Anne Marie Armstrong leads No. 10 Lady Dogs past South Carolina State

Georgia women’s basketball capitalized off 29 South Carolina State turnovers to finish with a 62-46 victory on Friday night.

Daniel Shirey/AP
Georgia guard Erika Ford (31), guard/forward Anne Marie Armstrong (3) and South Carolina State center Paris Alston (32) scramble for the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 62-46.

Georgia (3-0) hit only 21 of its 68 field goal attempts in the game, but it used defense to make up for unsuccessful shooting. Senior guard Jasmine James said defense has been the focal point in Georgia’s three victories.

“Defense has always been a huge focus for us,” James said. “It’s always our thing to try to turn our defense into offense, and it’s worked out very well for us in the last three games.”

South Carolina State (1-1) played Georgia hard on the defensive end and disrupted the Lady Dogs’ offensive rhythm all night. Georgia senior forward Anne Marie Armstrong said it was often tough to determine what defense South Carolina was in which made it difficult for Georgia to develop a rhythm on offense.

“I think we struggled a little bit as far as executing our offense,” said Armstrong, who scored a game-high 14 points. “I don’t think we did a very good job of reading the defense tonight, and I think it was just lack of concentration.”

Georgia coach Andy Landers also said his team’s offensive struggles were due to a lack of concentration.

“The thing that probably is most disappointing to me is how many should-be points we left on the table with free throws and chip shots down low,” Landers said. “We left 25 or 30 points on the table.”

Georgia’s shooting woes were a problem, but with its demanding schedule there is little time for the team to hold practice sessions for shooting. James said the players would have to take it upon themselves to improve their shooting before the next string of games. When asked what it would take to make the easy shots Landers referred to, James replied simply with the word practice.

“That’s all there really is,” James said. “It will take everybody getting in the gym and putting up more shots.”

Georgia played a new offensive style tonight consisting of massive substitutions every four to five minutes. The players said it was sometimes tough to adjust to, but ultimately it would be the best style for the team.

“It’s a lot different,” Armstrong said. “It’s actually pretty nice to be able to go in for limited minutes and go hard. No one is going to play for more than four or five minutes because we have so much depth this year.”

James agreed the style was different, but she said utilizing Georgia’s depth and youth will pay off down the stretch.

“That’s very new to me,” James said. I still have a lot of energy, but being able to get that rest will work out well in the long run. The freshmen have done a really good job of picking up on the stuff that we are trying to do and because of that, when they go out there there’s really not much of a difference.”

Whether Georgia continues to utilize mass substitutions will be based solely on how the players work to improve on a day to day basis.

“I’m hopeful, but part of that is evaluating performances as we go along,” Landers said. “We’ve got to evaluate performances and improvements as we go along and hope that people continue to improve so that you can continue to do that throughout the year. It’s not a given.”

Georgia will host Belmont on Sunday at 2 p.m.

No. 10 GEORGIA 62, SC STATE 46

SC STATE (1-1)

Williams 1-8 0-0 2, Knotts 5-13 1-1 13, Duren 2-6 3-4 8, Cochran 2-3 0-0 4, F. Goodwin 4-5 0-1 9, P. Goodwin 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Fox 3-6 2-2 8, Floyd 0-0 0-0 0, Alston 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 18-47 6-8 46.

GEORGIA (3-0)
James 1-4 1-2 3, Hassell 3-7 3-8 9, Hempe 2-12 3-3 7, Barbee 2-4 0-2 4, Ford 4-8 1-2 10, Miller 1-7 0-0 2, Armstrong 3-9 6-7 14, Griffin 1-9 0-2 2, Willis 1-1 0-1 2, Butler 1-3 0-0 3, Causwell 2-4 2-3 6. Totals 21-68 16-30 62.

Halftime — Georgia 29-15. 3-Point Goals — SC State 4-13 (Knotts 2-4, F. Goodwin 1-1, Duren 1-4, Cochran 0-1, Williams 0-3), Georgia 4-21 (Armstrong 2-5, Butler 1-2, Ford 1-3, James 0-1, Miller 0-1, Hempe 0-2, Barbee 0-2, Griffin 0-5). Fouled Out — Alston, F. Goodwin. Rebounds — SC State 33 (Alston 11), Georgia 51 (Hempe 9). Assists — SC State 14 (Knotts 5), Georgia 15 (James 6). Total Fouls — SC State 27, Georgia 10. Technicals — Alston, F. Goodwin, Barbee. A — 2,485.

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