine Hassell, who averaged 9.3 points per game during the regular season, has upped her contributions to a team-best 15.0 ppg in the post-season.

More impressive than Hassell's average is her efficiency in doing so.

The sophomore from Lebanon, Tenn., has connected on 70.4 percent (19-of-27) of her shots from the floor and 87.5 percent (7-of-8) of her trips to the free throw line in post-season competition.

Four Lady Bulldogs have double-figure scoring averages in Georgia's three post-season outings in 2010-11. In addition to Hassell, Jasmine James is averaging 13.0 ppg, Meredith Mitchell 11.3 ppg and Porsha Phillips 10.7 ppg.


Knock on wood before reading
After struggling at the line during the regular season, the Lady Bulldogs have been stellar at the stripe during SEC and NCAA Tournament play.

Georgia converted on just 64.3 percent of its free throws during the regular season, ranking 11th in the SEC and 293rd of 333 Division I teams.

In two SEC Tourney contests and the NCAA opener, the Lady Bulldogs have made 40-of-54 free throws, 74.1 percent.


James drives UGA late vs. MTSU
Jasmine James scored 11 straight Lady Bulldog points against Middle Tennessee between the 7:30 and 1:10 marks of the second half...a span of 6:20.

The sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., hit both ends of three one-and-one situations during the stretch that helped keep a solid gap after the Lady Raiders pulled within 11 with 2:35 remaining.


"Po" attempts to join elite list
Porsha Phillips is on the verge of becoming the first Georgia Lady Bulldog to average a double-double in nearly a quarter-century.

Phillips is averaging 11.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

She has been even more active on the glass of late. Over the past 11 games, Phillips has grabbed 12.5 rpg.

The last Lady Bulldog to average a double-double was Katrina McClain in 1986-87, the same season she was consensus National Player of the Year.

All told, four different Lady Bulldogs have averaged a double-double for a season on seven occasions.

Those players are: McClain in `86-87 (24.9ppg, 12.2 rpg) and `85-86 (21.3 ppg, 10.1 rpg); Janet Harris in `84-85 (20.6 ppg, 10.3 rpg), `82-83 (20.4 ppg, 11.7 rpg) and `81-82 (22.1 ppg, 12.4 rpg); Wanda Holloway in `80-81 (14.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg) and Cynthia Collins in `79-80 (14.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg).


Ransford returns to team
Freshman Ronika Ransford missed Georgia's final two regular-season games and both SEC Tournament outings for "failing to take care of her academic business," according to Andy Landers.

Ransford was not expected to travel with the team to Auburn for its NCAA Tournament appearance but returned to practice last Friday and is on the trip.

"I just felt like it was the right thing to do given the way Ronika has responded over the past two weeks," Landers said.


"Po" aims for rare SEC double
Porsha Phillips leads the Southeastern Conference in both rebounding (10.9 rpg) and free throw percentage (.817) during the 2010-11 campaign.

Should Phillips remain atop those statistical leaders, she would become only the second player in league history to lead both of those ledgers in a season. Vanderbilt's Wendy Scholtens is the only player to pace the SEC in boards and FT percentage, doing so in 1989, 1990 and 1991.


Record number of TV dates
Tonight's telecast of the Florida State game will be Georgia's 19th TV contest of the season, equaling the Lady Bulldogs' most ever.

A UGA-record 15 regular-season games were televised this season. That topped the 14 in 2006-07 and 2009-10.

The all-time high of 19 was established both 2006-07 and 2009-10 as well.

All told, the Lady Bulldogs will be making their 161st TV appearance in the 2000s against Florida State. Georgia is 105-75 in those contests.


"Po" joins season board top-10
Porsha Phillips joined Georgia's top-10 single-season rebounding leaders during the regular-season finale at Florida on Feb. 27 and has been quickly ascending that ledger.

Phillips grabbed 17 boards in Gainesville and vaulted past Angel Robinson, Tasha Humphrey and Cynthia Collins from No. 11 to No. 8.

She then moved to No. 6 - ahead of Deborah Mitchell and Katrina McClain's 1985-86 effort - with a combined 25 boards in two SEC Tournament outings.

With 14 rebounds in the NCAA first-round victory over Middle Tennessee, Phillips has pulled within three boards of the current No. 5 total set by Janet Harris during the Lady Bulldogs' 1984-85 NCAA runner-up campaign as outlined in the next column. Phillips has 18 double-figure rebounding efforts in 2010-11.

