Lady Bulldogs Return To Action Thursday Against Belmont
Dec. 11, 2013
Georgia Returns To Action
Following an 11-day break from games while Final Exams were administered on the UGA campus, the No. 16-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs return to action on Thursday evening when they face the Belmont Bruins in Nashville, Tenn., at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Keeping an eye on...entering today's game:
Khaalidah Miller is...
Georgia is a perfect 8-0 on the season to date
Christening the campaign with a six-game homestand which included solid victories over Ohio State and Georgia Tech before defeating George Washington and Georgia State en route to winning GSU's Thanksgiving Invitational.
Tiaria Griffin leads a quartet of double-digit scoring averages for the Lady Bulldogs at 15.0 ppg. Erika Ford (11.8 ppg), Khaalidah Miller (11.3 ppg) and Murfreesboro, Tenn., native Shacobia Barbee (11.2 ppg) also chip in points at a double-figure pace. Barbee is Georgia's top rebounder at 9.3 rpg.
Belmont is 3-6 under first-year head coach Cameron Newbauer, who spent a half a decade as an assistant coach with the Lady Bulldogs from 2007-12.
Jordyn Luffman paces the Bruins both in the scoring column (15.0 ppg) and on the boards (8.0 rpg). Six other Belmont players average between 5.3 ppg-8.6 ppg.
Quoting Coach Landers
On what the focus was during the break from competition...
On Coaching against Cameron Newbauer and Jon Bollier...
On his team's development and performance to date...
Series history with the Bruins
The Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 all-time against Belmont, including a 70-38 victory just over a year ago in Athens.
Jasmine Hassell's double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds led No. 10 Georgia to victory last Nov. 18 at Stegeman Coliseum.
After Belmont scored the first points of the game, Georgia cruised to 19-0 run that lasted nine minutes and never looked back.
In the only other meeting between Georgia and Belmont, the Lady Bulldogs earned a 53-36 victory over the Bruins in a 2007 NCAA Tournament first-round contest played in Minneapolis, Minn.
Georgia opened that contest with an 11-0 run over the initial 2:33 and held a relatively comfortable lead most of the rest of the afternoon.
Christy Marshall scored 11 points to lead Georgia, while Ashley Houts chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Lady Bulldogs. Georgia went on to top Iowa State, 76-56, in the second round before falling to Purdue in the "Sweet 16" in Dallas.
Last Time out...
Georgia used a 12-0 second-half run to seize control en route to a 70-58 victory over Georgia State in the championship game of GSU's Thanksgiving Invitational on Dec. 1.
Erika Ford and Tiaria Griffin led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points apiece. Krista Donald chipped in 12 points and Shacobia Barbee added a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, as well as game-high tallies of seven steals and six assists.
"We did what need to do to win on a day when we didn't play our best basketball," Andy Landers said. "You have to credit Georgia State with some of that. They had a good game plan and executed it well. Most of all, at the beginning of the game they hit shots that put us on our heels. We hung in there and then made enough plays to win a tough, tough game."
Georgia State led 51-44 with 12:11 remaining after a Kendra Long 3-pointer. The Lady Bulldogs tied the score 2:21 later on a pair of Donald free throws. Barbee assisted a Griffin bucket that gave Georgia the lead for good 53-51.
After the lead reached five, the Panthers pulled within three twice, lastly on a layup by Ashanti Groover with 5:35 on the clock. A Griffin 3-pointer from the right corner put the Lady Bulldogs up by six and Georgia closed out the contest on a 12-3 run thereafter.
A homecoming for Barbee
Sophomore Shacobia Barbee is a proud native of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Barbee starred at Riverdale High from 2008-12, helping the Lady Warriors to Tennessee Class AAA state tiles in 2010 and 2012 and a runner-up showing in 2011.
Riverdale also finished ranked No. 5 nationally during Barbee's senior year and No. 27 during her junior season.
