Georgia Battles Cal in Elite Eight
March 31, 2013
Georgia Battles Cal in Elite Eight
The No. 14-ranked and fourth-seeded Georgia Lady Bulldogs became the first team to knock off a No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Championship when they toppled No. 4-ranked Stanford, 61-59, on Saturday at Spokane Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs will now face Cal in Monday's "Elite Eight" with a berth in next weekend's Final Four in New Orleans on the line.
Win, lose or draw, the Cal contest will wrap up a memorable dozen-day stay in Spokane. Georgia arrived around 10 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 20. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Montana, 70-50, on March 23 and then bested Iowa State, 65-60, on March 25 at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center.
Georgia then elected to remain in Spokane instead of making the 4,000-mile round-trip trek to Athens for what would have amounted to approximately a 24-hour visit.
During their stay, the Lady Bulldogs have advanced to a 20th "Sweet 16" and an 11th "Elite Eight" in 30 all-time NCAA Tourney appearances. A win Monday would deliver a sixth trip to the Final Four for UGA.
Georgia, which improved to 28-6 with the win over Stanford, is led by its "All-SEC Jasmines" - the only Lady Bulldogs to start every game this season.
Jasmine Hassell, a first-team All-SEC pick of league coaches and a second-team selection of the AP, paces Georgia in scoring (12.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). Jasmine James, who was tabbed second-team and honorable mention All-SEC by coaches and the AP, respectively, chips in 11.0 ppg and a team-best 3.8 apg.
Shacobia Barbee, who was named to both the All-SEC Freshman and Defensive teams, leads UGA in steals and is second in both rebounds and assists.
In three NCAA Tournament games, Barbee is averaging team-highs of 14.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg.
Cal is 31-3 after and knocking off LSU, 73-63, Saturday to reach the Golden Bears' first "Elite Eight" ever.
Individually, Layshia Clarendon averages a team-high 16.1 ppg, Brittany Boyd delivers 12.7 ppg and 4.4 apg and Gennifer Brandon adds a double-double of 12.6 ppg and 11.3 rpg.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Lindsay Gottlieb
Keeping an eye on...entering the NCAA "Elite 8":
Jasmine James is...
Georgia's NCAA résumé
The Lady Bulldogs are making their 30th appearance in "March Madness" since women's athletics came under the auspices of the NCAA beginning with the 1981-82 season. That tally ranks second nationally.
And UGA has made the most of those opportunities. Georgia also is among the nation's top-5 in NCAA Tourney games played (84), NCAA wins (55), "Sweet 16s" (20) and Final Fours (5).
Make it 19 straight for UGA
Georgia has now received bids to each of the last 19 NCAA Tournaments, beginning with the Lady Bulldogs' 1994-95 Final Four season.
That represents the fourth longest active streak in the nation.
During that span, UGA has compiled a 37-18 (.673) record in NCAA play and advanced to:
Series history vs. Cal
The Lady Bulldogs are a perfect 3-0 against Cal.
Georgia's wins include a victory in the semifinals of the 1981 WNIT Championship in Amarillo, Texas, and sweeping both ends of a home-and-home series contested during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 campaigns.
Seniors trio makes its mark at UGA
Anne Marie Armstrong scored her 1,000th points for Georgia on a layup with 17:23 remaining against Stanford on Saturday. She became the 34th Lady Bulldog and third 2013 senior to reach the millennium mark.
James scored her 1000th point late last season at South Carolina and Hassell did so this season against Savannah State on Nov. 20.
The only three UGA classmates with 1,000 points are the Class of 1997's La'Keshia Frett (1,850), Tracy Henderson (1,764) and Kedra Holland-Corn (1,566).
Youth is served in Athens
On the other end of the experience spectrum, Georgia is the only team that reached the "Sweet 16" with two freshmen included in its starting five.
Shacobia Barbee has gotten the nod for all but one game this season (at Georgia Tech). Tiaria Griffin was a spot starter in the early season but has been on the floor for the opening tip of the last nine contests.
Freshman starters is as common as graduating seniors in Athens.
Barbee became the 70th freshmen to start for Andy Landers - and the 22nd to do so for her collegiate debut - during his 34 campaigns at the University of Georgia.
Griffin became the 72nd freshman on that aforementioned ledger of first-season starters...Merritt Hempe was the 71st.
As for the reference on graduating seniors...all 59 four-year letterwinners' during Landers' tenure in Athens have received their degrees from the University of Georgia.
Five double-digiters vs. Stanford
All five Lady Bulldog starters notched a key double-digit statistic in the "Sweet 16" upset of Stanford.
Family support arrives
One drawback to the trip to Spokane was the inability for many of the Lady Bulldogs' families to travel to Western Washington state.
Only Anne Marie Armstrong's folks - Robert and Leslie - were at the first-and second-round wins...and they arrived in the second half of the Montana game after missing a connecting flight.
Staggering sidelines numbers
Saturday's win over Stanford represented Andy Landers' 1,200th game as a collegiate head coach.
