Dec. 20, 2013
- UGA leads the series with RU 9-3; however, RU has won two of three meetings at The RAC
- Andy Landers and C. Vivian Stringer rank No. 2 and No. 3 in career wins among active major college women's basketball coaches
- Landers and Stringer have a combined 63 20-win seasons, 55 NCAA Tourney bids and nine Final Four apperances
- UGA's 11-0 start equals the seventh-best opening in program history
- Khaalidah Miller is 10 points from No. 31 Kara Braxton among UGA's career scoring leaders
Georgia Treks To Rutgers
No. 16 Georgia wraps up the pre-holiday portion of its 2013-14 slate on Saturday with its biggest test to date, a trip to perennial national power Rutgers. The Lady Bulldogs and Scarlet Knights will face off in a 2:00 p.m. matinee at The RAC in Piscataway, N.J.
Georgia is 11-0 on the year, equaling the seventh-best start in the program's history and representing the Lady Bulldogs' 20th double-digit win streak all-time.
Tiaria Griffin leads a quartet of double-digit scoring averages for the Lady Bulldogs at 15.0 ppg. Khaalidah Miller (11.4 ppg), Shacobia Barbee (11.3 ppg) and Erika Ford (10.5 ppg) also chip in points at a double-figure clip. Barbee is Georgia's top rebounder at 8.7 rpg.
Rutgers is 8-2 this season and riding a four-game winning streak. The Scarlet Knights have not played since last Sunday's 71-51 win over Sacred Heart.
Rutgers also features a balanced attack with four players posting double figures nightly. Kahleah Cooper paces the Scarlet Knights at 16.1 ppg, while Betnijah Laney (11.9 ppg), Tyler Scaife (11.6 ppg) and Rachel Hollivay (11.4 ppg) round out RU's double-digit scorers. Laney averages a double-double (10.3 rpg).
|Georgia Lady Bulldogs||Rutgers Scarlet Knights|
|1||Khaalidah Miller||11.4||5.0||G||4||Briyona Canty||7.6||2.2|
|(5-9; Sr.; Atlanta, Ga.)||(5-9; Soph.; Willingboro, N.J.)|
|31||Erika Ford||10.5||5.1||G||3||Tyler Scaife||11.6||2.4|
|(5-9; Jr.; Atlanta, Ga.)||(5-9; Fr.; Little Rock, Ark.)|
|20||Shacobia Barbee||11.3||8.7||G/F||44||Betnijah Laney||11.9||10.3|
|(5-10; Soph.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.)||(6-0; Jr.; Clayton, Del.)|
|15||Krista Donald||8.4||6.5||F||2||Kahleah Cooper||16.1||7.2|
|(5-11; Jr.; Lake, Miss.)||(6-1; Soph.; Philadelphia, Pa.)|
|13||Merritt Hempe||8.5||4.2||F/C||1||Rachel Hollivay||11.4||5.9|
|(6-2; So.; Fredericksburg, Va.)||(6-4; Soph.; Columbus, Miss.)|
Keeping an eye on...entering today's game:
Khaalidah Miller is...
- 10 points from No. 31 Kara Braxton among UGA's career leaders
- 28 points from No. 30 Pam Irwin-Osbolt among UGA's career leaders
- 2 3-point FGs from No. 3 Kim Berry among UGA's career leaders
- 90 3-point FGAs from No. 2 Kedra Holland-Corn among UGA's career leaders
Quoting Coach Landers
On his the challenges Rutgers presents...
"Rutgers is the most complete and athletic team that we have played all year. They have quality players, skilled players at every position. They're very balanced and talented basketball team. The specific challenges will be slow down their transition and try to take away the dribble-drive and while you're doing defend an excellent inside game.
On upcoming games with Rutgers and Illinois...
"We felt like, with the team that we have this year, we'd be young and needing to grow and mature as we went along. The objective being to have them ready to play Southeastern Conference basketball at the beginning of the new year. The next two games will give us a indication as to whether we've met that objective. Rutgers and Illinois are two quality, well-coached teams that should help us continue to develop the mindset that we need to be competitive in our league.
A dose of holiday "Madness"
Saturday's matchup pits a pair of tradition-rich NCAA Tournament programs.
Georgia has appeared in 30 of 32 editions of "March Madness" since women's basketball came under NCAA management of the NCAA beginning with the 1981-82 season. The Lady Bulldogs rank No. 2 nationally in NCAA bids and have earned NCAA invitations in each of the past 19 seasons.
Rutgers has 23 NCAA bids on its postseason résumé, including 14 during C. Vivian Stringer's 18 seasons with the Scarlet Knights.
Series History against Rutgers
Georgia owns a 9-3 lead in the all-time series with Rutgers; however, the Scarlet Knights have won two of three meetings at The RAC.
The teams last met in last year's season opener in Athens. Four Lady Bulldogs posted double-digit scoring efforts, including a team-high 12 points from Khaalidah Miller, as No. 10 Georgia defeated Rutgers, 57-51.