Barbee was tabbed Tennessee's Miss Basketball for Class AAA as both a junior and a senior and was named The Tennessean's Midstate Player of the Year as a sophomore, junior and senior. In 2012, she was named the all-sports Female Athlete of the Year by the Nashville Sports Council.
Familiar faces on the Belmont bench
Two members of the Belmont coaching staff are very familiar with Georgia Basketball.
Head coach Cameron Newbauer was an assistant coach for the Lady Bulldogs for five seasons from 2007-12.
Newbauer originally came to Athens as a graduate assistant manager with the Georgia men's basketball program for the 2003-04 season. He left to be a men's assistant coach at Siena for one season (2004-05) before returning to UGA to be the Georgia men's director of basketball operations from 2005-07. Newbauer joined Andy Landers' staff in 2007.
In addition, Bruins assistant coach Jon Bollier was the Lady Bulldogs' operations coordinator from 2010-13 and also served as a student manager during the 2009-10.
This is the third time this season that the Lady Bulldogs have faced a team with branches of Landers' coaching tree on the bench.
From a head coaching perspective, Mercer's Susie Gardner and Georgia State's Sharon Baldwin-Tener both played for and then coached the Lady Bulldogs. Georgia State assistant coach Adrienne Shuler also played for Georgia, while Jocelyn Wyatt, a second Panthers assistant coach, was a graduate assistant manager for the program from 2006-08.
Another association with the Bruins
The name Gail Corder, mother of former Lady Bulldog Jasmine Hassell, is prominent throughout the Belmont record book.
Corder played for the Bruins from 1981-84 and was Belmont's all-time scoring leader at the end of her career with 1,814 points. She still ranks No. 4 in career scoring, rebounding (942) and FGs made, as well as No. 5 in FG attempts and FT attempts; No. 8 in FG percentage and FTs made; and No. 9 in blocks.
Griffin, Barbee earn tourney honors
Griffin scored team-high tallies of 19 and 14 points in victories over George Washington and Georgia State, respectively.
Against Georgia State, Barbee scored 12 points and registered game-high efforts of 14 rebounds, seven steals and six assists.
Lady Bulldogs hit "Magic Number"
Georgia scored a season-high 80 points against George Washington and improved perhaps the greatest statistical indicator other than wins and losses in the process.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 426-6 when scoring 80 or more points during Andy Landers' 35 seasons in Athens. That equates to a winning percentage of 98.611111111.
Miller tops millennium, moves up more
Khaalidah Miller became Lady Bulldog Basketball's 35th 1,000-point scorer during the Nov. 19 victory over Furman. She has since moved up to No. 33 among Georgia's career scoring leaders.
The Atlanta native used a 20-point performance against Georgia Tech to pass former teammate Anne Marie Armstrong into No. 34.
Miller supplanted Saudia Roundtree at No. 33 during the George Washington game.
Miller now has 1048 points for the Lady Bulldogs and enters the Belmont contest 16 points away from No. 32 Megan Darrah.
Freshman Starter sorority grows
Andy Landers has continued his long-standing penchant of starting freshmen.
Sydnei McCaskill got the nod against Presbyterian in the season opener to become the 73rd freshman to start for the Lady Bulldogs during Landers' 35 seasons in Athens and the 23rd to do so in her collegiate debut.
McCaskill not only started but played all 40 minutes. She and Coco Miller are the only two freshmen in Lady Bulldog history to start their debut and play all 40 minutes.
Halle Washington became No. 74 on the freshman starter ledger against S.C. State.
Now eight current Lady Bulldogs - senior Khaalidah Miller; juniors Erika Ford and Krista Donald; sophomores Shacobia Barbee, Tiaria Griffin and Merritt Hempe; and McCaskill and Washington - all started as freshmen. Barbee is one of the 23 to start an opener.
Now up to 505 weeks ranked
Since 1981-82, the Lady Bulldogs have been included in 505 of 581 polls, or 86.9 percent of those released. Georgia also has made 268 top-10 appearances, 46.1 percent of polls during that span.
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