Georgia vs. LSU
Thursday, February 19 at 8 p.m. ET
Maravich Assembly Center (13,215) in Baton Rouge, La.
Video: SET Network +; Lyn Rollins, play-by-play; Victor Howell, analyst
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (AM 960 The Ref in Athens & 103.7 FM from Gainesville); Jeff Dantzler, play-by-play
[break] [break] Starting 5
• UGA is 23-18 all-time against LSU, but LSU leads 9-6 in Baton Rouge
• UGA is three wins shy of the Lady Bulldogs’ 900th all-time victory
• Engram & Clark became the 75th and 76th freshmen to start for UGA under Landers when they got the nod against S. Carolina and Florida, respectively
• UGA is looking to snap the ninth five-game losing streak in program history
• UGA played four top-10 teams in a row for the 1st time ever from 1/22-2/5 – No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 10 Kentucky & No. 1 S. Carolina
[break] [break] Keeping An Eye On…entering today’s game:
[break] [break] Tiaria Griffin is…
• 4 3-point FGAs from No. 9 Rachel Powell among UGA’s career leaders
• 7 3-point FGs from co-No. 10s Angela Puleo (2007-08) and Kelly Miller (1998-99) among UGA’s single-season leaders
• 10 3-point FGs from No. 10 Alexis Kendrick among UGA’s career leaders
[break] [break] Lady Bulldog Basketball is…
• 3 wins from the program’s 900th victory
[break] [break] Andy Landers is…
• 8 victories from his 950th win as a collegiate head coach
[break] [break] Millennium point watch…
• Erika Ford is 186 points from 1,000
• Tiaria Griffin is 202 points from 1,000
[break] [break] Lady Bulldogs Look To Snap Skid
[break] [break] Georgia travels to LSU on Thursday evening looking to end the ninth five-game losing streak in the program’s history and just it second since 1979. The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Tigers are set to tip at 8 p.m. ET at the Maravich Assembly Center.
[break] [break] Georgia is currently 17-8 overall and 5-7 in SEC action. That’s a long way from the 17-3 and 5-2 marks the Lady Bulldogs sported following a Jan. 22 upset of No. 10 Texas A&M. Since then, Georgia has dropped single-digit road setbacks at No. 5 Tennessee and No. 10 Kentucky, suffered its first home loss of the year to No. 1 South Carolina and fell to Arkansas and Florida in matchups that weren’t decided until the final 10 seconds.
[break] [break] Tiaria Griffin is the Lady Bulldogs’ active scoring leader at 11.3 ppg. Krista Donald is UGA’s top active rebounder at 6.7 rpg. Georgia lost Shacobia Barbee – and her 11.6 ppg and 6.9 rpg averages – to a season-ending injury at Tennessee on Jan. 25. Barbee fractured her right distal fibula while coming down from a drive to the basket late in the first half. She had surgery Jan. 28 to repair the fracture.
[break] [break] 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 59 times for Georgia during the 2014-15 campaign.
[break] [break] LSU is 14-10 overall and 8-4 in the SEC. The Lady Tigers’ season has been a relative inverse of Georgia’s. LSU has benefited greatly from the return of Danielle Ballard, who was suspended for the first 14 games of the year.
[break] [break] The Lady Tigers were just 7-7 before welcoming Ballard back. Since then, LSU is 7-3 with victories over No. 15 Mississippi State and No. 10 Kentucky.
[break] [break] Ballard paces LSU on the offensive end at 14.0 ppg, while Raigyne Moncrief and DeShawn Harden chip in 11.3 ppg and 10.1 ppg, respectively.The Lady Tigers feature a balance attack on the boards, with Sheila Boykin averaging a team-high 6.9 rpg and Ballard and Moncrief both contributing 6.8 rpg.
[break] [break] Quoting Coach Landers
[break] [break] On The Challenges Of Playing LSU…
[break] [break] “LSU is terrificly athletic. They’re guard driven on both ends of the floor. All of their guards have the ability to break you down with the bounce, all are good are good at getting it to the rim and pulling it up off the drive and they have very capable 3-point shooters. How guard-driven are they? Their best rebounders are guards.”
[break] [break] On Georgia’s Keys To Being Successful…
[break] [break] “I think defensively we’ll have a game plan that could be very, very effective. Obviously, after we defend we have got to rebound. With a smaller lineup, that can be a challenge. Offensively, we all have to be on the same page because we’re going to create looks for ourselves that we have to capitalize on.”
[break] [break] Series History vs. The Lady Tigers
[break] [break] Georgia is 23-18 overall against LSU; however the Lady Tigers possess a 9-6 advantage in games played in Baton Rouge.
[break] [break] A second-half explosion from Erika Ford and gritty team defense saw the Georgia Lady Bulldogs battle past No. 19 LSU 71-67 last season in Athens. Ford finished with 20 points, 16 of those coming in the second half.
