Lady Bulldogs Return To Action Against Lipscomb
Dec. 15, 2012
Lady Bulldogs Back in ActionGeorgia returns to action on Sunday following a dozen-day break from competition during Final Exams. The Lady Bulldogs - the first team in the nation to post double digits in the win column this season - will host Lipscomb at 2 p.m. The contest will be televised regionally on CSS, with Matt Stewart and former Kiesha Brown handling play-by-play and color analyst duties, respectively.
Georgia is 10-0 and sports a gaudy +27.3 average margin of victory that ranks No. 4 nationally. Jasmine Hassell (12.7 pgg) and Jasmine James (11.0 ppg) both average double figures for a deep UGA roster.
The biggest story line 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 16.4 and 24.0 minutes per game and James' 33 minutes against Rutgers is the most PT by a Georgia player this season.
Lipscomb is 1-6 on the year. The Lady Bisons defeated Jacksonville State last Sunday, their first victory for first-year head coach Greg Brown. Lipscomb's lineup features a pair of double-digit scorers. Senior Hannah Phillips paces the team at 12.7 ppg, while freshman Presley Stastny chips in 10.0 ppg.
#Assists Per Game
Head Coach: Andy Landers
#Assists Per Game
Keeping an eye on...entering the Lipscomb game:
Andy Landers is...
First meeting with Lipscomb
Sunday's matinee will be the initial meeting in the series between the Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Bisons.
Georgia is 24-12 against teams currently competing with Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun Conference, including a 21-1 mark under Andy Landers. The Lady Bulldogs are 3-0 against East Tennessee State (2-0 under AL), 18-12 versus Mercer (17-1 under AL) and 3-0 against Stetson (all under AL).
Last time out...
With the victory, the Lady Bulldogs became the first of 343 Division I women's basketball programs to garner double digits in the win column during 2012-13.
Mercer, which dressed out only eight players due to injuries, kept the game close for the first several minutes before Georgia seized control.
After Mercer developed a 10-6 early edge, a 15-2 surge put the Lady Bulldogs up 21-12. Georgia increased its lead to 34-21 before halftime, started the second half strong and never looked back. A 17-2 run to open the period brought the score to 51-23.
Mercer scored eight of its 17 second-half points in the final two minutes.
UGA, James top-10 statistically
The Lady Bulldogs are currently among the nation's top-10 statistical leaders in five of 15 categories kept.
Georgia currently ranks No. 2 in turnover margin (+11.3), No. 4 in both scoring defense (45.5) and scoring margin (+27.3), No. 6 in assist-to-TO ratio (1.3) and No. 10 in steals per game (13.6).
In addition, Jasmine James ranks No. 4 nationally in assist-to-TOs at a sterling 3.4 ratio.
Of starts and streaks...
The Lady Bulldogs' 10-0 start equals their seventh-best start ever and represents the 19th double-digit win streak in the program's history.
With a win over Lipscomb, Georgia would equal the 2001-02 season for the sixth-best opening to a campaign and also would match the 14th-longest string of success in the Lady Bulldogs' record books.
Georgia's best-ever opening was a 16-0 beginning to the 2008-09 season, which was the freshman year of the current senior class.
The Lady Bulldogs are just halfway to their longest winning streak ever, a 20-game effort from New Year's Eve 1985 through the 1986 "Sweet 16."
A pair of reunions
Barbee was coached by Lipscomb assistant John Wild for three seasons at Riverdale High School. Wild was an assistant coach for Barbee's sophomore year and was head coach during her junior and senior seasons. Riverdale won the 2012 Tennessee AAA state title and Barbee was named that classification's Miss Tennessee Basketball for the second straight year.
Butler and Lipscomb sophomore Natalie Scarbrough played together for two seasons at Webb School in Knoxville. They helped the Lady Spartans to a state runner-up finish in 2011 and the state semifinals in 2010.
Sunday's game marks the third time in Georgia's last four games that a Lady Bulldog will face a former high school teammate. Tamika Willis and Mercer's Sharnea Boykin played together for three seasons at Westlake, and Anne Marie Armstrong and Kaelyn Causwell and Furman's Holli Wilkins were teammates at the Wesleyan.
Lady Bulldogs hit "magic number"
Georgia has furthered one of the greatest statistical indicators in any sport four times this season.
The Lady Bulldogs put up 80 or more points against Savannah State, St. Bonaventure, Furman and Mercer...and in the process improved to 423-6 when reaching the 80-point plateau under Andy Landers.
That converts to an almost unfathomable winning percentage of .986013986. 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 has ascended from No. 31 to No. 25 among UGA's career scoring leaders during 2012-13.
The Memphis native inched past Megan Darrah at No. 30 during the Presbyterian game on Nov. 14 and then moved ahead of Kara Braxton at No. 29 versus Savannah State.
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 moved to No. 25 against Mercer, passing Alexis Kendrick. She now has 1,160 points, 14 from current No. 24, Sherelle Warren.
Hassell hits millennium as well
Jasmine Hassell scored her 1,000th career point against Savannah State.
Hassell became the 33rd UGA player to reach that plateau. She has since moved past Saudia Roundtree and Megan Darrah into the No. 31 position.
The former McDonald's and WBCA prep All-American from Wilson Central High in Lebanon, Tenn., has developed consistently throughout her career. She scored 211 (6.2 ppg) as a freshman, improved to 327 (9.6 ppg) points as a sophomore and bumped that up to a team-high 402 (13.0 ppg) as a junior.
A milestone in the making
Anne Marie Armstrong needs 156 points to become the third member of Georgia's senior class to reach 1,000.
To date, the only three classmates to top 1,000 career points for the Lady Bulldogs are 1997's La'Keshia Frett (No. 7 with 1,850 points), Tracy Henderson (No. 9 with 1,764) and Kedra Holland-Corn (No. 13 with 1,566).
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, depth is allowing more equal distribution of playing time.
Nine Georgia players are averaging between 16.4 and 24.0 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.
Freshmen have played 823 minutes during 2012-13, accounting for 41.1 percent of UGA's playing time, a mark that would be higher if Merritt Hempe had not missed the Mercer game.
"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."
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