Lady Bulldogs remain undefeated but turnovers blemish rout of Lipscomb

Andy Landers wasn’t moved by his team’s first-half performance in the No. 16 Lady Bulldogs’ 81-46 rout of Lipscomb on Tuesday.

Lady Bulldogs remain undefeated but turnovers blemish rout of Lipscomb
Nicole Saavedra

Turnovers — 10 of them — marred the 39-23 lead Georgia held going in to the halftime break.

“We stepped inbounds with the ball, we hit a teammate in the head with a ball, we threw the ball in to the crowd two or three times,” the Georgia women’s basketball coach said. “It wasn’t real impressive.”

But his team’s imperfect first half didn’t end its perfect start to the season. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 11-0, the seventh-best start in program history. The 2001-2002 team also started 11-0.

Lipscomb’s motion-oriented offense, fueled by a four-guard lineup, caused the bulk of the Lady Bulldogs’ early-game defensive confusion. Lipscomb (2-6) pulled within three points with four minutes remaining in the first half.

“They’re hard to guard,” Landers said. “They’re different than anyone that we’ve played. They spread you out, they isolate the bounce and then they dare you to help and they kick out to the 3-point shooter.”

Said Shacobia Barbee: “The first half we were running into screens, bumping into them. The second half, I think we got a better feel for how the game was being played and how the screens were being set.”

After the break, Georgia outscored Lipscomb 42-23, with 14 of Lipscomb’s points coming in the final four minutes.

“(In the first half) we were kind of helping too much and they were kicking it out to our man,” forward Merritt Hempe said. “It was knowing when to help and when not to help.”

Lipscomb finished 15 of 58 from the field and 6 of 25 in the second half. Georgia pulled in 55 rebounds, including 21 offensive rebounds and 26 rebounds in the second half.

“It slams the door on the other team,” Landers said. “When you go down and you’re being guarded real hard and aggressively and shoot a shot and you miss it and don’t get many offensive second chances, it’s tough. Then you go down and try to guard the other team and you’ve got to guard them again, that’s tough.”

Barbee led Georgia with a season-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Hempe finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Tiaria Griffin tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

Lipscomb was led by Danay Fothergill’s 15 points and five rebounds and Ashley Southern’s 10 points and seven rebounds.

Georgia will visit Rutgers on Saturday at 2 p.m. before finishing 2013 at home against Illinois on Dec. 28.