Lady Bulldog Game Notes
Georgia vs. Missouri
Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.
TV: SEC Network +; Matt Stewart, play-by-play; Brittany Northcutt, analyst
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (AM 960 The Ref in Athens & 103.7 FM from Gainesville); Jeff Dantzler, play-by-play
• UGA leads the series with MU 3-2, including a 2-1 mark in Athens
• MU’s last trip to Athens on 1/3/13 also was its first-ever SEC game
• Tiaria Griffin averaged 14.5 ppg while hitting 60.0 pct. of her FGs and 50.0 pct. of her 3FGs in UGA’s first two SEC games
• UGA (12-0) was one of this season’s last six undefeated Division I wbb teams when it lost at Seton Hall on 12/28
• UGA’s 11/29 win at Tennessee Tech made Andy Landers just the seventh college hoops coach – men’s or women’s – with 850 wins at one D-I school
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Today’s Game:
Millennium point watch…
• Shacobia Barbee is 194 points from 1,000
• Erika Ford is 239 points from 1,000
Lady Bulldog Basketball is…
• 7 wins from the 900th victory in program history
Andy Landers is…
• 12 victories from his 950th win as a collegiate head coach
Georgia Back In Action vs. Mizzou
The No. 20-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs look to continue their undefeated home campaign on Thursday evening when they host Missouri at 7 p.m. Georgia is 9-0 at Stegeman Coliseum this season with an impressive 20.6 ppg average margin of victory.
Last Sunday, the Lady Bulldogs snapped a two-game losing streak in rolling past Alabama 64-47. Georgia started the game on a 9-0 run, pushed that margin to 23-7 less than eight minutes in and maintained a double-figure advantage the rest of the way.
Shacobia Barbee leads the Lady Bulldogs in scoring at 12.4 ppg, while Tiaria Griffin is contributing 11.6 ppg. Krista Donald is Georgia’s top rebounder at 7.6 rpg.
Griffin posted game-high scoring totals in Georgia’s first two SEC outings – 13 points at Mississippi State and 16 vs. Alabama. She is averaging 14.5 ppg while shooting 60.0 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range in league play.
All told, eight different Lady Bulldogs – Barbee, Marjorie Butler, Donald, Mackenzie Engram, Erika Ford, Griffin, Merritt Hempe and Pachis Roberts – have combined to score in double figures 40 times for the Lady Bulldogs.
Missouri is 10-5 overall and 0-2 in SEC play; however, closer examination reveals both of those league losses were close contests with ranked teams. The Tigers fell 63-53 last Friday after leading No. 8 Tennessee 25-21 at halftime in Knoxville. On Sunday, Missouri dropped a 53-47 decision to No. 17 Mississippi State in Columbia after leading by nine points midway through the second half.
Jordan Frericks and Morgan Eye provide double-figure scoring averages for the Tigers at 13.7 ppg and 10.8 ppg, respectively. Frericks is a single rebound shy of averaging a double-double at 9.9 rpg. Mizzou shares the ball incredibly well, with five players dishing out 20 or more assists this season.
Quoting Coach Landers…
On Thursday’s Matchup With Missouri…
“You would think that spirits are high and confidence has gone up (after Sunday’s win). You hope that the focus is now squarely on Missouri. There are a lots of key aspects to this game, starting with the 3-ball and everything from there in. We’re going to have to be able to defend exceptionally well against a terrific shooting basketball team. Then we’re going to have to be patient and knock down some shots against a very stingy defensive team.”
On Classes Starting On The UGA Campus…
“I think any time you’re in a routine it’s a good thing. To get back into the routine of going to class, to practice and to play I think serves everyone well.”
On Preparing Newcomers For Playing In The SEC…
“You hope that the pre-conference schedule has prepared them some, but I think it’s probably more along the lines of throwing a kid into a swimming pool and telling them to swim. There’s nothing quite like it.”
Series History versus Mizzou
Georgia is 3-2 all-time against Missouri, including a 2-1 mark in Athens.
Last season in Columbia, Missouri outscored Georgia 16-5 over the final 8:16 en route to a 66-56 upset of the No. 25-ranked Lady Bulldogs.
