Anne Marie Armstrong was one of three Lady Bulldogs with a double-double against Ole Miss in Oxford last month.
Feb. 22, 2012
Date: Thursday, February 23
Tipoff: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Athens, Ga.
Arena: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523)
* Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (AM 960 The Ref in Athens and 103.7 FM from Gainesville) Jeff Dantzler - play-by-play
* UGA leads 28-11 overall, including a 61-47 victory on 1/22 in Oxford
* UGA leads 14-1 in Athens; however, OM won the most recent meeting, 66-65, on 1/24/10
Lady Bulldogs host Ole Miss
No. 18 Georgia opens a two-game homestand to round out the regular season by hosting Ole Miss on Thursday at Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m.
Georgia is currently 20-7 overall and 9-5 in SEC action. With just two games to play, UGA mathematically could still finish anywhere from first to eighth in the league.
Jasmine Hassell leads a balanced Lady Bulldog attack by averaging 13.1 points per game. In addition, Khaalidah Miller contributes 12.1 ppg, Anne Marie Armstrong adds 12.0 and Jasmine James chips in 11.0.
Georgia is one of two teams in the SEC with four double-figure scorers...Vanderbilt being the other.
Ole Miss slipped to 12-15 overall and 2-12 in league play with a 66-56 setback to Tennessee last Sunday.
The Rebels feature one of the SEC's top inside-outside combos. Valencia McFarland contributes 13.6 points and 4.9 assists per game, while Nikki Byrd adds 11.9 points and 8.8 boards per contest.
Series history with Ole Miss
Georgia sports advantages of 28-11 overall and 14-1 in Athens in the Lady Bulldogs' series with Ole Miss.
Earlier this season, the Lady Bulldogs raced to a 30-2 lead en route to a 61-47 victory over Ole Miss on Jan. 22 in Oxford.
"It would be hard to imagine us playing much better out of the gate than we did today," Andy Landers said. "They moved. They passed. They cut. They caught. They shot. They defended. They crashed the boards and rebounded. You really couldn't ask for your basketball team to play any better than we did in the first half."
Three Lady Bulldogs posted double-doubles and career-bests for rebounds. Anne Marie Armstrong scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds, Khaalidah Miller chipped in 13 points and 11 boards and Meredith Mitchell added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Five different Lady Bulldogs scored on the first five possessions as Georgia opened up an 11-2 lead just 3:37 into the game.
Georgia eventually scored on its first eight trips to the offensive end and expanded the lead to 18-2 during that run.
The score bulged to 30-2 before Ole Miss finally notched its second field goal on a stickback by Nikki Byrd with 6:32 remaining in the first half.
In the most recent matchup at Stegeman Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2010, a Bianca Thomas three with 5.1 seconds left lifted the Rebels to a 66-65 win - their first-ever in Athens
Jasmine Hassell put up 20 points to lead Georgia. Meredith Mitchell added 12 points and 11 rebounds to secure her first double-double at UGA.
The Lady Bulldogs bounced back from a 10-point deficit early in the second half to take an eight-point lead with 2:05 to play. But Ole Miss rattled off a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 64-63.
Jasmine James then hit one of two free throws to push Georgia's edge to two with 41 ticks remaining before Thomas made her 25-foot three.
James' long-range attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
Quoting Coach Landers...
On facing Ole Miss...
"They have an undersized, quick point guard who can shoot the three and penetrate and loves to makes plays. What a challenge she is out front and for our entire basketball team from a help and recovery standpoint. Then inside they have a quality big kid at 6-4 who really shoots the ball well from 15 feet on in. She is almost impossible to stop one-on-one from the block, but as important as that she is a great rebounder, too. "
On returning home following two tough road games...
"We played two quality teams on the road last week. We get a little bit of a smile in the schedule as we finish up with Ole Miss coming in on Thursday and LSU for the finale on Sunday. What it does is it helps you with your prep on Thursday and Sunday and gives you a little more rest time and a little bit more comfort being at home."
On playing close games and preparing for the post-season...
"I think that for this basketball team it is really important (to play tight games). I think that it is a piece we have to get better at, especially playing in front of a crowd that is pulling against you. I think there have been three or four times this season that it has affected us, more so maybe than I remember other teams in the past."