Georgia utilized an 18-4 run to build a 26-16 edge with 4:17 left in the first half. A free throw from freshman Tiaria Griffin at the 11:14 mark gave the Lady Bulldogs a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the afternoon.
Georgia led 28-18 at intermission before Rutgers opened the second stanza with a 9-1 surge. Following a timeout, Jasmine Hassell scored on a layup to push the lead back to four.
The contest was a one-possession game for the final occasion at 35-32 before Erika Ford scored five straight Georgia points to extend the margin to 40-34 just 1:18 later.
In the Lady Bulldogs' last trip to Piscataway, Epiphanny Prince's game-high 14 points led No. 15 Rutgers to a 45-34 win over Georgia on Dec. 8, 2008 in a game that was part of the Jimmy V. Classic.
The Lady Bulldogs led 20-11 with 7:57 remaining in the first half but were outscored 12-2 over the rest of the period and never led in the second stanza.
Last Time out...
Shacocia Barbee's season-high 16 points led a trio of Lady Bulldogs in double figures as No. 16 Georgia defeated Lipscomb, 81-46, on Tueday night in Athens.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled to gain any significant distance on the scoreboard early in the game. With 4:17 remaining in the first half, Georgia led just 26-23. The Lady Bulldogs then finished the period on a 13-0 run and opened the second half with a 22-2 surge that put them up 61-26 with 11:09 on the clock.
Hall of Famers on the sidelines
Saturday's game features two of the most successful coaches ever in women's basketball.
Andy Landers and C. Vivian Stringer are two of just five major college women's hoops coaches with more than 900 career wins. Landers (916) and Stringer (909) currently rank second and third, respectively, in career wins among active coaches.
Landers and Stringer haven't just won, they've won on the biggest of stages.
During their combined 80 seasons in - and sometimes out of - the sideline coaching box, you'll also find: 63 20-win seasons, 55 NCAA Tournament bids; 21 "Elite Eight" appearances; nine Final Four trips; and three NCAA runner-up finishes.
Landers owns a 6-4 edge in games against Stringer. Stringer won two of three dates when she was at Iowa, while Landers has won five of seven since.
Our take on Andy Landers' "career"
As Andy Landers approached his 900th win last season, the question came very frequently.
"Hey, the NCAA Records Book says that Andy Landers only 795 career wins entering 2012-13. What gives?"
The University of 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 Community College, 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 in his 34-plus seasons at Georgia.
"I get it," Landers said last season. "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."
UGA off to Seventh-best start
The Lady Bulldogs' 11-0 record this season equals the 2001-02 team for the seventh-best start in the program's history as outlined below.
Lady Bulldogs' Best Starts ever
|2007-08||13-0||23-10||NCAA 2nd Rd.|
|1989-90||13-0||25-6||NCAA 2nd Rd.|
|2001-02||11-0||19-11||NCAA 1st Rd.|
|1985-86||10-0||30-2||SEC Champs/"Sweet 16"|
Make it 20 double-digit streaks
Georgia's 10-0 start also has supplied the 20th 10-game winning streak in the history of Lady Bulldog Basketball.
Georgia's longest string of success covered 20 games by that same 1985-86 squad when Lady Bulldogs defeated No. 4 Long Beach State on New Year's Eve and didn't lose again until the NCAA "Sweet 16."
Lady Bulldogs hit "Magic Number"
Georgia has reached the 80-point plateau four times this season and, in the process, improved perhaps the greatest statistical indicator other than wins and losses.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 429-6 when scoring 80 or more points during Andy Landers' 35 seasons in Athens. That equates to a winning percentage of 98.6206896.
Georgia has scored 80-plus points in each of its past three outings, the first time UGA has done so since the first three games of 2007-08 - 81-53 vs. Richmond, 84-56 vs. George Mason and 105-66 vs. Georgia Southern.
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.
The Atlanta native has since moved up to No. 32 among Georgia's career scoring leaders. Miller used a 20-point performance against Georgia Tech to pass Anne Marie Armstrong at No. 34, supplanted 1996 National Player of the Year Saudia Roundtree at No. 33 during the George Washington game and inched past Megan Darrah to No. 32 versus Kennesaw State.
Miller now has 1083 points for Georgia and enters the Lipscomb contest 10 points away from the current No. 31 Kara Braxton.
RU Ready for some associations
A couple of connections between Georgia and Rutgers worth noting.
Former Georgia tennis All-American Natalie Frazier is the niece of C. Vivian Stringer. Frazier climbed as high as No. 5 in the national singles rankings during her career. She led Georgia to the 2007 SEC Championship and was tabbed MVP of the 2007 SEC Tournament crown while leading UGA to championship that year.
Georgia assistant SID Kate Burkholder is a Rutgers graduate. Her younger brother, Steven, is a senior on the Scarlet Knights' track and cross country teams.