Bri Kulas poured in a game-high 24 points to pace Missouri. Khaalidah Miller scored 12 points to lead Georgia, while Krista Donald added 11. Shacobia Barbee grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Lady Bulldogs never trailed in the first 27 minutes until Morgan Eye’s 3-pointer put the Tigers on top, 45-44. The lead changed hands six times over the next 2:56 before a Kayla McDowell 3-pointer put Missouri up 53-51 and opened the decisive surge.
In Missouri’s last trip to Athens on Jan. 3, 2013, No. 10 Georgia posted a 77-46 victory over the Tigers in their first-ever SEC outing.
Jasmine James led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, while Marjorie Butler and Miller added 11 points each.
The Lady Bulldogs blew the game open with an 11-2 run that doubled a nine-point edge to 33-15. Georgia outscored Missouri 12-6 in the waning moments of the first half as UGA’s advantage bulged to 45-23.
The Tigers cut Georgia’s lead to 45-30 with a 7-0 surge to open the second half. The Lady Bulldogs then used a 9-2 run of their own to make it 54-32 and end any doubt.
Last Time Out
The No. 19 Georgia Lady Bulldogs cruised past Alabama 64-47 on Sunday afternoon in their Southeastern Conference home opener at Stegeman Coliseum.
Tiaria Griffin led all scorers with 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Merritt Hempe added 15 points, shooting 9-for-10 from the line, and grabbed seven boards.
The Lady Bulldogs opened in decisive fashion, outscoring the Tide 23-7 in the first eight minutes of the game. Griffin accounted for 10 of those points, including six from 3-point range. Alabama closed the gap to 11 points at the 5:05 mark, but Georgia used a jumper from Hempe to spark a 9-1 run, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 41-23 advantage at the break.
“It was a game where we got off to a great start,” Andy Landers said. “I thought we were red hot defensively, red hot offensively and that set the tone. We built a lead and managed it the entire afternoon. I think one of the great things about the game was that we got to play a lot of people.”
The Lady Bulldogs led by 12 points or more the entire second half, with the margin topping out at 63-40 on a pair of Shacobia Barbee free throws with 3:47 left.
A Painful Mizzou Memory
Before joining the SEC in 2012-13, Missouri’s most recent visit to Stegeman Coliseum provided a heart-breaking 78-65 upset of No. 4 Georgia in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
That contest completed the careers of three of UGA’s greatest guards ever – twins Coco and Kelly Miller and Deanna “Tweety” Nolan.
Later that spring, the Millers and Nolan became top-10 picks in the first round of the WNBA Draft. Kelly was the first collegiate player chosen with the No. 2 overall pick by Charlotte, Nolan was taken with the sixth pick by Detroit and Coco was the ninth overall selection by Washington.
Griffin Sizzling In Early SEC Action
Tiaria Griffin got off to a strong start in SEC play last week, posting game-high scoring tallies of 13 points at Mississippi State and following that performance up with 16 points against Alabama.
Griffin reached double figures in both games before halftime, with 11 points at State last Friday and 14 against the Tide before intermission on Sunday. She connected on 5-of-9 shots from the floor and 3-of-5 3-point attempts in Starkville and was 7-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from behind the arc versus the Crimson Tide.
For the week, Griffin shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
That’s also a solid sign from a year ago when Griffin was the Lady Bulldogs’ leading scorer in non-conference play at 14.2 ppg but then averaged just 6.2 ppg in SEC action.
Griffin now leads Georgia in both double-digit scoring efforts (11) and games leading the Lady Bulldogs offensively (seven). In the SEC, she ranks No. 17 in scoring and No. 3 in both 3-pointers per game (2.1) and 3-point percentage (.371).
Lady Bulldogs’ Starting Streak
Georgia’s 12-0 start to 2014-15 equaled the 2013 “Elite Eight” and 1995 Final Four teams for the fifth-best start in program history.
The only better beginnings were: 16-0 by the 2010 “Sweet 16” team; 14-0 by the 1999 Final Four squad; and 13-0 by the 2008 and 1990 Lady Bulldogs, teams which reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.