Last Time Out...
The No. 18 Georgia Lady Bulldogs dropped a 61-57 decision to Florida in Gainesville Sunday afternoon. There were nine ties and 15 lead changes in the back-and-forth contest.
Jasmine James led Georgia with 15 points, four steals and three rebounds. Anne Marie Armstrong recorded 12 points and seven rebounds, while Meredith Mitchell notched 10 points and seven rebounds.
"We had too many wasted opportunities offensively," said Andy Landers. "We had all the opportunities we needed and we fumbled balls and missed easy shots. We let them get to the offensive boards too much and we gave up far too many threes."
The Lady Bulldogs took the first significant lead of the game at 25-19 with 3:30 left in the opening period. The Gators then experienced an 8-0 surge to end the half and go up 27-25.
Neither team owned more than a five-point lead in the second stanza. The Lady Bulldogs led 54-53 with 2:47 remaining before the Gators closed out the contest on an 8-3 run, including making both ends of a pair of one-and-ones in the final 10 seconds.
SEC seeding a muddled mess
With just two games to play, it is still possible for Georgia to finish any where from first to eighth in the SEC.
The best seed the Lady Bulldogs could earn for next weekend's SEC Tournament is the No. 3 slot, while the low possibility is No. 8.
Since Georgia is locked in a four-way tie for third, chances are the following tiebreaking procedures will be employed at some point.
Two-Team Tie. The following procedure will be used in the following order until the tie is broken:
A. Won-lost results of head-to-head competition between the teams.
B. Won-lost record of the two teams versus the No. 1 seed (and proceeding through the No. 12 seed).
C. Coin flip by the Commissioner.
Three-Team Tie (or more). When three or more teams are tied, the following procedure will be used in the following order until the tie is broken. If two teams remain tied after a tiebreaker provision, the two-team tiebreaker formula will be used.
A. Best winning percentage of games played among the tied teams (Example: Team A is 3-1, Team B is 2-2 and Team C is 1-3 - Team A would be seeded highest, Team B second-highest and Team C lowest of the three).
B. Best winning percentage of the tied teams versus the No. 1 seed (and proceeding through the No. 12 seed, if necessary).
C. If two teams remain, coin flip by the Commissioner.
D. If three or more teams remain, draw by the Commissioner.
Donald faces home state school
Georgia freshman Krista Donald is a native of Lake, Miss., about a three-and-a-half drive south of Oxford.
Donald was named Miss Basketball by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger and the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011. She was a four-year starter at Lake High School, where she scored 2,456 points and grabbed 1,470 rebounds during her prep career.
Donald has made solid contributions in her initial collegiate campaign, averaging 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
Donald became the 69th freshman to start during Andy Landers' 33 seasons in Athens when she got the nod against Northeastern in November. She also earned SEC Freshman of the Week accolades Feb. 6 after posting game-high tallies of 18 points and nine rebounds at Alabama.
Donald missed the initial game with Ole Miss while nursing a PCL injury in her left knee.
More Magnolia on the way
Georgia will welcome another Mississippi native to its roster next season when signee Tiaria Griffin arrives on the UGA campus.
Griffin is a 5-9, guard from Hattiesburg High School.
Last Saturday, she scored 37 points to lead HHS to a 67-63 win over Forest Hill in Mississippi's 6A South State Championship. Hattiesburg will now face Southaven next Wednesday in the overall state title game.
Griffin was named first-team All-State for Class 4A last season as a junior at Lawrence County High. She averaged 30.1 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals while leading the Lady Cougars to a 26-9 record and a runner-up finish in the 4A State Tournament.
20 wins...yet again!
With last Thursday's win at South Carolina, the Lady Bulldogs notched their 27th 20-win campaign during Andy Landers' 33 seasons in Athens.
According to us (Georgia includes his four seasons at Roane State in his career totals), Landers' total of 30 (three more at Roane) 20-win campaigns ranks third all-time behind Pat Summitt (36th this season) and C. Vivian Stringer (32nd this season).
