The flight back from Georgia’s weekend in Las Vegas, Nev., didn’t turn up many cases of dead legs.
No. 15 Georgia steamrolled South Carolina State 85-48 on Wednesday at Stegeman Coliseum. It was Georgia’s first game since splitting a pair of games at the Lady Rebel Round-Up last weekend in Las Vegas.
“It’s definitely a good way for us to get back and get back to work,” Georgia point guard Jasmine James said. “One good thing about a loss or even a close game is you learn a lot about yourself and your team. In that loss to Georgetown, we were able to identify a lot of things to work on both as a team and individually. We’ve had a few days to work on those things and have that become the main focus because you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.”
Georgia (6-1) gouged South Carolina State’s defense with 50.8 percent field goal shooting and never trailed in the game.
James scored a game-high 17 points while Jasmine Hassell added 12, Khaalidah Miller added 11 and freshman Erika Ford chipped in 10.
Tira Knotts and Tracey Flowers each had 10 points to lead South Carolina State (2-3).
“We got some good shots in transition, I mean, we got some really good shots, but we missed a lot of good shots, too,” Hassell said. “I’m not sure we really executed well on offense because we got a lot of those shots in transition.”
Hassell hit all three of her field goals and 6 of 8 from the line. She also grabbed four rebounds with a steal and an assist.
“I thought Hassell played great,” Georgia coach Andy Landers said. “She’s 3-for-3 but that’s deceptive because she got fouled on about all those shots that she put up. She really, really played strong and aggressive. ( South Carolina State ) was really aggressive and there was a lot contact. Hassell, it didn’t phase her. She powered that thing up, took the foul, went to the free throw line and converted there. I thought she played very well.”
Georgia bullied the interior of South Carolina State’s defense with 34 points in the paint and 20 second-chance points. Georgia out-rebounded South Carolina State 35-23. Ford had three rebounds and four steals in her second straight start.
“Coach told us to go out and make something happen,” Ford said. “There were some gaps in the defense that we saw and some skip passes that we were able to attack.”
Georgia hit 8 of 19 from the 3-point line, including three 3-pointers from Miller. Ford had 10 points, three rebounds and four steals.
“It feels good to be back at home and be in front of our home crowd,” Ford said. “We wanted to come out and play with a lot of intensity.”
Georgia scored the first 16 points of the game, keyed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Miller and Ford. James and Miller added two more consecutive 3-pointers to give Georgia a 16-0 lead with 13:00 left in the first quarter. South Carolina State did not score its first points until Knotts hit a 3-pointer with 12:50 left in the first half.
Georgia’s lead expanded to 21-5 when Anne Marie Armstrong hit a 3-pointer with 11:30 left in the first half.
South Carolina State cut Georgia s lead to 11 points twice in the second half. But Georgia went on a 16-2 run to pull away again. Hassell, Meredith Mitchell, Armstrong and Ford each hit layups in the run as Georgia took a 57-35 lead with 13:48 left in the game.
NOTEWORTHY: Ford made her second career start. Georgia hit six of its first nine three-point attempts. … Georgia point guard James sat the last five minutes of the first half but still led the team in scoring with 10 points in the half. … Ebony Jones suited up but did not play. She has missed the first three weeks of the season with a knee injury.