Lady Bulldogs Trek to Tech
Dec. 1, 2012
Lady Bulldogs Trek to Tech
No. 8 Georgia travels down I-85 to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon to face arch rival Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion at 2 p.m. The contest will be televised regionally by CSS, the first of 14 TV dates in the regular season for the Lady Bulldogs.
The biggest storyline 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 are averaging between 16.8 and 23.8 minutes per game and James' 33 minutes against Rutgers is the most PT by a Georgia player this season.
Georgia Tech slipped to 3-3 with Tuesday's loss at No. 14 Purdue. Two of the Jackets' three setbacks are to ranked teams (also No. 20 Tennessee).
Dawn Maye (17.7 ppg) and Ty Marshall (16.7 ppg) are accounting for nearly half of the Jackets' offensive output...49.0 percent to be exact.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...Entering the Georgia Tech game:
Andy Landers is...
Series history vs. the Jackets
The Lady Bulldogs are 30-4 all-time against Georgia Tech, including a 10-3 mark on Tech's campus. FYI, several games in Atlanta were played at neutral sites.
Georgia won the first 24 meetings in the series from 1975-2001 - and generally by a wide margin - before the Yellow Jackets rallied for a 65-61 upset at Philips Arena on Dec. 27, 2002.
Last Dec. 4 in Athens, Jasmine Hassell scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 15 Georgia to a 75-68 victory against Georgia Tech.
Hassell connected on 9-of-10 shots from the floor and 6-of-7 attempts at the line en route to her career outing.
Hassell keyed a second-half run that helped the Lady Bulldogs to victory, She scored eight straight Georgia points in a span of 2:39 as UGA expanded its lead from three to nine.
The Lady Bulldogs led by 11 with 2:28 remaining but missed five straight free throws as the Jackets pulled within 71-68 with 34 seconds left. Meredith Mitchell hit one of two free throws before a defensive stop followed by a pair of Hassell free throws pushed the lead back to six with 18 seconds left.
In the most recent matchup in Atlanta two seasons ago, Ty Marshall's game-high 20 points led Georgia Tech to a 69-53 victory. The Jackets used a late first-half surge to gain a lead 35-31 lead at the intermission they never relinquished in the second stanza.
Last time out...
Four Lady Bulldogs posted double-digit scoring efforts at No. 8 Georgia topped Furman, 83-47, on Wednesday at Stegeman Coliseum.
Furman started strong, racing to an 11-7 lead. Seconds later, a James jumper sparked a 16-2 Georgia run that put the Lady Bulldogs up 23-13.
With just under five minutes remaining in the first half, Merritt Hempe sank a baseline jumper to start a 14-4 Georgia run to end the period and put the Lady Bulldogs up 45-28 lead.
The Paladins started the second period with a 7-2 run that decreased Georgia's lead to 12; however, the Lady Bulldogs used an 11-2 surge of their own to increase the lead to 58-37.
A sneak peek at some Madness
If the past half dozen seasons are an indicator, Sunday's game will feature a pair of teams whose seasons will continue into NCAA Tournament play.
For decades, Georgia almost exclusively carried the battle flag for the Peach State into the "Big Dance." Georgia ranks No. 2 nationally in NCAA Tournament bids (29) and also ranks No. 3 in "Sweet 16s" (19) and No. 5 in both NCAA victories (52) and Final Fours (5).
Georgia Tech appeared in just two NCAA Tourneys from 1982-06 but has earned bids to each of the last six editions of "March Madness."
Lady Bulldogs hit "magic number"
Georgia has furthered one of the greatest statistical indicators in any sport three times this season.
The Lady Bulldogs put up 80 or more points against Savannah State, St. Bonaventure and Furman...and in the process improved to 422-6 when reaching the 80-point plateau during Andy Landers' 34 seasons in Athens.
That converts to an almost unfathomable winning percentage of .985981308.
It also highlights the fact that Georgia has scored more than 80 points in over 50 percent of Landers' victories with the Lady Bulldogs.
James climbs list...more to come
Jasmine James climbed four positions - from No. 30 to No. 26 - among the Lady Bulldogs' career scoring leaders in a three-game span.
With a season-high 18 points against Savannah State, James moved ahead of Kara Braxton at No. 29.
During the victory over New Mexico, James' 17 points leapfrogged her over No. 28 Pam Irwin-Osbolt, No. 27 Carla Green and No. 26 Cynthia Collins.
James now has 1,141 points, 16 from current No. 25 Alexis Kendrick.
Playing time being distributed
A year ago, six Lady Bulldogs averaged between 20.0 and 34.5 minutes per game. All told, five different players logged all 40 minutes of a game a combined 25 times.
This season, the Lady Bulldogs' new-found depth - largely due to the addition of five freshmen - is allowing more equal distribution of playing time.
Nine Georgia players are averaging between 16.8 and 23.8 minutes played. Jasmine James leads the Lady Bulldogs in minutes played. By contrast, James played 24 minutes or more in 86 of 91 games played during her first three seasons at UGA.
Freshmen garnering PT
Georgia's quartet of freshmen has logged significant minutes for the Lady Bulldogs from the get-go during the 2012-13 campaign.
All told, freshmen have played 670 minutes this season, accounting for 41.9 percent of the Lady Bulldogs' total playing time to date.
"We have a freshman class that's going to be able to help us; there's no question about that," Landers said following the season opener against Rutgers. "You saw glimpses of that today. They'll grow and mature as we move along and in another month or so they'll look totally different than today."
Freshman starter sorority grows
Andy Landers' penchant for putting freshmen into the Lady Bulldogs' starting five has continued this season. In the first six games, three freshmen secured starting spots for Georgia.
Against Rutgers, Shacobia Barbee became the 70th freshman to start for Georgia during Landers' 34 seasons in Athens...and the 22nd to get the nod for her collegiate debut.
Against S.C. State, Merritt Hempe joined her classmate to become the 71st freshman on that ledger.
Against St. Bonaventure, Tiaria Griffin became the 72nd first-year player to start under Landers.