According to the NCAA (they don't count Roane since it's a two-year school), he's now fourth with 27...also trailing Jody Conradt (29...and retired) and tied with Sylvia Hatchell (27...and 19 entering a Friday game at Maryland), Robin Selvig (27..and 15 wins entering Saturday's game with Montana State) and Tara VanDerveer (27th this season).
UGA has averaged 24.1 wins per season during Landers' tenure. The Lady Bulldogs also have 17 25-win efforts and three 30-win finishes.
James tops 1,000 mark
Jasmine James became Lady Bulldog Basketball's 32nd 1,000-point career scorer on a driving layup with 7:42 left in the second half at South Carolina on Feb. 16.
She enters the Ole Miss game 22 points from the No. 31 scoring tally in Lady Bulldog history of 1,038 points by 1996 National Player of the Year Saudia Roundtree. Roundtree was at the game in Columbia cheering on her alma mater and James, the first player to wear Roundtree's "No. 10" jersey since 1996.
Iron women to the end
Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine James, Khaalidah Miller and Meredith Mitchell played all 40 minutes against No. 25 South Carolina.
All told, five different Lady Bulldogs - add Erika Ford to the mix - have combined to play 40 minutes 23 times this season.
Conversely, only six opposing players have played every second of a game.
Armstrong leads SEC stats leaders
In statistics for Southeastern Conference games only, Anne Marie Armstrong leads the league with nine top-10 listings among the 13 categories kept.
Armstrong is No. 5 in scoring; No. 6 in assists, minutes played and defensive boards; No. 7 in blocked shots; No. 8 in rebounding, steals and assists-to-TOs; and No. 9 in FG pct.
SEC Only Top-10 Stat leaders
|1.||Anne Marie Armstrong, UGA||9|
|2.||A'dia Mathies, UK||7|
|Valencia McFarland, OM||7|
|4.||Glory Johnson, UT||6|
|5.||Tiffany Clarke, VU||5|
|Christina Foggie, VU||5|
|Jennifer George, UF||5|
Hassell a double-digit fiend
Jasmine Hassell recorded her 20th double-figure performance of the season at South Carolina, the Lady Bulldogs' 26th game of 2011-12.
Hassell had 20 double-digit outings in 68 games combined during her first two seasons at UGA.
A balanced attack
The Lady Bulldogs are one of two SEC teams sporting four players with double-digit scoring averages...Vanderbilt being the other.
For Georgia, Jasmine Hassell is putting up 13.1 ppg, followed Khaalidah Miller (12.1) Anne Marie Armstrong (12.0) and Jasmine James (11.0).
A balanced attack: Take II
Seven different players have paced Georgia offensively this season.
In fact, six Lady Bulldogs did so in the first six games of the 2011-12 campaign. In succession, Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James, Meredith Mitchell, James/Khaalidah Miller and Erika Ford/Hassell led the Lady Bulldogs during their first half-dozen outings.
Krista Donald joined that ledger of Lady Bulldog leaders when she tied Jasmine James for top scoring honors at Alabama on Feb. 5.
Those players have a combined 88 double-digit scoring performances.
"We're a balanced basketball team," Andy Landers said. "I thought we would be going, and I think we will be all year. I think on any given night, any one of about seven or eight players could step up and be very, very big for us."
A balanced attack: Take III
Five Georgia players scored in double-digits in outings against No. 6 Kentucky on Jan. 19 and at Alabama on Feb. 5.
Georgia has produced three or more double-figure individual tallies in 21 games to date.
On 10 occasions, four or more players popped for 10 or more.
Peach State products on display
Ole Miss is one of only two SEC teams - Kentucky being the other - that does not have a player with ties to Georgia on its roster.
All told, the other 10 teams feature a combined 23 players who are Georgia natives or played high school basketball in the Peach State.
The Lady Bulldogs' roster sports five home state standouts.
Georgia hitting its "magic number"
The Lady Bulldogs have furthered one of the greatest statistical indicators in any sport seven times this season.
Georgia has scored 80 or more points on seven occasions and improved to 432-7 when scoring 80 or more during Andy Landers' 33 seasons in Athens.
That converts to a 98.4054669704 winning percentage.