UGA Single-Season Rebounding Leaders
    No.    Player (Games Played)    Years
    397    Janet Harris (34)            1982-83
    392    Wanda Holloway (37)      1980-81
    391    Katrina McClain (32)       1986-87
    371    Janet Harris (30)            1981-82
    351    Janet Harris (34)            1984-85
    348    Porsha Phillips (32)   2010-11
    314    Katrina McClain (32)       1985-86
    313    Deborah Mitchell (34)     1980-81
    304    Cynthia Collins (35)        1980-81


Make it 17 straight for UGA
Georgia has now received bids to each of the last 17 NCAA Tournaments, beginning with the Lady Bulldogs' 1994-95 Final Four season.

During that span, UGA has advanced to:
    •    11 "Sweet 16s" (1995, '96, '97, '99, '00, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07 & '10);
    •    Six "Elite Eights" (1995, '96, '97, '99, '00 and '04);
    •    Three Final Fours (1995, '96 and '99);
    •    The 1996 NCAA Championship game;

Georgia has compiled a 33-16 (.673) record in NCAA play from 1995-2010.

The Lady Bulldogs have made the most of their bids to "March Madness."

All told, Georgia has now reached 28 of 30 NCAA Tournaments (93.3 percent) and has advanced to 18 of 29 "Sweet 16s" (62.1 percent), 10 "Elite Eights" (34.5 percent) and five Final Fours (17.2 percent).


Second time as a No. 6
The Lady Bulldogs received a No. 6 seed for just the second time in their 28 NCAA appearances.

Georgia also was a No. 6 seed in 2005. That year, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Reunion Arena in Dallas to knock off Rice, 75-49, and then upset third-seeded and No. 13-ranked Texas, 70-68, to advance to Regional competition.

Georgia then lost to No. 7 Duke, 63-57, in the "Sweet 16" in Chattanooga.


Not quite closest neutral site
And speaking of Chattanoga...

Auburn is the second-closest neutral site location to which the Lady Bulldogs have traveled in their 28 NCAA Tournament appearances...although there might be a shortcut that would give the edge to The Plains.

Georgia faced Duke in the 2005 "Sweet 16" in Chattanooga, Tenn. According to Google maps, it's 177 miles and takes three hours and 19 minutes to get from Stegeman Coliseum to UTC's McKenzie Arena.

Google maps lists the trek from Stegeman to the Auburn Arena at 179 miles and three hours and 20 minutes.


Quartet earns SEC honors
Porsha Phillips was named first-team All-SEC in balloting of league coaches announced on March 1.

In addition, Jasmine James was tabbed second-team All-SEC, Meredith Mitchell was named to the All-Defensive squad and Khaalidah Miller was included on the All-Freshman unit.

On March 15, Phillips and James were named first-team and honorable mention All-SEC, respectively, by the AP.

Phillips joins a list of just five other Lady Bulldogs to earn consensus first-team All-SEC recognition from coaches and the Associated Press.

In 1997, the first year the AP tabbed All-SEC honors in women's hoops, La'Keshia Frett and Kedra Holland-Corn were first-team selections of coaches and the AP. Kelly Miller and Tasha Humphrey were four-time first-team picks from 1998-01 and 2005-08, respectively. Sherill Baker rounds out the list with consensus recognition in 2006.

"I think that each of these players is deserving of the honor they've received," Andy Landers said. "They should take pride in the fact that these awards were voted on by the coaches, whose teams they have competed against night-in and night-out over the past two months. These players have worked hard and earned the respect of the league coaches for their performance and effort."


Mitchell returns to sweet home
Meredith Mitchell is a native of Midfield, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham.

Mitchell earned a spot on the SEC's All-Defensive team and her contributions in league play were vital to Georgia's successful 10-win conference campaign.

After she had two double-digit scoring outputs in non-conference play, Mitchell notched nine double-figure SEC games...and then posted a career-high 18 points against South Carolina in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

Mitchell helped Georgia to a solid start against MTSU, scoring six of her nine points in the opening 3:57.

Mitchell was a star for Midfield High from 2005-08 where she led the Lady Patriots to four-year record of 114-19 and state titles in 2007 and 2008. As a senior, Mitchell averaged a triple-double of 14.2 points, 11.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists to help the Lady Patriots to a 32-1 record and final national ranking of No. 12 by USA Today.


A bunch with both teams in
Georgia was one of 28 Division I schools with both their women's and men's basketball teams competing in the 2011 NCAA Tournaments.

There were four SEC schools with both squads in the fields - Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The other 24 were: Arkansas-Little Rock, Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Hampton, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Princeton, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, West Virginia and Xavier.

FYI, 13 reached the Round of 32 in both the women's and men's tournaments.

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