Landers was 82-21 (103 games) in four seasons at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn. from 1974-79.
Landers then became the University of Georgia's first - and still only - full-time women's basketball head coach in April 1979. In 34 seasons in Athens, Landers is 823-274 (1,097 games).
Record numbers behind the arc
Georgia's tally of 12 three-pointers made and 30 attempts from three-point range against Iowa State represented the Lady Bulldogs' most ever in NCAA Tournament action.
Previously, UGA's NCAA three makes high was 10 versus Marist in 2012.
The Lady Bulldogs' top tally of three takes was 26 against Oklahoma State in a 2010 second-round contest.
Updating UGA's career marks
Three Lady Bulldog seniors all moved up on career statistical leaders ledgers during the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Jasmine Hassell registered her 131st, 132nd and 133rd games played at Georgia and moved to No. 3 among the Lady Bulldogs' career leaders. Hassell is tied with Ashley Houts (2006-10) and Janese Hardrick (2003-07) and against Cal should move into a tie with No. 2 Wanda Holloway (1980-84).
Cori Chambers (2003-07) owns the UGA record for GPs at 135.
James' 11 points against Montana pushed her from No. 20 to No. 18 among Georgia's career scoring leaders. She enters the "Elite Eight" 43 points shy of No. 17 Tina Price (1,466 between 1974-78).
Among career assist leaders, James' five dishes against Iowa State moved her past Saudia Roundtree to No. 9 and her five dimes versus Stanford inched her past No. 8 Carla Green.
Interestingly, Green, now Dr. Carla Green Williams, is in attendance in Spokane. She is Georgia's Executive Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator and therefore the envy of each and every former Lady Bulldog...now serving as Andy Landers' boss.
James now has 428 assists and is five from No. 8 Lady Hardmon (433 from 1988-92) and eight from No. 7 Rachel Powell (436 from 1993-97).
Anne Marie Armstrong swatted four shots versus Montana, upping her career tally to 119 and tying No. 9 Humphrey all-time in UGA annals.
Armstrong now has 132 GPs and is No. 6 all-time in UGA annals along with Megan Darrah (2004-08), Alexis Kendrick (2002-06) and Lisa O'Connor (1982-86). Versus Cal, a 133rd would put in the tie with the aforementioned duo of Houts and Hadrick.
Playing time being distributed
A year ago, six Lady Bulldogs averaged between 20.0 and 34.5 minutes of playing time per game.
All told, five different players logged all 40 minutes a combined 25 times.
This season, playing time is being much more evenly distributed.
Ten Lady Bulldogs are currently averaging between 10.9 and 31.1 mpg and on only 52 occasions in 34 games has a Georgia player 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 PT but has played 30 minutes or less in 17 contests. In the interest of accurate advertising, she has played 35 minutes or more in nine of the last 12 games.
Depth showing up elsewhere
Georgia's depth has provided a big boost in a couple of "specialty stats" - one directly and another indirectly.
The Lady Bulldogs' bench has contributed 671 points, 252 more than the opposing teams' reserves.
Georgia has scored 689 points off of turnovers, a +343 margin that just under double the opponents' tally of 346 points.
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 2,276 minutes, accounting for 33.5 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' total playing time, a mark that would be higher if Merritt Hempe had not missed four games with a foot injury.
Go West...young woman
The Lady Bulldogs a long (and solid) history of trekking west for the NCAA Tournament.
While the use of geographic names for Regionals was discontinued in 2005, this is what any second grader would consider the Lady Bulldogs' ninth assignment to a "West" Regional.
Officially Georgia was assigned to the West Regional of the bracket in 1985 (Los Angeles, Calif.), 1990 (Stanford, Calif.), 1991 (Las Vegas, Nev.), 1993 (Missoula, Mont.), 1997 (Missoula, Mont.), 2000 (Portland, Ore.) and 2004 (Seattle, Wash.).
Since then, the Lady Dogs' unofficial assignments to the West came in 2010 (Sacramento, Calif.) and 2013 (Spokane, Wash.).
Georgia won the 1985 West Regional en route to an NCAA runner-up finish that season and has reached the "Elite Eight" round of the West six times - in 1985, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2004 and now 2013.
Our take on Landers' "career"
As Andy Landers approached his 900th win, the question came frequently.
"Hey, the NCAA Records Book says that Andy Landers only had 795 career victories entering the 2012-13 season. What gives?"
Georgia politely disagrees with the NCAA on Landers' career record as a collegiate head coach. Prior to arriving in Athens, Landers was 82-21 in four seasons at Roane State, a junior college in Harriman, Tenn.
UGA chooses - and has since 1979 - to include Landers' Roane results in his overall record as a collegiate head coach.
Conversely, the NCAA does not recognize Landers' wins at Roane State because it is not a four-year institution. Therefore, the NCAA lists Landers' "career" record as only his coaching efforts at Georgia.
"I get it," Landers said. "I understand that I am probably the only person who will ever have this situation. It doesn't upset me in any way. But I will say this. I am as proud of the 82 wins at Roane as I am of the victories at Georgia."
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