Armstrong earns SEC honor
Anne Marie Armstrong was tabbed SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 13 after scoring a career-high 23 points against Vanderbilt the previous day.
Armstrong connected on 11-of-16 shots from the floor and logged a career-high 40 minutes of playing time against the Commodores.
Armstrong leads Georgia in scoring in league action at 13.5 points per game and also paces the Lady Bulldogs both overall and in SEC play in rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots.
Armstrong is Georgia's second SEC Player of the Week honoree.
Jasmine James was selected on Nov. 21 after averaging 13.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals in wins over Georgia Southern, College of Charleston and No. 23 Southern Cal.
All told, 21 different Lady Bulldogs have combined to secure SEC Player of the Week accolades 42 times since the award's inception in 1985.
FOW honors roll in too
Both of the Lady Bulldogs' freshmen have garnered SEC Freshman of the Week accolades this season.
Krista Donald was named as such on Feb. 6, a day after she posted game-high tallies of 18 points and nine rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs' victory at Alabama.
Erika Ford won the accolade on Jan. 2 after averaging 9.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over Furman and Arkansas.
Nine Lady Bulldogs have captured SEC FOW honors 20 times since the award's inception in 2006. Donald and Ford joined teammates Jasmine Hassell, Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller as winners of the award.
Miller joins season threes top 10
Khaalidah Miller moved into the Lady Bulldogs' top-10 all-time leaders for three-pointers in a season during the Alabama game on Feb. 5.
In Tuscaloosa, Miller moved to a tie for the No. 9 spot. She ascended to the No. 8 position against Vanderbilt.
Miller enters the Ole Miss game five threes shy of No. 7 Kedra Holland during UGA's 1996 NCAA runner-up campaign.
J.J. back with a bang
Jasmine James returned to action for the first time in five games to score a season-high 18 points at Alabama on Feb. 5...and followed that with 17 points versus Vanderbilt.
James had been out of action with a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in her right knee originally suffered in a victory over Montana State on Dec. 20 and then "tweaked" at Mississippi State on Jan. 15.
After a Feb. 2 win over Mississippi State in Athens, Andy Landers said he was expecting to play James in Tuscaloosa. Her insertion came a little earlier than expected, however, when Meredith Mitchell received a nasty knot above her right eye while diving for a rebound at the 17:39 mark of the first half.
"That was the darndest thing," Landers said. "You go into that game knowing that J.J. could play more minutes than you wanted to play her. But being safe and cautious and careful, in my mind I'm thinking 18-20 minutes. Two minutes into the game, here we go again, bam, Meredith's got a knot on her head the size of a ping-pong ball and is out for the rest of the game. In comes J.J. and she basically stays in until there's two minutes left in the game. It's same-old, same-old of what we've encountered all year long."
James eventually played 32 minutes against the Tide.
Practice time hard to come by
Andy Landers says he can't remember anything like this in his 33 seasons at the University of Georgia.
To date, Injuries, illnesses and even dental procedures had forced Lady Bulldogs to miss a combined 166 individual days of practice. Landers says a season usually includes 25-30 missed practices.
That tally doesn't even include losing 6-4 Marisela Rodriguez before the year due to a pre-existing knee injury.
An extremely brief recap of each Lady Bulldog's setbacks goes like this...
Anne Marie Armstrong - illness and left ankle
Brittney Crews - Illness
Krista Donald - left PCL and dental
Erika Ford - stress fracture in right leg and dental
Jasmine James - right MCL
Ebony Jones - left PCL and right ankle
Meredith Mitchell - eye and right ankle
The only four Lady Bulldogs not to miss a workout due to a health condition so far this season are Jasmine Hassell, Khaalidah Miller, Tamika Willis and Danielle Bennett.
"We're calling those four our `birthday party ponies,'" Landers quipped. "They're healthy as horses so we ride them hard for two hours every day."
Mitchell's production up in SEC play
Meredith Mitchell's statistical contributions have made significant jumps in SEC action.
Mitchell averaged 7.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 13 non-conference games.
Mitchell is averaging 9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 2.5 apg in 13 SEC dates...numbers deflated slightly by the fact that she only played two minutes at Alabama before receiving a knot above her right eye diving for a rebound.