Georgia vs. Alabama: Tiaria Griffin Leads Lady Bulldogs to Win

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Georgia vs. Alabama: Tiaria Griffin Leads Lady Bulldogs to Win

Tiaria Griffin (3) during Georgia’s game with Alabama on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)

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The No. 19 Georgia Lady Bulldogs cruised past Alabama 64-47on Sunday afternoon in their Southeastern Conference home opener at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia improves to 13-2 on the year (1-1 SEC), while Alabama falls to 11-6 (0-2 SEC).

 

Tiaria Griffin led all scorers with 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Merritt Hempe added 15 points to Georgia’s offensive output, 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 5:05mark, 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,” head coach 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.”

 

A Georgia defensive effort in the second stanza allowed it to maintain control of the game. Although the Lady Bulldogs tallied 15 turnovers in the second half, Georgia grabbed 19 defensive boards to the Tide’s 11 and matched nearly every Alabama basket. MacKenzie Engram, who had seven points and six rebounds, sunk a 3-pointer with 6:24 to play, boosting Georgia to a 21-point lead, its largest of the game.

 

“The difference (today) was we put a whole game together. I think we played both halves,” Griffin said.

 

Alabama’s bench outscored Georgia 23-15, but the Lady Bulldogs took a 30-22 edge in points in the paint. The Lady Bulldogs posted higher shooting percentages across the court, shooting 46 percent to the Tide’s 30 percent from field goal range, 36 to their 17 percent from 3-point range and 88 to their 46 percent from the line.

 

Georgia will return to action on Thursday, when the Lady Bulldogs host Missouri at 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum.

 

Single-game reserved seat tickets for Lady Bulldog games are $5 for adults and $3 for children. UGA students, faculty and staff are admitted to all Lady Bulldog games free of charge with a valid UGA Card. Faculty and staff should pick up tickets at the Coliseum box office. Students are admitted to the arena via the entrance to the left of the box office by showing their UGA Card.

 

Single-game tickets are on sale via georgiadogs.com, by calling 877-542-1231 or in person at the UGA Ticket Office in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall from 8:30-4:30 on weekdays. In addition, single-game tickets go on sale at the Stegeman Coliseum box office (closest to Sanford Drive) beginning 60 minutes before tip-off of every home game.

 

Georgia Lady Bulldog Basketball

Post-Game Notes & Quotes

 

No. 19 Georgia vs. Alabama

Sunday, January 4, 2015  •  Stegeman Coliseum  •  Athens, Ga.

 

Notes

•       Georgia improves to 37-10 versus Alabama, including a 17-3 mark in Athens.

•       Georgia improves to 9-0 at home this season.

•       The Lady Bulldog basketball program is seven wins away from reaching its 900th victory in program history.

•       Andy Landers is 12 victories away from his 950th win as a collegiate head coach.

•       Shacobia Barbee is 195 points from 1,000 career points.

 

Lady Bulldogs In Double Digits

•       Tiaria Griffin reached her 11th double-digit scoring output of the season and 34th of her career with 16 points.

•        Merritt Hempe produced her seventh double-digit scoring output of the season and 20th of her career with 15 points.

 

Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers

On today’s game…

“It was a game where we got off to a great start. 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.”

 

On Krista Donald…

“She seemed to be in the right place at the right time and made plays – rebounding plays…defensive stops – and was really sweet shooting the ball in the first six to eight minutes of the game. But our entire team was on point. Krista was the recipient of some of that offensively, but our entire team was on point. I really liked the way we played that first half — we were sharp.”

 

On Jasmine Carter…

“It’s hard for freshmen to put it all together. For her to remember that when certain things happen you have the ability to do this, there’s no question in my mind that she went out there, recognized what the defense was doing and took advantage with the one-dribble pull up. It’s fun to see the freshmen play well. Our younger players are growing and getting better. And if nothing else, they are getting experience and any experience is good experience for them.”

 

Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry

On today’s game…

“You can just credit Georgia. I thought they got off to a really good start and we were never able to come back and gather ourselves.”

 

On how they can improve…

“We obviously need to shoot the basketball better. We weren’t able to do that the last 10 minutes of the Kentucky game and we weren’t able to at all today. It was extremely disappointing to shoot the ball from the foul line and the field the way that we are. We’ve got to get in the gym and continue to develop our young players and continue to take pride in our shooting times and just keep working at it.”

 

On their next opponent…

“I think the thing is that tomorrow needs to be about us being better as a basketball team. It doesn’t need to be who we’re playing, it needs to be about our constant improvement throughout the season. Our focus is just being better and getting better and improving as a team and not worry so much about anything other than what Alabama needs to do to improve every day.”

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Greg is closing in on 10 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.