[break] [break] After trailing 4-2, the Lady Bulldogs exploded on a 20-0 run that put them up 22-4 with 9:53 left in the first half.
[break] [break] LSU trimmed Georgia’s lead to nine at halftime and pulled within 44-41 less than five minutes into the second stanza.
[break] [break] LSU pulled eventually within two points five times during the final 4:14 of the game, lastly at 69-67 with 24 seconds left on a 3-pointer from Jeanne Kenney. Shacobia Barbee converted a pair of free throws with 14 ticks on the clock to preserve the victory.
[break] [break] The Lady Bulldogs made 6-of-6 trips to the line in the final 3:19 of the contest.
[break] [break] In Georgia’s last trip to Baton Rouge on Feb. 10, 2013, LSU upset No. 9 Georgia, 62-54.
[break] [break] The Lady Bulldogs trailed 53-52 with 1:47 remaining before a Theresa Plaisance jumper in the lane started a 9-2 LSU run over the final 1:33 to secure the upset.
[break] [break] Jasmine Hassell scored a game-high 18 points and equaled her career high with 12 rebounds. Plaisance paced LSU with 13 points and Danielle Ballard collected 15 rebounds.
[break] [break] After the Lady Bulldogs led early, a 14-3 LSU run put the Lady Tigers up 31-23 with 21 seconds left in the first half.
[break] [break] An 8-0 surge put Georgia up 40-38, but LSU quickly responded with an 8-0 spurt of its own. The Lady Bulldogs pulled within one or two points five times over the next 6:05 but never regained the lead.
[break] [break] Last Time Out
[break] [break] No. 24 Georgia was unable to hold off a late Florida rally and fell 51-48 to the Gators last Thursday. Although Georgia led by as many as 14 points in the second half, the Gators outscored the Lady Bulldogs 13-3 in the final three minutes of the game.
[break] [break] The Lady Bulldogs suffered a major loss with 16:57 to play as Krista Donald went down on the court with a left ankle sprain.
[break] [break] “I thought that we played hard and that we played through the circumstances of losing Krista,” Andy Landers said. “We survived that little stint and played hard and played reasonably well defensively. But we made 28 turnovers. I can’t ever remember winning a game in the Southeastern Conference making 28 turnovers.”
[break] [break] An early 8-0 Georgia run over 1:14 allowed the Lady Bulldogs to surge ahead and maintain a lead for much of the next 38 minutes.
[break] [break] With 4:18 to play, the Lady Bulldogs held a nine-point advantage that dwindled quickly.
[break] [break] The Gators took the lead on a Cassie Peoples’ 3-pointer with 1:15 to play and shot 4-for-5 from the free-throw line in the final minute. Ford sunk a long shot from behind the arc with sixth-tenths of a second on the clock to put Georgia within a point, but it was too little too late.
[break] [break] Freshman Starters ledger Grows
[break] [break] Mackenzie Engram and Haley Clark recently became the 75th and 76th freshman to start for the Lady Bulldogs during Andy Landers’ 36 seasons in Athens
[break] [break] Engram secured her first start two weeks ago against No. 1 South Carolina and Clark earned her initial nod last Thursday game against Florida.
[break] [break] All told, eight current Lady Bulldogs started as freshmen – seniors Erika Ford and Donald; juniors Shacobia Barbee, Tiaria Griffin and Merritt Hempe; sophomore Halle Washington; and freshmen Clark and Engram.
[break] [break] Barbee is one of 23 Lady Bulldogs to start her collegiate debut under Landers.
[break] [break] A head-Scratching Stat
[break] [break] Among the “that doesn’t make much sense” statistics regarding Georgia’s last two contests, the Lady Bulldogs outrebounded Arkansas and Florida by a whopping 32 combined caroms.
[break] [break] Georgia topped the Razorbacks 42-27 (+15) on the battle of the boards and then bested the Gators 43-26 (+17).
[break] [break] In an additional oddity, Florida actually outscored the Lady Bulldogs 10-4 on second-chance points despite UGA having a 15-10 edge in offensive rebounds.
[break] [break] In fact, Arkansas’ board count was the fewest rebounds by any Georgia opponent this season…until Florida secured one less.
[break] [break] First Time losing A Halftime Lead
[break] [break] Georgia’s loss to Florida represented the first time during 2014-15 that the Lady Bulldogs lost after leading at halftime.
[break] [break] Georgia was 13-0 when on top at the break before last week’s loss to the Gators. The Lady Bulldogs led 27-16 before Cassie Peoples’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer trimmed the margin to single digits at the intermission.
[break] [break] Georgia regained a 14-point advantage early in the second half, which was the largest lead the Lady Bulldogs have owned in a setback this season.